“My second son was only a few months old when I discovered that I was pregnant for the fifth time despite breastfeeding. We felt that it would be too great a drain on my body’s resources so try to raise one infant while growing another, so, abortion number three. This one I was very sad about, but I felt like I would have been cheating my infant son, like I wouldn’t have been able to provide enough nutrients to him or the fetus, that one or both of them would suffer a deficiency.”

“After I had my daughter I made the decision to have an IUD placed for birth control. At 22, 6 months away from graduating from college, I became pregnant. I was in a long term relationship, however, I knew that I did not want bring another child into the world. I was barely making it as it was, raising a child on my own, going to school, it was an incredibly difficult time. When I went to for my initial appointment, the nurse was completely shocked that I had gotten pregnant while having an IUD in place.”

“I can tell you that I was too young to be a parent when I got pregnant for the first time during my freshman year of college. I can tell you that I had severe postpartum depression after the birth of my first child, and had very real reasons to think that giving birth to any additional children would do serious damage to my mental health, as well as damage to my marriage and to my ability to parent the child I already had.”

“After I had my first child I found out I was pregnant when she was six months old. I decided that I could not take on another child when I had an infant. So I decided to have an abortion. The experience in itself was life changing. Then in 2013, the same situation. I just had a baby girl and a couple of months later I found out I was pregnant. The third abortion, we hit some financial strains. It appeared to be twins and I knew I couldn’t have two, there was just no way.”

“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.”