Thursday, 4 October 2018

Abortion ‘What Ifs’

Abortion is a controversial topic, especially in the current political climate. I’m not going to judge anyone who has undergone an abortion. I’ve never been in their position, so I can’t and won’t judge them. But I am on the other side of the issue.

I’m an abortion ‘what if’, because I am the daughter of an adoptee.

My biological grandmother was forced to give my mother up under Australia’s past policy of forced adoption. This policy, which was in effect from the 1940’s to the 1980’s, dictated that unmarried mothers in Australia had no rights to their babies. Their options were forced adoption—or illegal abortion.

Abortion in 1940’s Australia was expensive, but it was a choice. It wasn’t as readily available as it is today, but it was available. Even remote towns had a backyard abortionist.

But my grandmother chose to carry my mother to term and give birth in an unmarried women’s hospital, knowing all through her pregnancy and birth that she would never be able to keep her baby. It was a great sacrifice and one that, thankfully, no mother in Australia has to make today.

She was our family’s heroine, and we are all here because she made that choice. The choice not to abort.

Consider the ‘what if’s’, because that is what I am.

My mother, sisters, brother, son, and nephews—all eleven of us are the ‘what if’s’. At one point in history, my mother could have been aborted. That could have been her biological mother’s choice. But, as heartbreaking as I know it was to give up her baby, my biological grandmother chose to give life to the ‘what if’s’. As a consequence, here we all are. We are three generations that may not have been.

I hear the arguments for allowing abortion. It’s a woman’s body, a woman’s choice—an important choice for both mother and baby. And I embrace the arguments against abortion. Life is sacred, and women should choose life.

"The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.” 1 Samuel 2:6 (NIV)

I don’t believe that we ‘what if’s’ are discussed as much as we should be. We are the unknown factor, the potential, the future. I know it’s hard to conceive this element of uncertainty. Not everyone can. I am so grateful that my grandmother could. And did. For us, her choice signified great bravery, great courage.

I know from my family’s experience that adoption can be as heartbreaking a choice as abortion. How can you know what will happen to that child you give birth to? Will you spend the rest of your life wondering? I can tell you life still thrives inside the ‘not knowing’. We still don’t know who my biological grandfather was. We may never know. We would all like to know, but healing, joy and peace, can all exist without the knowing.

Thankfully, these days we have open adoption where children can and do know their biological parents. How wonderful that the ‘what if’s’ don’t have to be unknown any more. With open adoption, the ‘what if’s’ become the ‘what follows’.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

Please pay mind to we ‘what if’s’. Remember my grandmother’s story. My mother’s story. My story.

Tell it to those women and men you come into contact with who are considering abortion. It’s still their choice. I would never dispute that it is their choice, or judge them for whatever choice they make. But the truth is, I would not be here if my grandmother had made that other choice.

By my very existence, I am compelled to beg you not to dismiss or harden your hearts to the ‘what if’s’. A pregnant woman has the potential to give life, not only to one child, but to generations. 

First seen in Book Fun Magazine:

Rose was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her Resolution series.
Two of the three Resolution novels have won Australian CALEB awards. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel highlighting the pain of Australia’s past policy of forced adoption, as well as standalone novel, Ehvah After. Her most recent release is A Christmas Resolution, which is part of the novella box set, An Aussie Summer Christmas.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and her desire to produce stories that point readers to Jesus. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.
Visit Rose at:


  1. Thank you for sharing Rose. Wow! So glad your grandmother chose life despite the terrible uncertainty she would have had to face afterwards - we would not have had beautiful you in our midst if she didn't. I had no idea that that was the policy then. How terrible for those brave women who had no choice but to give up their babies. I'm so sorry to hear it. Thank you for opening our eyes to it and the powerful 'what if' stories. Choosing LIFE each time - the precious life that God gives.

    1. Thank you, Anusha. Yes - Life is always a choice that multiplies love and hope.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, Rose! Thank God your grandmother made the choice she did. Thank you for sharing! 💜

  3. That's such a powerful message, Rose. And what a perfect position you're in to share it, coming from the position of one a member of the future generations who might never have happened. And you're all loving life and living it to the full. Fantastic testimony.

    1. I would love for more women who are faced with this choice to be exposed to stories like ours. They may see that it's not as devastating as it could be.

  4. God Bless your grandmother, and the hard decision she had to make. We are thankful for the 'what if' folks around, and I know a few.

    1. There are many. And we are all so grateful that we are here. :-)