I Had an Abortion and I Don’t Regret It

This story originally appeared in CosmoGirl magazine. Please see the note at the end for more information.

“I had an abortion and I don’t regret it”

as told to Mikki Halpin

I grew up in New Jersey, in a big family with 5 kids, plus my stepmom and my dad. It was a rural area, not even really a town. We didn’t have a post office or anything. Because of that, I think I’m especially close with my family, especially Sheila, my next youngest sister–I’m the oldest kid. We hung out all the time, doing art projects and stuff.

I stated having sex when I was eighteen, the summer before my senior year of high school. It was totally my decision–I felt like I was ready to have sex and I was curious and I wanted to do it. I had a friend who I was sort of dating, so I just asked him. I basically made him do it! It was a good experience, because we had been friends for so long and grown up together. I was glad that I had that ability to make the choice for myself, because I know for a lot of women, it’s not like that–they are getting pressured or whatever. We used a condom that first night, and that’s what we used the whole time we went out. We broke up when I went to college.

My first few years of school –American University in Washington, DC–I got more experienced with men. I figured out how thy work and how dating works. I learned that you didn’t have to be friends first; that you could meet someone and the dating option was the first thing you pursued.  I hadn’t really known that. I dated a lot of guys and I had sex with them. Mostly things would end up not working out into more than a few dates, but I was ok with that.

Anytime I had sex in college I used condoms. They were free from the school clinic, and everyone used them. But even when I did use a condom, I would still worry a little about getting pregnant. You know they are 99 % effective but then what about the other 1%?

I met Mark my junior year.  He was on the men’s rugby team and I was on the women’s team. He was funny and smart and really attractive: clean cut, and athletic and tall. He had red hair (I love red hair), and he was kind of preppy. We had a lot in common–we both played rugby, we were both into music, and we both liked to play video games. Through mutual friends we figured out we liked each other and started dating.

We had sex on our first date. We used a condom that night, but after that we didn’t. He would really give me a hard time about them, like he would claim they were too hard to put on. I hated arguing about it, so I would just give in and we’d use withdrawal instead. I feel silly admitting that. I was very aware that the withdrawal method is a terrible way to prevent pregnancy. I knew his behavior was unacceptable but I really liked him and I let it go.  I wasn’t worried about STDs because he told me he’d only been with his long-term girlfriend before me.  The “plan ” was that I would get on birth control, but I kept putting it off. I made excuses like and told myself that I was too busy with school and rugby and spending time with Mark.

Mark and I went out for about five weeks. I liked dating him, but I didn’t really think beyond that to a long-term relationship. We liked to do a lot of the same things and we got along–that was good enough for me.  He was the first person that I had sex with on a practically daily basis. And I really did like him. A lot. A real real lot.

We broke over Thanksgiving, right before finals. The main reason was that he was a born-again Christian. We’d been fighting about it for a while. He’d told me that he believed that having sex with me was a sin but that he hoped God would forgive him. It was really hurtful for me to think that I was the person that was making him stray form his spiritual quest. But I still kept seeing him all the time and having sex with him. Just like with having unprotected sex, I made another compromise.

The last straw was when he said that he thought that all gay people were going to hell. I just started crying. I couldn’t believe that I could enjoy the company of someone who believed that. It was the most hateful thing I’d ever heard and I said, “I just can’t be with you knowing that you think that.”  Then he told me he could never be serious about me anyway, since I wasn’t also born again. I was so sad. I think that I hadn’t admitted to myself how stoked I was on actually having like a serious boyfriend. I really liked him and I was really super disappointed. It really sucked.

Pretty much as soon was we broke up, I started to think that maybe on top of all of this, I was pregnant. My period was due and I just didn’t feel like it was coming. I was having no cramps, nothing. I wasn’t exactly scared because I thought it would be one of those things where you take the test and then of course it’s negative. I went and got the kit that has two tests in it and I took them both and they were both positive. I think I went into shock or something when I saw the results. I really was pregnant.  Right then, I basically fell apart. I stopped going to class even though this was right before finals and I would stay on the internet for hours and hours and look up information on pregnancy and abortion.

I hated myself. I thought I was weak for dating a guy when I should have been focusing on school. I berated myself for my choice in men and for my own behavior.  I would think,  “Why did I put up with someone who wouldn’t wear a condom? Why didn’t I get on birth control as soon as possible? Am I lazy? Am I stupid?” I cried all the time. My friends tried to help me but there was nothing they could do.

