I was in my early thirties, recently divorced and seeing a much younger man. I was depressed and professionally confused. I was using reliable birth control. But as we know, birth control isn’t absolute. When I found I was pregnant, I immediately knew I was not prepared for parenthood and I opted for an abortion. I don’t remember the name of the clinic; it was in St. Louis and cost about $300.00. My young lover went with me, and I remember sleeping on the way home, so relieved. I did not feel guilty. I was just relieved. And I’ve always felt that way about it. I married that young man, and 27 years later we are the parents of two terrific children whom we welcomed completely and we adore them.
I’ve also always thought that the guilt or shame about abortion is partially a manufactured response, thanks to anti-choice propaganda. If people like me speak up, we can bring a much different story to the experience. Having a baby you don’t want can change your life forever, and often not in a good way. Having an abortion when you are unsuited for parenthood frees your life for better, more healthy pathways. It doesn’t mean life-long guilt. I’m angry that women are being treated as if we were vending machines for baby product. When I chose an abortion I rightly said that my adult life was more valuable than that of a cluster of anonymous cells.