In this well the steep walls of circumstances surround her, blocking out the view of the outside world. What she may see is a tiny spec of light way ahead and the only solutions that she sees are those that are visible from this vantage point. For hundreds of thousands of South African women this tiny spec of light that they see is abortion.

For woman the frightening circumstances may be different. What they all have in common is their ability to surround us and paralyze our ability to make effective choices.

Unless trained to do so, very few people make well balanced decisions when in crisis mode and the results of these can be catastrophic for their long term emotional well being.

For all women facing unplanned pregnancy, there is fear. This is the fear that drives our choices.

In pregnancy crisis some pro choice activists identify what they call the three evils, which are abortion, motherhood and adoption. In some part all of these involve death. It is a fear that can not be ignored. It has been said that since the legalization of abortion there have been some 800 000 legal abortions in South Africa alone. What drives the fear that causes women to make this choice?


Some pro-choice activists identify what they call the three evils in unplanned pregnancies, abortion, motherhood and adoption.

The most obvious death in abortion is the baby. No woman needs to be told that the death of a living child in your womb is wrong. Our basic nurturing instinct weeps when we feel we are forced into this choice. Sadly for many women this mourning never goes away. These women need so much care as the often feel that they are not entitled to mourn the loss of a child that they feel that they have discarded. But trying to get a woman in crisis to identify with her living baby does not address her fear.

Motherhood is seen as the death of self. A woman in crisis pregnancy sees the death of her life as she knows it, the death of her dreams, her freedom, the respect of her family and friends. For each woman the loss of what she knows is personal. As a very new entrepreneur, my fear was that I would not be able to continue my dream of my business, that I would not be able to afford the baby and that would force me to make decisions that I did not want to.

Adoption is seen and the second and most damaging death. This combines the death of self by forcing the woman into motherhood. Then after your body has made the transformation and your mind begins to alter shape into motherhood the baby is wrenched away from you and you experience the death of the child to this new woman you have become. The pain of giving away a living child has haunted many women.

The three evils have all touched me to some extent. Three of my very dear friends have had abortions and I have seen it cripple them. I chose motherhood and know that my life is no longer the same. In time I came to see that it is gloriously better, but at the time I was terrified. I am also adopted and having known my background and faced my biological parents at the adoption hearing I know that my life is so much better than what it could have been. But I can not erase the memory of a weeping biological mother at the end.

There is another view that encompasses life and death; a transitory phase that allows you to celebrate new life. All new life involves some death. When you exit kindergarten and go into preparatory school, there was death of the old life. When you move from illiteracy into literacy there was the death of ignorance into the life of knowledge. When you loose your virginity, there is the death of the purity and the life of new intimacy and joy.

Motherhood when thrust upon you is like many of these experiences. Yes, it is so very painful o let go of what we know and set out into a new life, but the new life comes with new experiences, new unknown joys and discoveries. When you are able to confront your fear, claim your inner strength and beauty your begin to widen your horizons and you begin to see that there are so many more choices in life and you can pull yourself out of that well and claim the life set out for you.


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