This story comes from The Struggle to Stay Child Free in BBC News Magazine.
I was 24 when I first tried to get my tubes tied. I immediately ran up against doctors who refused to do the operation on the grounds that I was too young and that I didn't have children, which missed the point - I wanted the operation because I didn't want children.
I've always been very careful with contraception but about 10 years later I got pregnant twice within a year and had two abortions. It was devastating. I was raised in a very conservative family in a country that sees abortion in such a bad light. It's one of the most difficult things I have ever been through - it's physically and emotionally devastating and I was so angry to find myself in that position.
I had made the decision not to have children more than a decade earlier, but nobody would let me seal the deal. If someone had just let me go ahead and get the operation done at 24, I would never have had to think about it again, but instead I was struggling against biology all that time. No matter how careful you are, contraception can fail. Even having your tubes tied is not 100% but at that point you've done everything you possibly can.
Louisiana is a very conservative state and it's not easy to find a doctor who will perform an abortion. I was incredibly lucky to find a woman who would do it and there was no judgement from her. When I had my second abortion, I knew I had to find a doctor who would perform the operation to sterilize me so I wouldn't find myself in that position again. I got it done a couple of years later.
I've never, never regretted my decision. I have a life where I feel quite unencumbered and free. I can move around the country or use all my money to go on some crazy adventure and I couldn't if I had kids.