Draw the Line

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Topics: Abortion
Area of Life Affected: Finances


Not Taken for Granted

My story isn’t remarkable or profound, it’s probably a pretty common one. My birth control failed. An unwanted pregnancy in my early 20s. I was not financially or emotionally prepared to have a child.

“I remember it as being relatively pain free.”

I was lucky though. There was a Planned Parenthood in the city where I lived and I was able to get a safe, legal, affordable abortion. My mother went with me to the clinic and was there to support me. I went home the same day. No waiting periods required. No invasive vaginal ultrasound. I don’t even remember any protestors outside. I remember it as being relatively pain free.

I don’t intend to imply that I took it all lightly. I was emotional. I remember crying, but I was not scarred for life. There were no long term mental or physical repercussions. Shortly afterwards I met the man that I eventually married. We have been married 26 years and I have three amazing daughters.

I never really talked much about my abortion, partly because no one ever asked. It wasn’t necessarily a deep dark secret but it wasn’t something that you just volunteer in casual conversation, “Hey, I’ve had an abortion, how about you?” It’s not something I thought too much about, other than filling out medical forms where you see the questions: How many pregnancies, miscarriages and live births? It was in the past.

My mom was a feminist and often talked with me about suppression and white male privilege long before that phrase had been popular. We talked about the importance of a woman’s right to have the freedom to have control over her own body. I vividly remember my taking this right for granted. It was protected by Roe v. Wade after all, protected by our constitution. Mom warned me that it was always going to be under attack and that I was wrong to take it for granted. She remembered the days of botched illegal abortions.

I recently have “come out” about having had an abortion because I am so deeply disturbed about what I see going on in this country. I am offended by the attacks on a women’s reproductive freedom, and I want to fight so that other women will have access to safe and legal abortions, like I did, if they need them, regardless of their story.

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