Like many, I always said, “I support a Woman’s Right to Choose, but I would NEVER have an abortion myself.” Until I got pregnant in my early 20s.
I was in a bad relationship, resentful of having to support a French guy who should have been a One Night Stand, but once he glommed onto me, refused to leave the US. A good guy, but just incapable of working, functioning in this culture, etc. I thought it was love, but really it was just..bad. Financially, emotionally…I was a mess.
The minute I found out I was pregnant, I called the clinic and was informed I would have to wait another week or so. Though it was a private matter, everybody in my circle of friends knew, and I think supported me, knowing how miserable I was in this relationship. Only one gal tried to talk me out of it, as she had had one (or two?) abortions previously, and always regretted her decision. I thanked her for sharing, but kept it moving.
The procedure was quick, painless, and paid for by my insurance, and all I felt afterwards was relief…except when I would see those pro-life TV commercials. (This was in Texas in the early 90s). I am not sure how successful those campaigns were, but I do know all they did for me was make me feel shame and stir up feelings of regret, and occasionally even terror. And now, here I sit in my late 40s, sometimes wistful that don’t have a child, but knowing I have lead the life I was supposed to.
I am glad this site exists; there are many sites that celebrate and applaud those brave women who opt to go through their pregnancies in difficult circumstances, so we have plenty of opportunities to hear their stories, but I think ours are important too. I’ve shared the fact that I had an abortion from time to time, and haven’t really ever felt I was thought less of (or loved less) because of it. Except when I would see those commercials, or (these days) happen upon an adamantly pro-life website.
One final note: When I was going through this, my mother shared with me that her best friend had an abortion during the coat hanger days, got a septic infection and damn near died. Years later she fessed up that it was actually her…I asked why she didn’t tell me this initally, and she said she was embarrassed. Well, we must band together to tell our truths, without shame. It’s time for the stigma to end, and for those who come after us to not have to fight the battles that my MOTHER did, 50-60 years ago! Future generations of Women depend on it.