Did Not Want to Force Marriage

by Lara (Missouri)

In 1978, I was nineteen and became pregnant. My boyfriend was 21, but in a lot of ways he was no more mature than I was. He had big plans for travel and work after graduating college, and I did not want to wreck his dreams. At that time we felt our choices were to marry and have the child or to terminate the pregnancy. Neither of us had jobs and both of our parents would have been humiliated unless we had quickly married.

I loved my boyfriend and did not want to force anyone to marry me, so I had an abortion at about 12 weeks. It was pretty painless, and I can barely remember it and have not thought about it.

Eight years after I had the abortion, I got pregnant accidentally again. But this time, my boyfriend and I agreed we would get married and raise the child. I have a beautiful, smart, kind daughter now who would not exist if I had not had the earlier abortion. I know I would not have had her because her father would not have dated me in the first place if I had already had a child.

Thus, for me, regretting the earlier abortion would be the same as regretting the existence of my daughter, who is now married and expecting her first child.

All thanks to my having a choice.

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