Decision Free of Patriarchal Influence

By Debbie (California)

My abortion was easy and was paid by the state, and I went on to have a great life and 3 kids.

I was 28, in a new-but-serious relationship (that is still intact 33 years later). I was having short luteal phases (ovulation to next period) which made me a bit worried about my fertility. My partner and I were traveling, and I knew that my normal monitoring of when I ovulate was harder to track at that point. So I knew I was taking a chance. Subconsciously, I was probably wanting to test my fertility; I say that because when the pregnancy test came back positive I was curiously relieved.

My partner and I were planning on staying together and on having kids — as a result, we gave serious thought to keeping the pregnancy… we mulled on it for a few days. WE WERE AMBIVALENT ABOUT THE PREGNANCY, BUT IN AN ENTIRELY PERSONAL WAY… I HAD ZERO TO DO WITH ANYONE ELSE’S RELIGIOUS OR PATRIARCHAL MORALS. We realized that if I kept the pregnancy, I would give birth the same week I was planning to start grad school. Since we were only just moving in with each other, it would also mean losing the opportunity to build our relationship without the simultaneous intensity of a pregnancy and infant. The decision was a carefully made one, but once we made it, the rest was like going to the dentist. I was on a very limited income, and was able to qualify for state funding for my procedure — the application process was expedited and streamlined and extremely friendly.

I went to Planned Parenthood, where everyone was super competent and nice. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t ambivalent; it didn’t even hurt, and I was fine afterwards.

So a lot of good came out of it for me: I felt more confident of my fertility, and my partner and I became clearer about our relationship and our plans. It didn’t change my views: I already believed that abortion is a woman’s right, and I always will.

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No Guild or Sadness

by Happy Girl (Texas)

I am 19 and knew immediately that I wanted an abortion when I found out I was pregnant. The pregnancy (even only being 7 weeks long) was living hell for me. I was nauseous and throwing up morning noon and night. I had trouble holding food and water down and for the week before my abortion I had not been able to keep a single meal down. I was not able to find a doctor who would prescribe anti-nausea medicine to me.

I went to a women’s healthcare practice and the staff was great. Everyone was professional, caring, and non-judgmental. When I pulled into the parking lot there were some protestors, but there was also a very nice police officer who escorted me from my car to the door. It made me feel much safer and at ease to have someone walk me to the door.

I was extremely nervous about having an abortion, and I picked to have a medical abortion because surgical seemed too scary. I had read horror stories about the pain and I won’t lie, it was extremely painful. But I feel like one day of pain is much better than 9 months of horrible pregnancy symptoms and a lifetime with a child I am not ready for. When it was all over and done with, I had a meal and didn’t vomit. Food tasted good again!! And I feel so relieved and happy that I can go on with my life. I have no guilt or sadness. I know I made a good decision.

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I have grown into a stronger, happier, wiser, and more resilient woman

by Sunflower (NY)

I was a 19 year old college student going through a fairly rough/confusing patch. At the time, I was neither financially nor emotionally secure to even consider continuing a pregnancy let alone bring an innocent life into my chaotic world. As difficult as it was then, my decision to abort came from my heart. I am proud to say that I am finishing college with a bachelor’s degree and have big plans for my future.

Though this experience was indescribable and at times unbearable, it was by no means life-defining.

Do not allow it to define you.

I have grown into a stronger, happier, wiser, and more resilient woman.

Like any other traumatic life experience, this is one that is very unique to each person. So its nearly impossible to compare experiences. But one thing I’ve found common among a lot of women whove gone through this is the fact that life does move forward. You grow, you change, and as long as you’re there for yourself– you will live through it.

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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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Did Not Feel Like the Women In Conservative Commercials

by Candy (Michigan)

Well, I am a young college girl, 18, who has run into a snag. My (then) boyfriend decided that sex did not feel as good with a condom as without one. So he took it off…mid-sex and continued. I noticed and made him stop. We fought and he left. This was the week after my last. I didn’t think about it. I only worried when my period didn’t come the third Monday of that month. My period comes ON THE DOT every month, on the day, on the hour. He reassured me that he didn’t make me pregnant, but I could not get it off my mind. It was more than three days late when I broke down and bought the test. Positive. Oooooh boy, this man has really made me pregnant.

Well, after about five minutes of crying, I called my best friend. We talked about abortion and I researched about it. Wow! From what I heard of abortion, I thought it was an invasive procedure that would keep me haunted for the rest of my life. It isn’t. A bit costly, but nothing I can’t handle. “Oh there’s a pill?!”

I felt rather heartless, because I didn’t feel as the women on the conservative radio commercials, crying and regretting the woes of abortion. I felt emotionless and formulated. In my logic I figured that having a child now at this point of my life would be not the best for me or my child. My friends of whom I told respected my decision, but the father did then he did not.

I’m 5 weeks now and I have my procedure on next week. Though I am going issues with him and he calling me a murderer, I am going through with my decision. I do feel bad that men don’t get a lot of say, but at the end of the day this is my body. Just wish me luck.

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