2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Abortion is often thought of as a medical procedure “reserved” for single people. Yet in Canada, in 2015, 39.1% of abortions were performed on women who had at least one child.
This figure comes from data from the Canadian Institute for He alth Information (CIHI).
This statistic comes as no surprise to Anabelle Caron, Community Development Coordinator of the Montreal Women's He alth Center. “Honestly, I would have thought it would have been more,” she said. By consulting the medical questionnaire of women who are about to have an abortion, Anabelle notes “very, very, very frequently” that she is dealing with mothers. "The 39.1% is not below that, I'm sure of that," she says.
A positive test, a negative reaction
“When I heard the news, I broke down in tears. It was the first time that I learned of a pregnancy and that I was sad,” says Catherine, mother of three children.
Whether you are a mother or not, a positive pregnancy test, when there is no desire for children, has the effect of a bomb. Our world is collapsing. On the other hand, when you are already a mother, you know better than anyone whatresult means. We know very well what it is like to experience a pregnancy, a childbirth. We also know what it's like to be a mom – breastfeeding, lack of sleep, growing teeth, dealing with crises, managing daily life, lack of time…
The woman who already has children and who has an abortion, unlike the one who does not have any, knows more about what she is giving up. "She doesn't have less pain, she doesn't experience fewer emotions, but she is more certain of her decision, in the sense that she knows the burden that this child would have brought to her life, to her family", says Anabelle Caron.
The famous decision
“I find it 'tough' my life with two young babies. A third? My god! I told myself that I would never survive this. At the same time, it was complicated. As soon as I knew I had this little thing in me, it seemed like my maternal instinct was very strong. Whatever avenues I was thinking in my head, it was going badly. Having this third child was going to mess up my life and not having it… I hadn't yet made peace with that idea,” says Karine with emotion.
On the rise among 35-44 year olds
In Quebec, we do not have exact figures on the number of previous births experienced by women having recourse to abortion, but we do know that since the 2000s, we have observed a trend towards fall in the rate of voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) among women in the age groups from 15 to34 years and a slight increase among women in the 35-44 age groups. (According to data from the Quebec Institute of Statistics.)
Inevitably, an abortion involves a psychological process. We face a host of questions to which we must find answers. Do I really want this child? Do I have the time, energy and means to take care of it? Will my couple survive? Will this jeopardize my career?
“Even if a woman believes she is doing the right thing by having an abortion, she may experience a range of emotions such as sadness and guilt,” says Marie-Alexia Allard, clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Ensemble clinic in Montreal. According to her, we should not minimize the psychological impact that an abortion can have on a woman… but we should not exaggerate it either. “Each woman will go through this ordeal in her own way, depending on her story, where she is in her life when it happens and how she manages her emotions. »
So if for some the decision is extremely difficult to make, for others it will be easier… or at least clearer. This is the case of Nadia, mother of three children. “In my reflection, I said to myself: I already have a hard time arriving with my children, I already have a hard time being as present as I would like, I have a hard time having patience. Then came the purely financial thoughts: I'm going to put itwhere in the house? What am I going to do with the car? How am I going to make it in time? I had no doubts about the ability to love him, but I saw no way out. If I had kept it, I probably would have fallen into depression. »
Catherine, Karine and Nadia are all three at peace with their abortion. Even if it was an ordeal, that some lived through it with much more emotion and questioning, all three of them know that, when this event took place in their lives, they did the right thing. choice. Even though tears still run down their cheeks when they talk about it, they live peacefully.
"Once women are certain of their decision, even if it's difficult and it brings a lot of pain, in general, afterwards, they will live well with their decision", says Annabelle Because we. A statement that corroborates the psychologist Marie-Alexia Allard: “If a woman reasons by telling herself that, at the time when she did it, it was what was best, it helps in the grieving process. »
These data include induced abortions performed in hospitals in Canada, excluding Quebec. Clinic data and Quebec data do not include information on the number of previous deliveries.
For confidentiality reasons, names have been changed.