All in Two Abortions

“It’s important to share our stories so that people understand. It’s particularly important for young women who are faced with these choices to feel it’s an OK choice to make. It’s not a selfish choice. It’s a choice you are making for the good of your future, your children’s future and society’s future. “

“The most challenging part about it has been the stigma. When I opened up to my close friends about it, they couldn’t believe that I had had abortions because I am an exemplary mother — this created a dialogue that was very much needed to shift perspectives. I believe it’s important to talk about it openly so people don’t bash others or shame themselves for doing what is best for them, like I did for years.”

“Unfortunately this has happened through a second unwanted pregnancy- rather than conscious thought about it beforehand! I have a chronic illness and mental health issues. Even if I did really want it, I don’t think I’d cope well. My belief is that people should ONLY have a child because they REALLY want it, and are prepared to make the enormous sacrifices it involves. No-one should have a child because it’s the expectation of society, their family or friends, or because they “don’t want to be lonely.” That is what I call selfish, not deciding to be child-free because you know you couldn’t provide for their needs.

I found out I was pregnant with my IUD correctly in place. When the doctor did a uterine biopsy to ensure it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus did not dislodge as it should have, and stayed firmly in place after the doctor removed my IUD a week later. I was devastated. I did not want this pregnancy but in addition I felt such guilt for having put the fetus through so much useless stress. I had a copper IUD put in place after my first abortion a year ago. I had promised myself I would never put myself in the situation of having to terminate for non-medical reasons again, but here I was, again, despite having done everything I was supposed to do to prevent it.

Despite being on the pill, I found myself pregnant again. And this time I had no idea how to feel. On the one hand, I still desperately wanted children. On the other hand, in my heart of hearts I knew that this was not a healthy relationship. Was it fair to bring a child into this? What if Andrew treated them like he treated me?

“I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl and a wife to a monster. I tried to offer him a life that I thought would make him want to change. Big shock – it doesn’t work that way. As the abuse escalated after her birth, when she was 9 months old I found the courage and support to leave. He raped me the last night we spent under the same roof and about a month later I found out I was pregnant. “

“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.”

“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 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.”