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Jameela's December 2013 Column: “It Feels Like the Biggest Decision"

Jameela's October 2013 Column: “Help! I’m holidaying with my new man!”


A friend of mine recently fell pregnant, despite having taken the morning-after pill hours after the condom decided to quit its (only) job. It came as a surprise of the not-so-wanted variety. She wasn’t ready. She’d not known the guy long, her career was JUST starting to get going, and she had no financial security. That, and, to be honest, she just didn’t want a baby. So there seemed only one option. The dreaded “A” word. Abortion. 

I took her to our nearest clinic, where she was tested and scanned. There were anti-abortionists praying and heckling, holding inaccurate photos of early foetuses and throwing rosary beads at us.

We were then taken in for her ultrasound. I have to admit, seeing it on the screen threw even me. It suddenly felt real. It was a tangible concept that a little person could grow inside her. But, on the flip side, it was the size of half a Tic Tac. It was just a little cluster of cells with nothing to say for itself. So what to do? Where is the ethical boundary? I know this is a little more intense than some of my past columns about farting on a treadmill, or my deep fear of shower sex… But in the waiting room of the clinic sat a majority of girls under the age of 20, and it shocked the living shit out of me how many young women were having to make that huge choice, so I thought I would address it to the appropriate forum. 

I thought about it a lot. I’ve never been in that situation. It feels like the biggest decision in the world. But, then again, surely we make that decision every single time we take the pill, insert a coil or put a condom on a guy? Surely that’s the gesture in itself of prohibiting life? Not to mention the definitive act of taking the morning-after pill. If you aren’t keen on doing something that will LITERALLY take over your life for potentially the next 20 years or so... Then surely you shouldn’t do so out of guilt... Or uncertainty. Babies are hard. They are no sleep. They scream, sometimes for 25 minutes straight (without taking a breath), at a pitch Mariah Carey could only dream of. They projectile-shit. They will at SOME point, at least try, to piss in your mouth. And you will think about and worry about them for as long as you breathe.

This is not to say that they can’t be the most joyous miracle on earth, and that motherhood isn’t the most beautiful concept I can think of. But it’s the biggest sacrifice you will ever make. So if you ever find yourself in that situation. Do what’s best for YOU. Because, at the end of the day, that will be what’s best for the little person you introduce to the world... If you ever decide to. 





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