Finally I called my parents. I was crying and I said, I was seeing this guy, we broke up, and I’m pregnant. My parents were awesome. They asked me a lot of questions and then my dad said “You should have an abortion and move on with your life. Finish school.” That was so great. It took a huge weight off my shoulders to know that my parents supported me and that I had their respect despite my bad decisions.

I didn’t even know how to get an abortion. My stepmom told me to call Planned Parenthood. I think I thought I would have to go somewhere really far or something, not to a place two miles from school. Planned Parenthood had me come in for another test, which was positive. They explained all of my options to me and I said I wanted to have an abortion. They had a poster that said “Every child deserves to be planned” and I felt really good when I read that. I scheduled the abortion for the next week.

I decided to tell Mark about the pregnancy. I wanted him to know and I also thought he should pay for half of the $300 it was going to cost. I had a really hard time getting him to meet with me but I was persistent. When I finally told him, he immediately wanted me to have an abortion. He didn’t express any concern for me. He said he didn’t have any money and I said that he needed to get some. He was really worried that I would tell his parents, which I had no intention of doing, but then I said if you don’t pay me I will tell them. It was really sad. We’d had a lot of good times together and it was such an ugly ending. He finally did pay me but it wasn’t until after Christmas break and I had to send him the receipt!

My stepmom came to be with me on the day of the abortion. I had thought I didn’t need anyone, but I was so glad she was there. We had to walk past about protesters outside the clinic who had signs and stuff.  It sucked because I was already nervous but I was more just disappointed that there are antichoice people in this world.

Once we got inside, there was a lot of waiting around in between filling out your medical history, having a counseling session, and then actually being seen by the doctor. There were all kinds of people there–a girl from my school, and a fourteen year old girl with her mom. There were a couple women that were there alone and I felt really bad for them. My stepmom was so supportive and confident that we were doing the right thing and that really helped me.

I kind of got hysterical at one point. They told me that because it was so early in the pregnancy there was a chance I would have to wait another week.  A pregnancy has to be developed a certain point for the procedure to work best. When she told me I might have to wait I broke down in tears. I was like, You don’t understand I have to have an abortion today! I cannot keep on like this. I can’t be pregnant for another week! I could barely speak. It was awful. They sent me back into the waiting room and I was like, damn, I blew it. I thought the counselor would think I was crying because I was conflicted about the procedure, but really I was just upset at the thought of not having it.

Finally the counselor came out and said that the doctor would see me that day. I was so happy!

I went in the room, took off my clothes, and put on a gown. The nurse and the doctor came in and introduced themselves, and then I got on the examining table and put my feet in the stirrups. The doctor was really friendly. He explained every part of the procedure as he went along, so I knew exactly what was going on.  First they insert the speculum and open up your vagina like when you get a Pap Smear, and then they inject the anesthesia into your cervix through that opening. It feels like a little pinch. Then the doctor puts a long thin plastic tube called the canula into your vagina and back into your uterus. The other end of the tube is connected to a medical vacuum. The doctor moves the canula around inside your uterus to remove the tissue.

The doctor was so cool. He just treated it like it was a medical procedure and it was no big deal. He was making jokes and doing plugs for his practice and stuff. When he was done he took the canula out and I put my clothes back on. I also put a pad in, because there is some bleeding afterwards. I spent about a half-hour in the recovery room, where you can just relax and have juice and cookies. When I let they gave me information about how to get birth control. The whole thing from start to finish took about five hours.

When I first got home I felt pretty sick. They’d warned me that when the anesthesia wore off I might have some nausea, and I did. But I took a nap and when I woke up I felt fine and we decided to go out to dinner. At dinner I felt great. I was hungry, I was able to focus my thoughts, and I was not emotional. I felt like I was in control of my life and I felt normal. After you have an abortion your hormone levels drop dramatically so that was part if it, but I think also I was just a great sense of relief. I felt like I’d had a lifesaving procedure.

One of the first things I did after the abortion was go on the pill. I figured out why I had been resistant to it in the past. I’d had this notion that being on birth control somehow opened a door to being really promiscuous. But my doctor–the same doctor who performed the abortion, he became my gynecologist– explained it to me in a really good way. The decision to be on birth control is not a decision to have sex–it’s a decision not to get pregnant. It’s totally up to you whether or not you are sexually active.

