I had an abortion at barely 16 years old. It wasn’t my first idea, but I wasn’t in a relationship and had been abusing drugs regularly.

I was the first one of my friends to be pregnant and I felt completely ostracized and alone. I remember the counseling session before the abortion, crying hysterically and being told “if you don’t calm down, we’re not going to give you your abortion.” When I awoke, I was in a room with several thirty to forty year old women, wearing wedding rings.

Now that I’m thirty-one and married with two happy, healthy kids, I understand why those women, too, may have been there. I have suffered serious birthing injuries and it would be catastrophic to my health to carry another child. I would make the choice to abort in the unlikely event that I became pregnant now. And I would have my husband and my family’s support.

This is not always the case. I have a friend who speaks out against abortion frequently and loudly. I happen to know that she had an abortion some years ago and didn’t tell anyone. In fact, only told me. I carry her secret because she couldn’t bear the shame that would be imposed on her to admit it now. Maybe she never will. But in the meantime, I have no problem being a voice (unashamed) of a woman who made that choice. And it was the right choice.