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This isn’t how I wanted to put this story into the world. To be honest, I never wanted the world to know this happened. I feel a lot of shame writing this.
I had an abortion.
I have said those words to very few people. It’s my deepest darkest secret. The skeleton in my closet. The reason I am writing this anonymously.
I’ve always been scared that someone would find out and people would scream, “Murderer!” at me as I walked by.
Do I regret what I did? No, I really don’t. At that point in my life, it was the best decision.
Do I feel guilty about what I did? Every single day.
I didn’t just find out I was pregnant and skip to the abortion clinic and move on like it never happened.
It was horrible. The darkest time in my life. Thinking about it makes me feel like a monster. It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly. There were a lot of nights spent crying.
In the end, I knew that I had choices to make, and one of those choices was abortion. It was my body, and I had the right to do whatever I pleased with it. It wasn't up for debate then, since the Supreme Court had protected the right to get an abortion with the landmark case of Roe v. Wade 1973. But just last week the Court overturned that decision.
Some people may not agree with my decision, but I stand by it. I do want you to know that people who have abortions have feelings too. They feel pain, and shame, and remorse, and sometimes, regret.
And I hope the other women that have had abortions and never dared told a soul, will read this and realize they aren’t alone.
I was 21 years old. I was going to graduate from college in six months, and I had a bright future ahead of me. I made it through four years with straight As and knew that I could find a good job after I graduated, but I did not have health insurance at the time. I was a struggling college student working 40 hours a week bartending so I could pay my rent.
My boyfriend was 23; he had already graduated and lived an hour away. He had started an entry-level job and we would see each other on the weekends. We had been on and off for about three years. He made me laugh. But he also had a very bad temper.
I was not mature enough to bring a child into the world. He was not mature enough to be a father. We were both broke with piles of student loans. The relationship wasn’t rock solid. There was a lot of fighting and yelling.
I scheduled an appointment at Planned Parenthood. I was so ashamed. I walked in with tears in my eyes and head hung low. I sat in a waiting room that looked a little more like the waiting room at a jail. My boyfriend was with me. I remember thinking I really didn’t want him to go. I was so angry. I didn’t want to be comforted. I wanted to be alone. I didn’t think I deserved comfort.
When they did an ultrasound, I cried. I ended up getting the abortion pill. I don’t remember much more after that. I know I took one there, and they gave me another one to take in a couple of days.
I had to skip class to take the second pill. I’d left my boyfriend an hour away because I wanted to be alone. I broke up with him before I left his apartment. I was so embarrassed and ashamed.
The rest is a blur. I remember crying on the floor of the apartment bathroom. My roommates didn’t know what was going on. I just told them I wasn’t feeling good. I slept for a few days after that. Skipped all my classes. Got people to cover my shifts at work.
I spent the next few years thinking everything bad that happened was God cursing me for having an abortion. I thought I deserved it.
I got married when I was almost 30, and have two children now. I still think about my decision all the time. As I get older, I realize that at the time, that was the best decision for me. Was it selfish? Maybe. But it was my body, and it was my decision. No one else has the right to judge me for my decision.
Now that many women have lost this access, the reason I cry now is for women who are the next me; the women finding out they're pregnant but can't go through with the pregnancy for whatever reason.