When I was in my mid-30s, I got pregnant unexpectedly. I was unmarried and wasn’t in a long-term relationship. I was working full-time but wasn’t earning a great deal of money. Basically, my life still felt pretty unsettled. And I wasn’t at all attracted to the idea of being a single mother.
So, I knew almost as soon I found out I was pregnant that I would have an abortion. Thankfully, I lived in New York City and was able to find a good women’s health clinic with no problem. My friends and family were very supportive, and my partner helped pay for the abortion, so that was good. And the people at the clinic itself were great; they explained everything clearly and made sure I was as comfortable as possible.
It was a cold December day, and on the way home after the procedure, I remember feeling very, very relieved. There was just no way I wanted to take on the responsibility of a child at that point in my life. As things turned out, I haven’t had children, which is something I think I might have enjoyed, but I still feel certain that I made the right decision for myself at the time.
And that’s what I take away from my abortion experience. That it was my decision to make and mine alone. I actually work for a reproductive rights organization now, and I never cease to be amazed (and angered) by people who think they have the right to restrict women’s ability to decide whether and when to have children. This is an issue I’ve cared about since I was a teenager, and I’ve always felt that there wouldn’t be any debate about reproductive freedom if men got pregnant instead of women It’s clear to me that a lot of the anti-choice movement is really about trying to control women’s sexual freedom.
So, that’s why I’m telling my story. Because I think women can make these decisions for ourselves. And because I think it’s important that we get comfortable talking about abortion with one another. Sometimes having an abortion is the right decision—a good decision—and that’s what it was for me.