In 1975 I had been with my boyfriend for 9 months. We had talked about having sex and I had even bought foam and condoms. They were
“hidden” in a drawer by my bed. (Why I think my mom didn’t know I’ll never know!) Although he was not a virgin he was very clear that we wouldn’t have sex until we both wanted to do so. The night we did was a surprise – no drugs, no alcohol. Nothing that I can “blame” on having sex when I hadn’t been planning on it. Except in retrospect I was ovulating. Clearly my hormones were in more charge than my planning self was. I was a high achieving student at a private girls prep school. I even had a mom who was working in the field of sex education though it was clear from our family’s values that I was too young to have sex. And I think she was right. I can’t say I regret anything that happened. In fact I felt the opposite. I found an inner strength, maturity and confidence that I didn’t know I had. You couldn’t buy a pregnancy test then so I had to look up where to go. I had to figure out how to pay for it, how to get there on the bus and get the results. When they told me a few days later (you had to wait), I had a shock wave but not a sad one. Sort of an incredible feeling that I had done something that I needed to take care of as a young adult, not a kid. I made my appointment at CRASH (Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health, isn’t that great??) I was greatly relieved that there were other women. It was clean, bright, even pleasant to be there. I had no worries and found it instead kind of cool to be doing this on my own. The abortion was easy- I was a little out of it and remember someone holding my hand. I went to recovery where I was perky and in fact brought juice and cookies to other patients around the room. Though they expected us to stay for 2 hours I think they kicked me out because I was fine and I was trying so hard to help others. I held one woman’s hand who was about 30 -OLD!- and told her she would be ok. I hope she was. I was.
My abortion changed my life – I realized I took my potential as a parent very seriously. I wanted to be a great mom and that meant being ready – older, educated, financially able, married. It also changed my life in knowing that I was strong and knew how to make a better me and a better world. I think about it every November – who would he or she be? What would I have done.
And though I sometimes feel a little wistful I don’t feel sad or regretful. If that embryo had a chance to come back I hope it was for a great life. It deserved a good mom. But that wasn’t going to be me.
I have ended up being an abortion provider as well. I didn’t know I would until I was 32 – old! I wanted to share my gratitude to those that took care of me in my time of need. And I had kids and I love being a mom.
I’m sad that I need to submit anonymously but I have had to be careful about safety. Maybe this will help change that.