My husband and I had been married for just six months when I found out I was pregnant. He was in grad school and working part time; I was working full time.
We were pulling in enough money to keep ourselves afloat, but not enough to add another member to the family. Besides that, we’d both always felt pretty ambivalent about kids and parenting. I wasn’t ambivalent at all about what came next: I knew immediately that I wanted to have an abortion, and my husband supported me all the way. At that time there was an abortion clinic about a mile and a half from our apartment. BS zoning ordinances closed it about a year later (not enough parking). I found out on a Friday and was able to schedule the abortion for the following Tuesday. My health insurance covered everything except a co-pay of I think $30. I felt and still feel so fortunate that I was able to terminate so quickly and so easily.
At the clinic there was one protester. He was nothing to me. But at the same time, I was beating myself up so badly. I just couldn’t believe that I had let it happen. I was using contraceptives! I was a responsible person! I was so ashamed, and ashamed of my shame – I’d always considered myself strongly pro-choice. Why did I feel like my reasons for aborting weren’t good enough? I have since realized that abortion is sometimes stigmatized even by politicians and activists who support protecting it. It’s often treated as the lesser of two evils, something unfortunate but sometimes necessary, and not as a reasonable and acceptable form of family planning. My reasons – primarily financial – were just as valid as any, even though I was married, employed, and pushing thirty.
The staff at the clinic was great. I opted for a D&C with full sedation. My choice was treated with respect. My state requires “transvaginal ultrasounds” prior to abortion, and that was fairly upsetting, as it’s intended to be, I’m sure. By the time I was being put under I had worked myself into a panic. But then I woke up. Calm, relieved. It’s been three years now, and I have completely come to terms with my choice. It was the right thing for me and my husband, and for our marriage. I don’t think we’ll ever have children, and that feels right for us, too. How fortunate we are to be able to make our own decisions about our family. It’s so important that that right be protected.