The radio presenter lets Pro-life Lady and Pro-choice Man talk over each other without cutting in once. They both only ever address the presenter rather than each other, as if talking to each other would reflect badly on them, or if having different opinions on the matter of abortion meant they could never be friends.

They have been blabbing on for what seems like hours, but rather than changing radio station, I’m sitting here staring at random utensils in the room. I’m surprised how many objects you can find in a well lived-in kitchen.

Pro-life Lady makes a strong argument for how every life is a gift, coming “this close” from adding “from God”, but then she reconsiders—clearly this is not her usual audience—and how it is not our prerogative to decide who lives and who dies—avoiding again another reference to God.

I realise I’m not listening anymore. Instead, I’m wondering what went on in the mind of my son’s birth mother when she found out she was pregnant. Or whether she ever considered abortion as an option. All I know about her is what a Social Worker wrote in her personal profile, and though her spirituality was never actually mentioned, I cannot think of her as a religious person. Her family mustn’t have been believers either; it’d be too hard to reconcile faith and religion with the violence and abuse they caused to their children.

Well-spoken Pro-choice man is quickly losing ground. The old philosophical argument about the ‘Beginning of Life’, and at what month in the pregnancy that begins, has never sounded too convincing, and I can’t say he’s doing a great job at selling it either. In the meantime Pro-life Lady is one allusion away from calling him a murderer; the radio presenter should really have said something by now.

She must have known they would have taken her baby away, as it happened just a year earlier with her first child. Was she scared? Had I known social services would show up at my door after my first GP visit, I would have trembled at the sound of a doorbell for weeks, but she went to that visit anyway. She had months to reconsider her choice, panic about the pain of labour, or the even more lasting pain of having her child taken away just hours later. But she went on with it all.

It turns out Pro-choice Man is a doctor, which gives Pro-life Lady just enough ammunition to hit another home run. She’s talking about medical ethics now, and how doctors have a duty of protecting human life. Quite masterfully, Pro-choice Man deflects the blow by agreeing with her, although he asks her how many lives she’d rather protect. He cites the number of mothers who lost their life trying to perform homemade abortions, and as a result, how their children lost their life too, until abortion was finally legalised—Well played Doc.

Not very long ago, I would have firmly sided with the poor doctor. Now, I’m not sure anymore. That’s what Wilde meant when he wrote “I’m not young enough to know everything”, and I’m now old enough to finally really get it. It starts when you stop seeing things in absolute terms as right or wrong, continues when you become more inclined to consider other people’s views, and you finally get there when you are ready to re-evaluate your views anew, as if they were ever yours to begin with.

Is it coherent to be an adoptive parent and yet believe a mother should have the right to terminate her pregnancy? I dread to imagine a world in which my son Ben did not exist, and I have to ask myself how many Ben’s never been because of abortion.

But childbirth needs to be a choice, more so when adoption is the most likely outcome. Ben’s birth mother decided to be there for him until the end of her pregnancy, it was her choice to make; an even more remarkable one, considering most people would have chosen otherwise.

I don’t know if I would have made the same choice. Yet somehow, I’m still deemed to be the better parent.

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