As one who was always pro-choice, I always viewed abortion as a necessary evil. It was not something I would want to do, but would have to do if faced with a pregnancy I didn’t want (at least that’s how my line of thinking went when I was younger and not ready to be a mother). I remember accompanying my best friend in college to a clinic when she was pregnant, the result of a casual relationship and an oops moment. Being her only support through the ordeal, it made my resolve that much stronger that anyone should have the right to a safe and legal abortion.

Cut to 17 years later, when I was married and wanting to start a family. My first pregnancy, a time of guarded optimism, was also a time of sadness, when my husband and I learned that the baby we were carrying had a chromosonal abnormality that was not readily compatible with a healthy life. We always said we would be in favor of releasing any baby from pain, but when the actual did happen to us, it took us for a loop. I hated to be the one to make the decision (as opposed to just having a miscarriage) but we knew, after speaking with our doctor and also a genetics counselor, and doing a lot of reading on the internet, that it was the choice we had to make, what others in our situation have called “a heartbreaking choice.”

In time, we did go on to have a healthy baby girl. However, the memories of what we went through will never leave us, and if we had to do it again, we would. Seeing abortion rights being challenged everywhere only makes me angry that women are being second-guessed and not treated with any respect for making responsible life decisions.