I had an abortion in 1975 when I was a freshman at a small college in Washington.

I met a guy that I thought was a good match for me and we became intimate. We didn’t last very long as a couple, he lived in Seattle and there were too many other girls there that kept his attention…out of sight, out of mind. When I found out that I was pregnant, we had already broken up.

He already had a little girl with an ex girlfriend. He told me that I was not getting any help from him. I went to Planned Parenthood in the town where I attended college. They were so helpful and caring. I was alone at school. I had some great girlfriends who helped me get to appointments. I found help to pay for the abortion. I didn’t take my pregnancy lightly. I was Catholic. What I was going to do was a terrible thing to do. The more that I thought about it, the more I knew that I couldn’t take care of the baby or myself. I was in college, the first one in my family to attend. My parents had six other kids at home. I am not saying that my parents wouldn’t have helped, they would have done anything for me. I knew in my heart that I wasn’t ready for such a responsibility. The father of the baby would never help me. He didn’t even want to admit that he was the father. He accused me of cheating. I didn’t have money or the resources to fight him on paternity. My girlfriend picked me up and drove me to the clinic and the nurse explained what would happen and what to do for recovery. I underwent the procedure and in the middle, I almost asked them to stop. It was a very, very hard and emotional, life changing decision. In my heart, I knew that I made the right choice for me.

Being the oldest of six children, I loved kids. I was studying to be a teacher. The choice that I made was mine and mine alone. I do not regret having the abortion. To some that may sound heartless, but it is not. I couldn’t give a child what he or she needed. Adoption was not an option for me. I couldn’t go to school and be pregnant. I wasn’t being selfish, I was being practical for the circumstances of my life. I regret getting into a relationship that I wasn’t ready for. I regret not going to get information about birth control. I should have been taking care of my reproductive health.

I am no longer a practicing Catholic. I have been married for 25 years and have four beautiful children. I tell my children to go to the doctor and get birth control and I am fully supportive of their choices. We have discussed the choice that I made when I was in college. I wanted them to know they wouldn’t be alone like I was so many years ago. I hope that story helps someone who has to go through what I did. My fate in the hereafter is between me and the Creator. I was not a horrible person then, I was in a terrible situation and I did what I needed to do.

Planned Parenthood helped me with my abortion and follow up care. I got birth control and instructions so that I would have information and medication so that I could take care of myself. I also went to Planned Parenthood later in life. I didn’t have health insurance, I thought that I had a bladder infection. I had an acute kidney infection. I received medication and care based on my income. They saved me when I was very ill. Planned Parenthood has been there for me when I was in need of help twice in my life. I am so thankful that Planned Parenthood is available still to people who need help.