I’ve had two abortions in my life and both have left emotional scars. I had my first abortion at 16. I was dating someone who was 3 1/2 years older than me. I got pregnant even though we were using condoms for protection. When I found out I was pregnant, I was really scared. My mom had me when she was 16 and my dad was 18. They got married because they had to – not because they were a good match. I felt like I was a mistake and that I had caused them misery. I saw my parents struggle through college and getting advanced degrees. When I was 12, they got divorced for the 2nd time and my mother’s life basically stopped. She worked at a good job, but never really dated anyone or found love again. To this day she is sad about how her life turned out.

I realized at 16 that I wanted a life of my own before being a parent. I was too young. But I didn’t want to tell my parents about being pregnant. So I borrowed money from one of my mother’s friends, lied about my age, and got an abortion at a local clinic. I felt guilty, but felt like it was the right thing for me to do at the time.

The 2nd time I had an abortion was when I was 35 years old. My husband and I had two kids then and I was so happy to have both of them in our lives. But I got pregnant again by accident and was floored. We didn’t know how we would support a 3rd child. We were already paying $1600/month in day care for 2 kids. At the time I was the primary breadwinner and didn’t think we could afford for me to stay home. And my husband didn’t want to stay home and take care of kids. My husband told me it was “my decision” whether or not to continue the pregnancy. I made the decision to have an abortion based on the fact that I couldn’t see a good way forward for us. I felt so ashamed to be in that situation – having to choose in my mid-30s when I should have “made it” by then.

We still have two children that we love a lot. However, one consequence of the decision to have a 2nd abortion is that I lost faith in my husband to be a “rock” for me. I never regained that trust. We grew apart and we eventually got divorced.

I will have to live with both of these abortion decisions and their consequences for the rest of my life.