I was 22 when I found out I was pregnant, at 16 weeks the ultrasound showed abnormalities that needed further evaluation. I went through the amniocentesis and further ultrasounds. At 19 weeks it was confirmed that the baby had Down Syndrome with heart defects. I was told that her chance of survival was slim to none and that she could be fatal to me if I carried her to full term. At 21 weeks I terminated the pregnancy. I was scared and felt alone, until my mother told me about her illegal abortion in the 60’s and how she wished she could have done things differently. Like her I felt like a failure, a whore, a lesser human. I felt like I had to justify it by reminding myself and others that I had a termination, not an abortion and that it wasn’t used instead of birth control. This was in 1993, 20+ years later I own my choice. I know that my life would have much different if I would have carried her to term; I gave birth to my oldest almost 1 year to the day of her termination.
I have raised my children to respect women and men like and that nobody has the right to tell you that you can or cannot use birth control, have an abortion, be sexually active or remain a virgin. I hope that guilt never touches them the way it has touched me.