I have been pregnant 7 times–had 2 abortions, then a child, then another abortion, then another child, then a 5-month-along miscarriage, then my last child, and I got my tubes tied at age 34. My first abortion was in 1973–abortion had just been made legal.

I got pregnant within 6 weeks of my first sexual experience. I was 17, and turned to my parents, whom I trusted. My mom took me to her embarrassing, expensive, older male gynecologist who referred to the bathroom as “the little girls’ room” and my genitals as “down there”. I wanted to be awake, and said I wanted the embryo in a bottle of formaldehyde–(I had just started college, didn’t want to be a mom yet)–the doctor insisted on general anesthesia. I gave up my power to my parents and the doctor–I wish I had gone to a public clinic instead. I was told not to tell anyone I had an abortion–a couple of years later, young women started telling each other about our abortions. I had a period of depression afterwards–it was too weird going to sleep pregnant, waking up not pregnant, and not having a baby to show for it. People would mention babies, and I would burst into tears. My boyfriend said he wasn’t there for me because I turned to my parents instead of him–he also said that if I had had the baby “they would have given it to him, because he had worked before” and I hadn’t. I didn’t know any different at the time. I am glad I didn’t have a kid with him, because he later got into heavy drugs.

The second time I got pregnant, it was because my diaphragm didn’t fit right, but I didn’t stop having sex. I was in love with one man, but had other lovers–both of the possible fathers were with me, holding my hands and being sympathetic. I was awake, and saw the embryo, and no longer wanted it in a bottle of formaldahyde, because it came out in pieces. We went to breakfast before, with a couple of girlfriends too, and afterwards we went to the beach and did a ritual. I asked that the spirit come back later. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter soon after. She is 34.

When my daughter was about two, I got pregnant using a cervical cap. The dad and I agreed to have an abortion–mostly because he wasn’t helpful enough as a dad to our daughter (until she could talk). He stayed with our daughter and I went to have an abortion with two friends who were witches and pagan priestesses. We joked with the doctor before the abortion, and chanted during the procedure itself. We wished the spirit of the child to a barren friend–she found a baby to adopt soon after. This was my best abortion experience, but the one I came to regret–my daughter has 3 half- and several step-siblings, but not one with the same parents as herself. I wish I had 4 kids instead of 3. Oh well…..

I came to realize that I had my first abortion soon after Roe vs Wade was decided. And older friend, also pregnant at 17, gave her baby up for adoption because abortion wasn’t legal then.

My grandma, illiterate, and having her first child in 1900, had 9 live births and maybe a couple of miscarriages. I am her look-alike, act-alike grandchild, but grateful that I was educated and had access to birth control and abortion–or would also have had 9 kids.

I am 60; my kids are 34, 29 (29 years ago at this moment, I was in labour with my son) and 26. I am glad abortion is legal, but, in hindsight, wish I’d had all those babies, maybe given the first 1-2 up for adoption–could have met them as adults. I wouldn’t advocate for making abortion illegal, but biology proves that those are babies right away, alive right away, and even if a woman takes terrible care of her pregnancy, 5/6 pregnancies end in a live birth. I don’t know that I would call abortion murder, but it is infanticide–and women can, with proper, kind support, carry a pregnancy to term and either learn to love the child or give it for adoption. I don’t think unplanned pregnancies are the worst thing to happen to a women (even though it seemed that way to me at 17, when I had just started college). Raising kids, especially alone, is hard, but also inspiring. I know one single mom who is studying for the California Bar Exam at the moment–she did well in law school while raising a middle-aged child (6-10 or so) with the help of her mom. Even women raped in war have sometimes come to love the children that resulted–and generations down the line, their descendants might even be proud of carrying the blood of invaders. (Like, being Russian, I am part Norse (Viking) and Mongol, maybe through rape, and I dig it, hundreds of years later)