I had an abortion was shortly after my mother died. I was reeling from her death when I found out I was pregnant. Having a baby was not how I was going to heal from the trauma of losing a parent. I knew I needed an abortion immediately. I didn’t have money for my procedure; I had stolen the pregnancy test from Walgreens. I worked and went to school, but my job only paid around $120 every two weeks. The price the clinic quoted me seemed astronomical. I couldn’t tell my grieving father, who was trying so hard to hold our family together. I decided to ask his longtime partner and she gave me the money I needed. I was extremely privileged to have her as a resource. I felt immense relief in the taxi ride home from the clinic. My mother’s activism instilled in me a belief that my body was my own, and I felt no shame, no stigma, and no regrets. My abortion gave me a chance to focus on myself and become whole again.
When I share my story, I do it for my children, my late mother, and the callers who turn to the Chicago Abortion Fund for help.
For my children, I share my story with the hope that it will help protect their freedom to make their own reproductive choices. For my mother, a pro-choice activist and clinic escort who died when I was young, I share my story and fight for abortion access in order to feel closer to her. For callers to Chicago Abortion Fund, where I am a helpline volunteer and board member, I share my story to help them feel less stigma, to amplify their voices, and to work on their behalf for reproductive justice.
I am not a statistic or talking point. I’m a mother, a daughter, friend, and a neighbor. I’m someone who has had an abortion.