Jane Doe 8

I have never had an abortion.  Thankfully I have  never been put in the situation where I have needed to contemplate having one. In fact, I don’t even believe in abortion. That being said I don’t believe in smoking, or gambling either. However those things are legal and I have absolutely no right to condemn those who do them. It’s their choice.

This is not a rant thought — it is a story about my friend.  My best friend got pregnant unexpectedly. I didn’t ask if she was using birth control, I didn’t ask if her boyfriend was the father. It was none of my business. She asked me to drive her to Fredericton to the Morgentaler Clinic. I agreed because she was my friend and I loved her.  Her struggle was very real.  This was not a tax funded procedure. This was performed in a private clinic.  Why? Why was her procedure performed in a private clinic when it could have been done under the Medicare Act in Halifax?  Because of shame and condemnation. Coming from a small town (as we all do) people talk and point fingers and start rumors.  She could not face the judgement from the doctor and the hospital. She had heard how awful people can be at the hospital. They have absolutely no right to judge.

In Fredericton we met protesters. White haired old ladies who had their babies in a time when abortion was illegal trying to thrust their “morals” on us.  We live in a society where church and state is meant to be separate and yet we are facing barriers on Prince Edward Island for just those reasons. The people at the “pro life” (serioiusly what person isn’t pro life) rallies are trying to impose their “morals” on us and it’s just maddening.  Maddening to the point where someone would rather pay upwards to $1000 to avoid the shame and condemnation of the small minded people of this province.

I feel for my friend every day she is reminded about the choice she had to make.  It wasn’t an easy choice but it was one that she absolutely had the right to make. We don’t shame people for having lung cancer caused by smoking, or obesity caused by over eating or liver cancer from drinking. We have to stop shaming.

Anonymous – PEI