I grew up catholic in the Chicago suburbs. There was a lot of emphasis placed on the 10 commandments and morality. I remember when I was young and thinking that having an abortion was absolute: you killed, and therefore you are forever a bad person.

As I became a teenager I gained some empathy and realized grey areas do exist, that I probably shouldn’t judge someone in that situation in such an absolute way. I was also thankful that I wouldn’t have to be in that situation because “that’s never going to happen to me.”

But it happened, I got pregnant. I was 19, and I was in that situation. My boyfriend and I made the very adult (and very difficult) decision to *safely* terminate the pregnancy. We split the cost out of of own pockets. It was hard, it was scary, but we knew it was right.

That was over 15 years ago. Looking back, I feel that I was lucky to be in close proximity to a city like Chicago; there was access to reproductive healthcare, it was something I never had to question.

I also wonder if there is a girl like me out there, 19, ready to make that decision because she knows it’s the right thing to do. But she can’t, because there is no access where she lives. I hope she doesn’t have to make a decision to *unsafely* terminate the pregnancy. I wish I could tell her I’m sorry.