I've been in a loving, supportive relationship with my boyfriend for eight years now.
I'm in the best financial position I've ever been in, with a rock solid weekly wage and so is my man. I finally feel stable in a career that's been completely uncertain across the past decade. I have an amazing network of family and friends surrounding me that I could call on at any time of night or day. So if I found out I was pregnant tomorrow, I'd be in a perfect place to provide for child, right? Wrong.

There is no way I am ready to bring a child into this world - and while you never truly know what you'd do until you're faced with the decision - I'm just about certain I would have an abortion.

Saying that feels so much more shameful since my current life position ticks so many "ready for parenting" boxes. So when this very topic came up among friends recently, I found myself embarrassed and afraid to speak the truth even with people I love and trust completely.

Like a lot of girls, since we were 16 my mates and I have discussed hypotheticals: "what do you want to do when you're older?" "What would you say if he proposed?" "What would you do if you found out you were pregnant tomorrow?"


It was fun to think of your future self and fantasise about the exciting adult life you'd lead ... until you're actually an adult playing the same game years later.

And that's where I found myself recently. Sitting around with the same friends discussing "what you'd do if you were pregnant". And man, everyone's answers had changed across a decade: "Of course I'd have the baby, we're not 16 anymore" was the resounding response.

Even my single friends, my flat broke friends and my I-haven't-figured-out-my-career friends, all landed in exactly the same place - having an abortion as we edge closer to 30, was way more irresponsible than if we were teenagers.

Considering my response hadn't changed since I was 16, I felt embarrassed. I went into self-protection mode and said nothing hoping for a topic change - surely there was a new Netflix show for someone to recommend I write in my iPhone notes and never get around to watching?

"Kristie, what would you do?" Annnnnnd we're back. I breathed deeply, looked at the floor and blurted "I'd have an abortion". When I looked up and saw the surprise on my friends' faces, that was the very moment I knew deep within myself - if I did terminate a pregnancy, I could never tell them.

The judgement on their faces was so innocent, so momentary that if I didn't know them all so well I might have missed it. But it was there, I saw it and I felt it wrapped in but-you've-been-with-him-for-so-long confusion.

The ironic part is, there's no way I can see a future for myself where I'm not a mother. But again, I feel nervous to admit that, because "didn't she just say she'd have an abortion?" Yeah I did, because one doesn't cancel out the other.

Let's expand the boxes in which we place women around us - being in a long-term relationship doesn't automatically make you a better parent. A "career woman" can have more in her life than a career. And terminating a pregnancy doesn't mean you never want to be a mum.


Kristie Mercer is one half of The Thinkergirls. Find the girls videos or podcasts on facebook or www.thethinkergirls.com.au