made me have an abortion. It made me very confused and very sad at the time. It was a very difficult time for me and my family. My father passed away only 2 weeks prior; they were working class poor; we had no savings or public assistance; and mom could not handle things on her own. I certainly couldn’t have been a good parent because my “choice” at the time was to live day by day as if I wasn’t even pregnant. Pregnancy didn’t even seem real.

Now that I’m 53, I look back and see things from my mother’s perspective. Continuing to term was just not possible for me, for us. While I feel my mother could’ve handled the situation better than she did, I recognize the stress we were all in and she did the best she could.

I’m glad I had an abortion. The experience led to finding a NYC teen clinic that offered both comprehensive sexuality education and full access to free birth control. What a privilege! But sex ed and access to reproductive health services should not be a privilege or something we need to fight for. Reproductive justice requires access to reproductive health for everyone regardless of who they are or their circumstance.

I will always be pro-choice because the choice was available to me when I needed it. I want to ensure that the choice is there for others. Thanks for reading my story.