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My son, whom I planned to abort, saved my life

EVREN ATALAY - ANADOLU AGENCY
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Pregnant at the age of 19, she went against her parents' will and reneged on her decision for an abortion.

Giulia Michelini is an Italian actress and a natural beauty. Although she began her career in 2002 at the age of 17, Italians know her best from her role as a Mafia boss in an Italian TV miniseries called Anti-Mafia Squad – Palermo Today and its sequels, which aired from 2009 to 2012. However, there’s more to her than her beauty and her acting résumé; just a few days ago, I learned that this talented actress has a personal history full of difficulty and courage that is worth recounting. In 2015, she granted an interview to Vanity Fair in Italian, published under the title, “A baby saved me.” That baby wasn’t a movie character, but her own son: Giulio Cosimo Michelini.

Pregnant at 19

When she was 19, the actress discovered she was pregnant. Initially, she thought it best not to keep the baby, and everyone near to her — including her parents — advised her to have an abortion “because having a child at your age ruins your life.”

Giulia made an appointment for an abortion, but once she arrived at the clinic, she changed her mind and decided to leave.

“I went to the appointment alone. One girl was called in, then another, and not even I know what made me stand up; I just know that, at a certain point, I left,” she told Vanity Fair.

Rejecting abortion

Fortunately, she changed her mind, and with her heart full of emotions and fear, she called her mother on a public phone.

In her interview, she said, “I was completely panicked. Once I had left [the waiting room], I went into a phone booth to call my mother. On the phone was a little girl’s elastic hair band; I forget if it had two dice or two plastic cherries on it. I know, it’s stupid, but seeing it, I said to myself: it’s okay this way, I’m doing the right thing.”

Fear … but also courage

During that time, she was going through a complicated situation with the baby’s father — a young man eight years her senior, who had led her to frequent bad neighborhoods on the outskirts of Rome, far from the world she had grown up in. When she chose to keep her son, the actress knew that the relationship didn’t have a future, but …

“I didn’t believe much in my relationship with the father; actually, to be honest, I knew that it would end, and that I would end up alone with my son, but it was as if that gave me an extra push,” she told Vanity Fair.

“I think he saved my life”

The decision to go ahead with her pregnancy made her responsible, gave her strength and courage, and … saved her life, as she recounts:

“I felt as if this decision defined my person more clearly, allowed me to see myself, to be myself. At that moment, maybe I needed to feel myself alive. At that age, I didn’t want a child; I wanted independence, to feel myself free to run like a train … But this baby, by giving weight to my existence — I think he saved my life. He pushed away the self-destructive part of me; without him, it’s probable that I would have lost myself.”

Her family didn’t agree, but …

Giulia’s parents didn’t react positively to her decision, but that didn’t stop her.

“At the time, it was hard for me to go against my family. It was the first big decision of my life. I left home, and we didn’t talk to each other for six months. Then, when I was beginning to show, they approached me again. (…) Today, my son is the apple of their eye. I don’t know what I would do if he weren’t here; and I don’t know what I would do without them, because they have helped me very, very much: when I work, Cosimo is with my parents,” she told Vanity Fair.

When a mother in difficulty doesn’t have an abortion, she doesn’t only save the baby she carries in her womb, but also herself.

This article was originally published in the Italian edition of Aleteia, and has been translated and adapted here for English-speaking readers.

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