I was unhappily married at the young age of 22, before I had enough life experience to realize that my husband was an alcoholic.

By the time I became pregnant a few years later (with faulty birth control), I knew I wouldn’t raise a child with him and needed to get out of the marriage. Getting an abortion was the first step and catalyst to my being brave enough to eventually leave him for the sake of creating my own life with the strength it took to make my own way.

Through my abortion experience, I stood up for myself and became empowered to live a fulfilling life. Every day I am thankful to the doctor who performed the procedure. At the time, I took for granted the daily wrath he must have lived through in the community. Now I feel a great respect for him and the choices he made in devoting his career to women’s rights to choose birth or abortion. I am also grateful to the women who came before me that devoted their lives to making sure I had that choice. Going backwards isn’t an option for women in a free society. I am now 57 and have never once regretted my decision. I will do what it takes to make sure those after me also have a choice.