Jessica, Photographed by Julie Gabrielson

“I was 24 and living in Colorado. I got pregnant on a one night stand. The test read positive instantly. A couple days later I called the man that I had slept with, the first thing he said was “I am not in a position to be a father.” This is not the reason that I chose to have an abortion. I spent the following month trying to decide what I would do. I was raised Catholic, but not devoutly, still I agonized over the decision. Money was sparse and I was working two jobs. I had been getting by on boxed macaroni and cheese and other classic meals one eats in their 20’s. I was young and made a decision of instant gratification, I had unprotected sex. That is not the reason that I chose to have an abortion. I finally decided and let the man know – clearly he was relieved – I told him he would have to pay for the procedure. The day came, he drove me to the clinic – I told him not to come in with me. It was a Friday, the clinic only did abortions on Friday – the waiting room was full. Young, old, coupled and alone and from all economic backgrounds. I was terrified and sad and determined, there and yet so far away. When the procedure was over I went home and went on with my life. The reason that I chose to have an abortion is not relevant. I do not regret it, nor would I repeat it. It stays with you forever, and when I was older and had a miscarriage, my first thought was that I was being punished for having an abortion- irrational as it is, the thought was still there.”

Julie Gabrielson is a recent college graduate, as well as an aspiring paralegal. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2017 with her bachelor’s degree in social work. While in school, she was actively involved in Voices of Parenthood. As a senior in college, she interned as counselor at the Lovering Health Center, where her passion for reproductive health grew significantly. Upon graduating, she went on to work for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She is currently pursuing paralegal studies. When she is not busy, you can find her painting, traveling, or experimenting with gluten free food.