Although I am not “proud” that I have had two abortions, I am extremely happy that they were legal, my decision, and somewhat affordable. My first was an accident…the condom broke. I was 19 and knew I was not ready to be a mother. Deciding to do it was easy for me, I’ve always been pro-choice. The surgical procedure (I was about 10 weeks at the time) was fairly horrendous. I will never forget the sound of the vacuum turning on. I kept thinking after, there’s got to be a kinder way of doing this. It’s difficult enough to go through – knowing a piece of you will now be gone forever – does it really have to be this…distasteful? Ten years later I found myself basically at the end of a terrible relationship with a man who was a liar, a cheater, and a deadbeat. This time the decision wasn’t so easy – not only did this mean I had to shell out money I didn’t have but there was also the stigma of being caught having more than 1 abortion. Ultimately the decision to have it was the best decision of my life – and also one of the most physically and emotionally painful events of my entire life. And here’s why. Deciding I didn’t want his child made me realize that, in fact, I didn’t want him. And it wasn’t just that I didn’t want to know him for the rest of my life, or that I didn’t want our child to have to listen to his lies too; it was that I wanted something better for my life than an abusive relationship going nowhere. This time I did the non-surgical procedure and was also about 10 weeks along. I spent one evening in the most brutal pain I ever felt. I would stop throwing up just in time to sit myself down on the toilet for what can only be described as physically draining diarrhea combined with the physical pain of a quite literal induced miscarriage. When I wasn’t throwing up or expelling parts of my unwanted fetus, I was balled up on the couch twisting and writhing in pain, sweating, crying and trying to focus on my breathing. I finally got through it, both the abortion and the relationship. A year later I moved to NYC…and since then I have stuck to my guns about what I want out of life. Two years ago I got a free IUD at the clinic by Union Square – because thankfully now – after 30 years on this planet – the country I live in thinks it’s wise to dole out free and cheap birth control to women who want to (wait for it) have control over their life! What an amazing idea! I wouldn’t ever want to have another abortion – but I would. Being able to control my destiny is the single most important thing to me – as person and as a woman. I always wanted children – until a few years ago – now I’m not sure if I want any and am more open to the idea of adoption than ever before. I like that I have the same options as my male fiancee. To choose whether or not to bring a child into this world. Let me be very, very clear. The reason why I am and have always been pro-choice is because I believe woman are people; however, above all else, I believe that raising a child is one of the most difficult and important responsibilities a human being can take on. For me, that means I need and want to be in control of when and where I do that – if ever. The right to choose what’s best for me, my body, and my life is the most important right a woman is entitled to. Without it, we are just baby making factories at the mercy of the men around us – that is no way for a human being to live – at the mercy of someone else.