A 19-week pregnant model who had said she would have an abortion to further her career in U.K. reality television now says that feeling her unborn baby kick made her turn away from an abortion clinic.
“I just couldn’t do it,” Josie Cunningham told U.K. tabloid The Mirror. “I really thought I would be able to but I couldn’t. I’d felt the baby kick for the first time 24 hours earlier and I couldn’t get that feeling out of my head.”
Cunningham already has two sons, ages six and three.
“I’d forgotten what the feeling was like. It was magical. It was like the baby was telling me not to go through with it.”
She said the kick “took me totally by surprise” and was “a real boot.”
“I never imagined how hard it would be to have an abortion after that.”
Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old model had said she was a candidate to appear on the U.K. reality show Big Brother, but started considering an abortion after the show’s producers “suddenly turned cold” when they learned she was pregnant.
“This time next year I won’t have a baby. I’ll be famous instead,” she said.
Her remarks about wanting an abortion in order to pursue other offers to further her career, fanned by the media, had triggered a backlash against her in social media and criticism from other media personalities.
However, the day before her appointment, Cunningham felt the baby suddenly begin to kick. That night, she began watching videos of abortions of unborn babies close to Britain’s 24-week legal limit.
“What I saw horrified me,” Cunningham told The Mirror.
She said she felt “physically sick” in the taxi drive to the London abortion clinic the next day; she was shaking and “burst into tears.”
“I wanted to throw myself out of the moving car to get away. I had my hands on my bump and I had the strongest feeling I couldn’t let anyone take my baby away,” Cunningham said.
“As soon as I realized I was going to keep the baby, I felt happy – like a weight lifted.”
Cunningham is still angry with those who criticized her plans to have an abortion, saying “no one had the right to threaten me and publicly humiliate me the way they did.”
However, she added that her mother is supportive and excited by her decision to keep her baby.
“I lost control and I wanted to be famous so badly I lost sight of what matters,” she reflected. “I’m disgusted with myself and I’m sorry – not to the haters but to the child I’m going to have. Now I’ve made this decision I am determined to be a good mother just like I am to my other children.”