“The nurse took my hand and told me this and I'll never forget exactly: " I'm right here for you. Hold my hand and squeeze as tight as you need to if you feel anything." Then we had a conversation about school, and by the time we started we were finished. We didn’t get to talk at all. I got up and put my shorts on and she sent me to another well-lit room with a little tea and chocolate. I stayed there for about 30 minutes and called my boyfriend. He came and we went back to life.”

“To this day, I think of the children I could have had. Would they have been boys? Girls? One of each? If I had had them, one would be going on 7 and the other would be going on 2 months. But I don’t look back at my decision with regret. I am so happy I was able to choose and I am so happy that when I decide to have children, that they will be wanted.”

“I've had to travel abroad each time to have abortions. Making the ordeal expensive and horribly inconvenient. I've never doubted or regretted my decision to terminate. But the limited access, financial burden and of course the stress of the situation — keeping secrets from family and work, lying to avoid judgement from others, the procedure itself — is exhausting.”

“My first was in New York in the early ’90s, when I was 24, at a clinic. It took a whole day, during which I was herded around to a series of freezing rooms with a fairly large group of women — maybe 15 of us — in these absurdly short robes they’d given us to wear. When sitting or walking, I had to hold mine down with two hands. “Yes, Miss, please, how do we get this thing to cover our hoo-has?” one of the women in my group shouted out to one of our handlers. As they put me under — abortions accompanied by general anesthesia are called “twilight” — I was still giggling about the hoo-ha joke.”

“I no longer carry shame for my abortions because I know the hatred comes from misinformation. I know I made the right choices for myself and my body. I’m a mother, and I love my babies dearly. I’m a human who has sought out medical care when I needed it. By doing so, I’ve had two abortions. After the second, I realized with certainty that abortion is reproductive health care. “

“I have two children and I’ve had two abortions. I am deeply grateful for my children and enraged that my abortions would be anyone’s business — not because I’m ashamed, or regretful, or even feel that it’s especially private — no more so than any other medical procedure — but because for me it’s just not an interesting, important fact of who I am.”

“I’ve been pregnant six times in my life. I have three children. I had one miscarriage and I’ve had two abortions. Four of my pregnancies have been unintended and I was using birth control with all of them. I joke with people that I’m very fertile and I tell men now when I’m in a sexual relationship with them that I get pregnant very easily. Like you could walk by me and look at me the wrong way and — poof! — I’m pregnant. And that actually is not that far from the truth.” Listen to the whole podcast episode.

“This time round it was very easy . . . Easy because I no longer feel trapped by the stigma of it all, easier because I became aware that it is my life, my choice, my decision. Unfortunately, we build a prison from the invisible bricks of other people's opinions. I am sure some people will be reading this, judging me, judging my choices. But now it does not bother me at all. Because I understand that I am the master of my own life.”

“Six months later I was pregnant again. This time a condom had broke. I had gone to the OB clinic in my small town. The morning after pill was still very new. It cost 75$ that I did not have. The nurse gave me birth control pills and instructed me to take many more than was normal thinking it would work like the morning after pill. I also researched abortifacient herbs and tried that. I was still pregnant.”

“I am bitter as I see the pictures of their kids—these old partners of mine. They were never called sluts online or in person. They never suffered any consequences. I would just appreciate an apology, an acknowledgement—freely given of what that wrought, their role in it, how they behaved, and what they should have been—which was much much better men than they were.”