What would force you to take the monumental decision to end the life of your unborn child?
The certainty that your baby had such severe abnormalities, its future would only have been one of suffering?
The direness of your own circumstances? Perhaps.
For some women, the very real danger to their own health is what forces their hand.
Many more faced with bringing up a baby without a partner, or family support, or enough money, also find themselves having to make the most painful and guilt-laden choice of their lives. One they whole-heartedly believed they would never, ever make.
I have friends who have had to do exactly that; and I’ve seen the torment that stays with them – for some almost two decades on.
But how about not being able to live with the morning sickness?
Do you think that’s enough of a reason to kill a perfectly healthy foetus?
A mother of two in Birmingham has had two babies aborted because she couldn’t stand being sick up to 40 times a day.
Claire Barwell says she is “tortured” by the controversial decision she made to have one perfectly healthy baby aborted four years ago, and a second pregnancy terminated just three months ago.
She says she very much wanted her babies. But that the morning sickness she suffered pushed her to the brink of health and sanity. That often she was too weak even to lift her head to be sick and that she became so dehydrated she felt “mentally destroyed”.
I don’t doubt how horrendous she must have felt. Or any other woman suffering from severe morning sickness, a hormone condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, thought to affect just one per cent.
The news has caused a maelstrom of opinion. Women across the country are at loggerheads on internet blog. Those who have lost babies through miscarriage, like actress Amanda Holden did, can’t believe anyone would give up on their child so lightly.
And while some say a woman has the right to choose what happens to her own body, others vehemently stand up for the unborn child.
I’m with the latter. I can’t comprehend how a woman could put her own comfort above her child’s life.
She should have toughed it out, at least for a few more weeks - specialists say the sickness usually stops at around week 14.
The first pregnancy Claire terminated was at 12 weeks; the most recent, just eight weeks. And during that last pregnancy, the sickness didn’t start until the sixth week. So she suffered for just a fortnight. Swine flu takes more time to recover from.
The worst of it is, though, is that Claire says she is now desperate to get pregnant again and is determined to see it through. But if she starts to feel ill, will a third child end up losing its life?
Experts of the extreme form of morning sickness say there has been a rise in abortions among mothers brought to the end of their tethers by uncontrollable morning sickness.
Yet many more stick it out because they know , from the very beginning, that motherhood is as much about suffering and selflessness as it is about joy and reward