One in three American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. I am one of them. At 23 years old I found myself faced with an unintended pregnancy. I was shocked. I had always been careful. As a young, and very fertile woman, learned the hard way that contraception does not always work. I had no idea what to do.

I knew that there was no way that I was ready to be a parent, financially or otherwise. The young man involved was more of a “boy-fun” than a boyfriend. He definitely did not want to become a parent either. However, he told me he would support my decision, whatever I may decide.

I went to Planned Parenthood to talk to someone. They provided me with WONDERFUL counseling. I was not judged for my mistake. I was treated with dignity. My counselor helped me explore my feelings regarding parenthood, abortion AND adoption. I was given information on local adoption agencies, should I choose that route. I was given information on aid available to me should I qualify and decide to become a parent. I was also given information on abortion. It was the most difficult decision that I have ever been faced with in my life. In the end, I realized that I was not ready to have a child and that I was not emotionally ready to carry a child to term, only to give it up to someone else. Abortion was the best choice for me at that time in my life.

I chose to have my abortion at a regular gynecological office. I did not want to subject myself to showing up at a clinic with protesters outside. I did not want to have to be escorted inside. This was MY private medical decision. It was not a decision that I was going to allow anyone to demean. I was lucky in this sense. It was 1992 and doctors were still performing abortions in their office. I walked in and walked out without anyone knowing why I was at the office. After the procedure, I mourned for quite a while. However, I have never doubted my decision.

Abortion must remain safe, accessible, and legal.