Dear Miss X,
I hope you don’t mind this public letter… I completely understand your desire to remain anonymous, but I just listened to your radio interview with Miranda Devine and was so moved. The tears fell unbidden and a knot of righteous anger formed in my stomach.
You are an extremely brave woman.
As I listened to you sharing the intense coercion of your baby’s father to see you go through with an abortion, the bullying tactics and the complete lack of respect for who you are and the relationship you once shared – my heart broke a little.
I’m sorry this happened to you here in Australia where we uphold that vision of “a fair go”. I am moaning within at this awful situation our society has created.
You were given a raw deal, lovely.
Nothing about what you experienced late last year was good or right or loving.
You deserve so much better. As do all the women who find themselves in the same situation, trying to defend the value of the life growing within to people who think they know better and who clamour it with increasing volume.
Miss X, your story is one we needed to hear. We know it happens, but women are often too afraid to reveal that, at a time of intense vulnerability, they weren’t heard. That they gave in to pressure. That the advice to terminate their pregnancy seemed the only reasonable option.
You know and I know that there is nothing reasonable about what happens in those places where babies are scooped from wombs.
I heard your voice crack when you admitted to taking the $50,000 hush money to have the abortion and tidy up a messy little predicament. Was it a crack of shame, perhaps? Of pain? Of feeling robbed despite your bank account saying otherwise?
I just want you to know that I don’t judge you.
I don’t for a moment begin to understand what it was like wearing your shoes as your belly was swelling and the father of your baby was wishing it away, wiping his hands of it. I don’t know what it was like to walk into that abortion clinic to follow through with something that every fibre of your being was screaming to halt… and then to wake up, alone. No baby. No baby’s father.
Those words you said, they ring in my ears still now:
“It was dirty money. They made it sound like the money was for counselling or whatever, but no amount of money can fix what a woman goes through after having that procedure.”
The money was no salve and so you gave it away.
What a defining gesture.
And now, we hear your tears over the radio as you grieve the baby that would have seen your belly swollen with an eight month gestation baby by now. We cry with you, because it should never have been this way. We cry because you weren’t offered support, love and encouragement to make the decision you truly wanted to make.
Be gentle on yourself.
Allow yourself to grieve, sweet lady. You were told once that your baby was nothing. You’ve outed that lie. Now, allow the truth to soak deep into your wounds, to knit you back together and to find healing. Give your baby a name, write them a letter of love, forgive yourself. If you choose to see a counsellor, find one who specialises in abortion grief, because what you’re going through is nearer to post traumatic stress disorder, as the experts say.
I hope you know how courageous you are and that, by speaking up, you are releasing other women to do the same.
Praying you find justice, but more importantly, healing and peace.