I was 27 and had been married for eight years, and separated for four months.

I had two young daughters, and just graduated with my associates degree. My estranged husband had been abusive in a number of ways, and one afternoon, he came into the house and raped me. I knew I was pregnant three weeks later – I was constantly vomiting the same way I had with my previous pregnancies. I also knew immediately that I could not carry this pregnancy. I would never be able to support three kids – I was already struggling to support my daughters, and I knew he had done that on purpose to try to force me back to him.

I didn’t tell anyone. I scrimped and saved and went hungry and half paid bills to scrape the money together for the abortion. I secretly called to do the required counseling 24 hours before my appointment, which at the time could be done over the phone. My sister stayed with my daughters while I went to Planned Parenthood – I told her I had a school function – and there I was confronted with protesters surrounding my car and screaming at me as I walked into the building. I was afraid of them, but not afraid of what I was going to do.

Inside was a kind of run-down waiting room, and then I was escorted into a small office where I was questioned about whether I was being forced to abort. I said no. They took a basic medical history, and then directed me into a small exam room where they did a transvaginal ultrasound. I didn’t look, but it wouldn’t have changed my mind anyway.

Then I was taken into a surgical room, and a nurse held my hand. I remember being cold and shivering, and the doctor jabbing me with the anesthetic without warning, and soon after the humming of the machine. It hurt like heavy period cramps. It was over quickly. Then I got dressed and was directed to a recovery room, plopped into a recliner, given a heating pad, and a brown paper bag with two prescriptions.

I went home and life continued – I got divorced, I went on with my schooling and now have a graduate degree and a great job. My daughters are amazing. We haven’t heard from my ex-husband in years now, and we all prefer it that way. I don’t regret my abortion at all. I’m grateful.