I had two teen pregnancies with two different boys before abortion was legal. I had those babies – they remain the light of my life. Both ‘fathers’ fled. At 22 I moved in with a man who seemed the right choice. I made it very clear that I would not have another child. “That’s great. I have no interest in having kids of my own,” he said. Eight years later I became pregnant when my IUD failed.

It became a real game changer, more so than two children at such a young age. I knew in my gut that if I had this ‘child’ he would not stay. I knew I would again be on my own, now with three children. I said I wanted to have an abortion. He easily agreed. My experience was total relief. I never felt bad or guilty. I knew I had made the right decision and nothing has ever changed that feeling. I kept my job, I continued to raise my kids through their demanding teen years. And…he left. He has been seeing someone else for two years. (He traveled for his job.) The night before Thanksgiving one year he just said “I’m leaving.” I said, “Get everything that’s yours and be out by midnight.” He did, and I was alone with my kids. After a few months of chaos and crying, the three of us found our new ‘normal’ and everything turned out fine. If I had gone through with that pregnancy, I would have had, at the that time, a four year old. He would have still left – I know that with all my reason and feeling. Not all abortions are heart wrenching. I was forced to face an even larger life situation – I chose the wrong man and then pretended I didn’t. My pregnancy made me face at least a part of this truth. (Later he said he left me because I “killed his baby.” I didn’t believe it for one second. He was cheating and needed it to be my fault.) Our stories certainly demonstrate that our lives are complicated. It was a challenge to simplify a much more complex story than above. I have never regretted my decision – not one time.