I had two abortions much earlier in my life. At the time and for a number of years afterwards, I thought about them a lot. I thought about how old the children would have been and how my life might have been different. I have always been a Pro Choice person and did not have any hesitancy when deciding what was best for me in each instance. I have not suffered guilt; nor did I think badly of myself. I did however, feel sadness. Lots of sadness. The abortions were absolutely the right thing for me to do. But neither was easy and even at the time, I was aware of the potential I was choosing to eliminate. They hurt, emotionally and physically. When I think about describing my story to people, I feel like the circumstances around the first are clearly understandable- justifiable, in my mind at the time. I was 18, in college, too young, not ready to be married or an adult. I was also using an IUD for birth control. I was responsible. The pregnancy was not my fault. The second one was a mere three or four months after the first. I was not using birth control, I knew I could get pregnant, I was having a summer fling with a boy I’d had a crush on for years. I was cheating on my boyfriend. I always told myself that I was attempting to affirm life after an experience that was so sad and ended a life. That this attempted affirmation was instinctive and that is why I was so completely irresponsible. The second, inevitable abortion, was not at all justifiable and the pregnancy was my fault. I did not feel guilty but I have felt shame when I have thought about trying to use my story to educate people. That second abortion opened me up to judgement that I could not easily shrug off. I feel differently now. I want to speak out about my experiences to help de-stigmatize, to help people understand that a good person, a good mom of 2 children, a good social worker, friend, wife, sister daughter, etc… CAN have these experiences in her life and it does not tarnish her at all. It is my right, it was my right, it is no body’s business why I choose to end a pregnancy. It is also irrelevant if I have good reasons or bad reasons, I have my reason and that is sufficient. There are of course exceptions and stories where things become much more complicated. But, as a rule we need to fight to keep a legitimate medical service legal and safe and to end the judgement of women who choose it. Regardless of why. unwanted pregnancy and reproductive freedom are reason enough.