I have had two abortions, 18 years apart. In between that time, I also had a child with my ex-husband, who is now ten years old (and a wonderful kid!).The first abortion I had was in 1995; I was 19, in college, and realized I was pregnant by my long distance boyfriend. Although I had been raised in a very conservative, Christian environment, once I found out I was pregnant, I instantly knew abortion was the right decision for me. Luckily, I lived in Seattle, and access to safe and affordable care was abundant. I did not tell my family; indeed, the only people who knew at the time were my boyfriend, best friend, and her mother. Even now I think it is a shame that my relationship with my own mother is such that I could not (and still will not) reveal this to her.

Fast forward to 2012. During the intervening years, I had gotten married, had a child, lived life; then gotten divorced, and had recently ended a very serious relationship. I had just embarked on what turned out to be a very serious relationship, but at the time we had been together only a handful of months. I was 35, my boyfriend 44; both professional (he is a dentist, I work in finance), mature, “together” people. I was very far from the scared 19 year old I was the first time around, but I still knew immediately that the best option for me was an abortion. I elected a surgical abortion. I told no one about it except for my boyfriend (who fully supported me) and a close friend. I went alone to my appointment and alone to the procedure (my boyfriend had patients to take care of); I elected minimal anesthesia so that I could drive myself home afterward. I took one day off of work. I was fine. Like most women who have abortions, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief after the procedure. I also, though, felt disappointed in myself for not taking enough control of my own body to prevent the pregnancy (I was on birth control pills, but hated them; I took them erratically) when I knew better.

I have eased up on myself since then. I was very lucky in that I again had ready access to safe medical care; and extremely lucky in that my health insurance covered the abortion procedure 100% as well as the IUD that I had inserted during the procedure.

I am now married to the man who was my new boyfriend. We are very happy with our child and stepchild (we each have one son). I do not regret the decisions I made. I do regret the fact that our country is limiting access to abortions for women in many states, and I also wish I was brave enough to attach my name to this story. I wish there was not a stigma associated with abortion. But hopefully my story will show someone that anyone can end up with an untenable pregnancy, and every woman should have access to a safe abortion if she needs one.