"This is the day that changed who and what I am."

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I am not only a woman who has had two abortions, I am an abortion provider. I, too, felt guilt with my 2nd pregnancy — as if it’s ok to have one abortion but not another.  We're only entitled to one mistake.

I began in this field as a counselor, so when I'd have a returning patient I felt I had not covered birth control adequately. Only when it was pointed out to me that a woman’s reproductive years encompass about 40 years — and that even the best birth control is 98-99% effective — you do the math. A woman consistently practicing contraception is going to statistically have more than one unintended pregnancy.

Allow me to share this story embedded in my memory.  It's a clinic day and there's a patient in the waiting room on the telephone with her partner. She’s loudly telling him: Get the rest of the money at once. Yes, yes, he knows the address — she’s been there three times before and it’s the best place in town.

My staff and all the people in the full waiting room are appalled at her conversation. She behaves the same way through the entire process and everyone is disgusted at her casual and unladylike demeanor.  As I write this I am amazed at how immature I sound. In our defense this is the South and this was 30 some years ago.

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Anyway it comes to a head when I learn that her previous abortions totaled 18. I decided in my ultimate wisdom I should discuss pregnancy prevention with her. This is the day that changed who and what I am.

She informed me in no uncertain terms — Who in the f*ck did I think i was???? She said that if she looked at a man she got pregnant — twice on an IUD, while using the pill, on a diaphragm, and she even had had a tubal!

It was none of my business how many she had had. She put me in my place and taught me a lesson I badly needed. 

~ Diane

Birmingham, Alabama, US

On Twitter, A Physician Defends People Who Need More Than One Abortion

"She was too ashamed to face me again."