It was painful and it sucked.
I bled a lot, I cried a lot.
It was the right choice and the only choice.
I had two kids already and I did NOT need or want another. I was a single mom and my birth control failed.
Nothing could have talked me out of it. Not the 24 hour waiting period, not the beforehand required class from a nurse, not them showing me the little blob on the ultrasound machine and not the overly expensive price.
I remember them telling me it wouldn’t hurt more than my worst menstrual cramps and thinking, “shit, mine are bad.”
The boy held my hand and we both cried. Me because the pain was awful and him because I was in pain.
He didn’t have to come with me, but he did. It was nice to feel support. I am blessed that I had the support of so many people. A lot of women don’t get that.
My real father told me to tell people, “I had a miscarriage,” even though in private he thought my abortion was the right decision.
The people at the clinic were nice and funny. I shared looks with the other women like we were now a secret society.
Afterward, the boy took me to lunch and I ate a hamburger. We went back to his house and slept and then woke up and got really drunk and watched our favorite TV show.
Life went on and the only thing that changed was that my passion for women’s reproductive rights grew into a furious thing beating inside my chest.
Years later I got married and because of my abortion, I was able to have two more children. They wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t made the best choice for me or my family years before.
The clinic I went to was eventually shut down for lack of funding and now only two remain in my entire state.
I am not ashamed. I spent years hiding it, feeling embarrassed, admitting it sheepishly and using my story as an excuse.
I do not regret it.
Now I state it proudly.
Abortion should be safe, legal and affordable.
I would do it again.