There are many myths and misconceptions about whom, when, and why folks choose to have an abortion. As an abortion counsellor, people share the context of their lives with me. A part of me wishes other people could be a fly on the wall of a counselling room for a day so they could see with their own eyes what it’s like. But I guess my words will have to be enough.
It can help to know that labour and birth are different for every pregnant person, and there are some aspects that we can’t control. It can be hard to imagine what it’s like to be in labour, so I will compare it to a really bad stomach flu. It can build up slowly or come on suddenly. It can last for up to 48 hours, but usually lasts less than a day. It can really take a lot out of you, there are some bodily fluids to deal with, and you might have moments where you feel like you just can’t stand it.
We help people identify their own values and to honour the reasons underneath their decision, while exploring how misogyny and patriarchy can influence their choices. Grounding their experiences in their own truth and experiences helps develop identity and agency. For many people, a decision around a pregnancy offers an opportunity to become the author of their own lives and to define their lives in their own terms, sometimes for the first time.