In the late 1970s, I was working on board a ship when I found out it wasn’t seasickness.

Against all odds – I was on birth control – I was 14 weeks pregnant! I had continued to have light periods, so I had no idea until the ship’s doctor did the test while I was being treated for dehydration. Going through a heartbreaking divorce, I was not physically, financially or emotionally in any shape to become a mother.

By the time I could get back to my home port, I’d be at 20 or 21 weeks; it was the worst six weeks of my life by far – don’t know how I got through it. I had the procedure the morning after I stepped ashore in the US again. I believe that abortion literally saved my life; I would likely have been a suicide otherwise. Instead, I was allowed to get back on my feet mentally and every other way. Several years later, I remarried and joyfully became a mother by choice, not by accident – the best choice I ever made in life. I am so grateful I had the abortion option – and that it was still available into the 2nd trimester.