Today I want to tell you something about my past. It’s not often that people talk about such things, but I feel it’s important.
I’m a 29 year old single woman living in Kenya and I work for the government of Kenya. For a long time now I haven’t wanted to have children, I just never felt like being a mother. But then, I found out two years ago that I was pregnant. I knew in my heart of hearts that I did not want to have children, not then, not now, not ever. But I cannot say this out loud to my family or friends without being stigmatized. It is almost unthinkable that a woman would want to live the rest of her life without the ability to give birth. Due to my conviction that I was not ready to be a mother and that I probably never would be, I sought out the help of a medical practitioner to perform an abortion. I walked away from his clinic with a feeling of relief rather than guilt that most people talk about. I was relieved that I was able that I was able to get a safe abortion even in my restrictive setting. I was relieved I did not have to bring a child into this world that I was not ready to take care of. Most people will try and guilt-trip women who have abortions by saying that there are women who would like to be mothers, but who aren’t able to become pregnant. I feel their pain, but I honestly do not see how my being pregnant, when I do not want to be, would alleviate their plight. I hope that one day they will also understand my plight and respect my choices as I respect theirs to pursue fertility and motherhood.
And now to you, how would it feel to be in my shoes?
The testimonial from this video comes from #Kenya with the help and support of our wonderful partners at @TICAH. In Kenya, access to abortion is highly restricted, where it is only legally accessible in cases of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life or health is in danger. Two supportive medical opinions are also required before the procedure can be legally performed.