I Am 1 In 3 Women.

While I have never made it a secret that I have had 2 abortions in my life, I have also never made it public. Today, I am going to stop being silent, stop feeding into the shame of the decisions I made on my fertility. This is my story.

I was 19, recently graduated high school, in an off-on relationship with a guy 5 years older than me, trying to figure out my sexual identity and my life path in general. I was informed that my pregnancy test came back positive. Looking at my life, I was in no way ready to be a mother. I could barely take care of myself. Having a baby would tie me to this man that I knew would never be stable or solid for me or for this parasite forming inside me. His family, devout Catholics, begged me to consider having the baby. No way.

I paid the money to get the surgical procedure a week later. My mother was vile and vicious to me in my decision. This was a hard decision filled with many thoughts on life, death, morality, money, and strangely faith. Getting the guilt trip from all sides didn't help me yet it served me a lesson on self-reliance and strength in my convictions that I didn't think possible.

When I walked out of the clinic, I was brutally attacked by protesters. I got a concussion yet survived both the injury and procedure with a sense of relief. I took responsibility and control over my body and suffered at the hands of strangers that saw only a new life not the realities of my own. Shame and silence followed me for a long time from that.

Fast forward to 24 when I met my first husband after finishing my associate degree in 18 months. I worked 2 jobs, went to school full time and still was able to have a social life. I was 25 when I had my daughter. I was in a stable, solid relationship, had money and a nice place to live. I was also more mature and patient to care for her. This felt right and a good choice for me to be a mother.

Three years later, I had my son. It was a hard pregnancy but was worth it. My son had health problems but grew out of them. I decided that I was done having children and asked my OB to do a tubaligation. He declined stating that it was his practice to NOT do such a procedure until the woman reached age 30.

At 30, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. My marriage was crumbling. My career had experienced a dive. We decided together that having another baby would not solve our problems nor would it bridge the widening gap of our lives. I went to get the medication to have another abortion. At the surface, it looked like a no-brainer choice yet it was wrought with the same conversation and thoughts that I had at 19. Again, I felt guilt and shame from my decision. I grew silent with a renewed need.

I went to my OB again, after my 2nd abortion, asking for that tubaligation. He conversed with me in his office. Surrounded by pictures of smiling families and baby announcements he said he wasn't going to do it for me. I left his office never to return or see him again.

Enter a divorce and new whirlwind romance and marriage. At 34, I was pregnant for what I believe is the very last time. A romance that validated me - and still does - and a child that renewed my abilities as a mother, is now in my life. I went on to finish my bachelor degree too.

If ever I thought I was a good mother before, it was pale in comparison to my abilities now. I am more resourceful, humble, a tiny bit more patient, and most of all, in a partnership that allows me to feel confident as a mother. Without a doubt, I could not be the mother I am now without having a spouse, an education, or the self awareness I possess. I could not be where I am now without having made the choices I did regarding my fertility. I am so thankful that abortion is safe and legal.

I believe the more that I and others like me share our stories of abortion, the guilt, shame and controversy will recede. I am 1 in 3 women who has gotten an abortion. I will not be silent. I am not alone.

Keep abortion SAFE and Legal.
LP1in3 LP1in3
2 Responses Sep 24, 2012

God I wish I could post something like this on my facebook page. I hate that this topic is taboo and that the vast majority of people who have abortions have to keep them secret. I hate that my own family doesn't even know and I can't talk to them about it. I hate that it's something that is made shameful and has to be kept secret for fear of people's harsh thoughts or words. It is a part of your life and shouldn't be hidden from the world just because some people have a problem with it. If more women came out admitting to having an abortion and their reasons for it I think there would be less stereotype as "women using abortion as birth control" and women who get abortions being "heartless". I wish I had the balls to tell the world.

I just shared my edited story on facebook on the "I Had An Abortion" page. I am so scared but I also feel a sense of community in sharing. I think I feel a healing of sorts by doing so.

Thank you for sharing your story. It must have taken a lot of strength and thoughtfulness for each decision your made towards ending or going through with the pregnancy. I agree that these experiences are very hard, but also essential in shaping the people we become in a positive way if we're open enough to let them.

I agree. Each instance of ending or continuing a pregnancy was attained with much consideration.

I volunteer for an abortion hotline and the thing I hear the most is a desire to not feel alone during this crisis. The stories are mostly about women not feeling in control of their body much less their life. Women that already have children and barely surviving their circumstances. It is so sad.