I wish I could tell everyone my story without enduring judgment, but the sad fact remains that few people seem capable or willing to try to understand this situation and they react with irrational emotion rather than empathy and thus no productive discourse can happen.
I’ve had not one, but two abortions and the simple fact is, they did save my life.
I was once with an abusive partner, unfortunately for several years, and refusing sex was not an option and we were always one part-time hourly paycheck away from being destitute. It wasn’t long before I could no longer afford birth control pills and as soon as I stopped taking them I got pregnant. My only reaction was terror. If I’d kept the baby, there’d be no chance of getting away from him. Keeping it wasn’t an option.
It was not a traumatic decision, nor was the experience – it was difficult and unfortunate, but it was the only choice that would preserve some small chance of escape. After that, I found a way to get back on some form of b/c (he wouldn’t wear condoms) but the one other time I couldn’t afford it I got pregnant again. It was the same decision for the same reasons and to this day, I only regret that I was with such a monster. I don’t regret the decision.
Soon thereafter I’d gotten a better job and was able to afford consistent contraception. This is where the right wing nut conservatives get it so wrong. If women have access to education and contraception, abortions can be prevented. Shutting down family planning clinics (which are usually the only option for low-income women to obtain both education and contraception) just ensures more abortions.
Of course I’d like to have had different circumstances, but that wasn’t the reality. Eventually I was able to get out (I packed my bags & ran one day when he was at work) and I made a new life – a great life where I’m safe, respected and happy – which wouldn’t have been possible had I kept those kids. I’d have been tied to that monster for the rest of those kids’ lives and they likely would have felt my sadness, resentment and regret every single day.
I realize as I’m writing this how I’m making sure to justify my decision with all the sordid details above, but it’s really nobody else’s business. It was my decision and only I am responsible for what happens to me. My only regret is getting tangled up with someone who was so destructive to my life in so many ways and not finding a way to get out sooner. If I’d not had access to Planned Parenthood I really don’t want to think about what my life (or those kids’ lives) would be like today.