I found out that I was pregnant the day before I was set to fly across country for a several month long service endeavor. There was no consideration of “what to do”; I knew immediately that I had to have an abortion.

My relationship was incredibly unstable, my body and life could not handle carrying a pregnancy to full term, and I am not ready to have a child.

I had my abortion across the country, completely apart from my support system. I wanted it immediately and scheduled an appointment at a clinic before my service placement began, but I was too “early” and had to wait several more weeks to have the procedure. It was an abortion-unfriendly state, and I was harassed by protesters each time I entered and exited the clinic. I had to endure extra, unnecessary visits to the clinic to meet “wait time” requirements.

I never told anyone in my family. I told very few of my friends. I worry even when I disclose my abortion to a doctor or therapist; what if they’re anti-choice and I have to endure a shaming lecture? The only reason that my abortion was a negative experience was due to abortion stigma. If I didn’t have to sneak into a “clinic”, endure harassment and unnecessary visits and ultrasounds, and live in fear of someone finding out and reacting negatively, I would have no emotional wounds from my experience. It was the right choice, and I have never regretted it. I only regret that some in this society feel justified in shaming me for making a choice about my body that I am entitled to make. I regret that the restriction and judgment that others have placed on women like me forces us to suffer unnecessarily.