I Swallowed It. 

I want to voice this and I want to share this because human nature is designed to share. My diary provided no relief when I ferociously jotted down my confession. I am therefore turning to the internet, which is much less inanimate than pen and paper. A diary is not a living thing, but the internet is run and read by living people. There will be a number of readers if this message is posted. Whether it is one person, or an entire country, I do not know. I just want this to escape my person. I want it to be acknowledged by another human being.

I flew to London to have the morning-after pill.

I’m a young career-driven woman working in the financial sector. I’m not married or in a relationship and I have no children. I am my own person. I live in my own flat and I have job satisfaction with a comfortable salary. This allowed me the luxury to book a flight the day after I made the terrible mistake of having an unprotected one-night stand with a stranger at a social event.  This solitary act is my only regret. As a Masters graduate who has lived abroad for two years, I should have known better. Yet, it happened, and I followed through what I’ve always said I’d do should I ever to be in such a situation. However, I never considered the repercussions.

I cannot really call it guilt. It’s more of an incomprehensible fear. I fear the judgement of an island that doggedly insists that no form of pregnancy termination is to be committed or even spoken of. I fear the waggling tongues which can damage careers and an individual’s peace of mind. I fear the unjust, intolerant and biased accusations who value an unborn and undeveloped embryo more than a woman’s safety.

But that’s just it. I have not had an abortion per se. I took the morning-after pill that prevents a hormone from preparing the lining of the womb for the fertilisation of an egg. Nothing was eliminated, only prevented. I consumed the pill 48 hours after I had sex with this man. It happened on a Friday night in a hotel room in Malta. I booked the flight the following morning and I flew out to London four hours later. I returned to my old borough where my best friend still resides and stayed overnight. The following morning, I popped into Boots and purchased the morning-after pill for £25.

It was ironic to be back at my local Boots store. It was here that I had experienced my first culture shock four years ago. I was standing behind a chubby 16 year old girl. When it was her turn, she asked, ‘Hi, could I have the morning-after pill, please?’ as if she were asking for a box of Cold and Flu. At first, I was stunned by the openness of it all. It wasn’t whispered and the chemist simply said, ‘Yes, of course. Would you like to come this way, please?’ I then felt bitter at the fact that no woman who shares my passport has that liberty, and I wanted to loudly point this out to them and tell them to be grateful for their freedom. I also remember saying to myself that she should have used a condom and not behave like a slut. And now, here I was, standing in the same pharmacy four years later, seeking a part of that freedom all of Europe has, except for Malta.

I’m not ashamed of what I did. The workings of science confirm that I am not a baby butcher. This must be first and foremost established. I carry no guilt.  What I did is not wrong in the eyes of the majority of Europe and the rest of the world. Part of the worry is that I can’t share this with my pro-life mother, with whom I have a very close relationship. I don’t think she would ever stomach the truth. I believe in God, but I do not believe in the teachings of the Catholic church. Legally speaking, I cannot be prosecuted. The consumption of that pill is legal in the country where I got it from and it was in that country that I swallowed it. No child was murdered. There was no child.

Now, I may suffer your judgement, anonymously.

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