When I was 18 I got pregnant. Abortion was illegal then and I couldn’t find the back alley. The boy, his parents and my mother pressured me to get married. All the money I had saved for college went for maternity expenses.

When I was 8 months pregnant I got my first black eye. I was careful with birth control but the next year I got pregnant again and by then I had no money for an illegal abortion even if I could have found one. We had sex often, I was less likely to get beaten when we had sex. But the next time I got pregnant abortion was legal and affordable. I feel that the abortion I had saved my life. As soon as I could I fled with my children. I traded abuse for poverty, but at least we were safe. I could never have made it with three children. I will always be grateful to the clinic for saving me and my children, for saving my life.