My story is simple. I got pregnant when I was 26 and did not want a baby then, or as it would turn out, ever. It was a careless mistake of not using protection when I thought I was in a safe point of my cycle.

I had the abortion at a clinic on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This was way before the internet and there was no way to research clinics. It seemed ok, even though the $200 it cost was staggering to me at the time. The place was dirty, they used some kind of horrible twilight drug that was like tripping on acid, and they treated us like cattle. But I was so relieved to have it over with.

I have never been ashamed or felt any guilt for having the abortion. But I haven’t told my family who I am close with and have told very few friends. I guess I just didn’t want to be “branded” with the scarlet A.

I can’t imagine not having the option I had. I can still vividly remember the terror I felt when I found out I was pregnant.

I might have a tiny bit of understanding for those who want to ban abortions if getting pregnant was complicated or involved a series of several careful steps. Like buying a house. But it doesn’t. It can happen in a fleeting moment and then your life is forever changed.