I had my first abortion when I was 19, in a good relationship with someone I loved. The condom broke, and I knew as soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test (that I took in a public bathroom at the mall because I didn’t want anyone to know) that I would not carry to term.
I knew I wasn’t ready, and I was starting to know that my relationship wasn’t going to last forever. I booked the appointment at the hospital and went in and when it was over, the only thing I felt was relief. Relief that my life had been saved. Relief that this one little accident of birth control wouldn’t take control of my life forever more. I never told my boyfriend, though I think he suspected. We broke up several months later. I only ever felt anger because I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone because of the stigma of being a “baby killer”. Over the years, I told a few friends, but only if I felt I could give them some meaningful insight into their own situations.
When I was 33, in a stable common-law relationship, I again had a failure of birth control. This time was different. I knew my partner’s stance (he did not want children), and I knew that I didn’t want children. I took the weekend to think really hard about it, figuring that at this stage, if I’m going to change my mind about having children, this might be the best time. I might never have another safe opportunity for pregnancy. After a weekend of review, I knew that “might not get another chance” simply wasn’t enough reason for me to bring a person into the world, not when I had just quit my job, especially since my response to the pregnancy test showing positive was to break into hysterical tears. The thought of buying a car seat and a stroller and diapers filled me with nothing but despair. I made an appointment, and I’ve never looked back. I have no regret. It’s not something I talk about; I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed. It’s simply a thing that happened, a choice that I made to continue my life as I want it to be. I love my life as it is, and I don’t regret a single thing.