I haven’t been deterred from dating or guys because of all this. I kind of thought I would be, but I just felt really healthy and normal. The only time I felt upset or anything was when I came into contact with Mark! He actually tried to pursue a relationship with me again, and I had to shut him down right away.

I’m still figuring a lot of stuff out. I think I will have kids someday, when I’m with the right partner and when I am ready. But I am so grateful for the ability to have an abortion, and for actually having had one. I think that was the most moral, ethical, and loving decision I could have made.

NOTE: “As told to” means that this story was told to me. It isn’t my story. I have had an abortion, but this is not the story of my abortion.

I continue to receive many comments and emails thanking me for having posted this story. There is so much misinformation and ignorance around abortion and other reproductive and sexuality issues, and that isolation, often necessary as a form of self-protection, is so prevalent. If you are looking for somewhere to talk about your abortion experience, I recommend Aspen Baker’s terrific Exhale project. Exhale is “pro-voice”–they are there to listen.

Here are some abortion facts:

• Abortion is legal in the United States of America

• More than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.

Most women who have abortions are married and have a family

The religious right has used a steady campaign of bombings, assassinations, scare tactics, shaming, and a strategic erosion of access to abortion (throwing bureaucratic barriers before women with low incomes;  forcing women to endure counseling and waiting periods;  requiring young women to have parental consent;  forcing rural women to travel and endure even more financial hardship to access a legal procedure; harassing clinic workers and patients; a state-by-state legislative assault on reproductive rights, and more; these tactics especially affect women of color and other marginalized communities) to effectively undo Roe v Wade and a host of other health services worldwide. This is wrong. If you want to fight, I suggest visiting the Planned Parenthood PAC or other feminist resources.

I want to be clear that while this story is about abortion, “reproductive rights” is (or should be) an inclusive term that references family planning (and “family” should be an inclusive term as well), access to health services for trans* individuals (and families), individuals with disabilities, everyone. The World Health Organization, an organization that has done great work and also some great wrongs, has a description that I like: “The right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.” Again, we need to keep checking our “all” to make sure it truly is “all.”

Information and resources about reproductive rights for queer, trans* and individuals with disabilities are scattered but growing. I recommend visiting the resource pages at Questioning Transphobia and Feminists with Disabilities. If you have suggestions on other links, let me know and I will post them.

This isn’t just a “safe space,” it’s an active one and if anyone out there is in trouble or needs help, or just wants to talk, get in touch–I promise I will listen and do everything I can to help. I’m not a saint or anything but I’m a good listener and I’m pretty good at making 1,000 phone calls and emails to get what’s needed (persistence–good quality for reporters and activists!).

49 Comments to “I Had an Abortion and I Don’t Regret It”

  1. You’ll never know what reading this story has done for me. It has helped me to know what iam doing is rite.I wil be 7 weeks and know that I cannot care for a baby. Maybe someday when the time is right.

  2. Tara, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. I’ve had so much computer trouble, I couldnt’t re-figure out how to get everything to work. You sound very strong and wise and compassionate and confident that you’ve made the right choice. I hope you are doing well–take care.

  3. Thanks so much for posting this. I too feel guilty for planning an abortion and you make it sound so much easiter than it is. I am a married woman with two children and the eldest has autism and the younger one doesn’t. I had the little one without knowing that the eldest has autism.Now I got pregnant again (accidentally) but, now I know that once you have an autistic child, the chances of you having another one with autism is high. So I can’t really imagine having another child with autism. The thought of it makes me not want to exist because it is so depressing. Since I have my life under control now, I do want to have an abortion. I feel like I have to concentrate on my life, marriage and kids and not add additional stress that makes me not want to live in this world any more. Thanks.

  4. Hi Nina, it sounds like you made a really loving decision that’s right for your family. You know, most women who terminate pregnancies are married and have at least one kid. You are not alone. xoom

  5. I need to have an abortion. I just found out I was pregnant and your story really helped me feel better about my choice. Thank you for posting it. It really made a difference for me.

  6. I had an abortion when I was 16. I made the choice myself and my mom and boyfriend supported me through the entire thing. I am so grateful that I had the choice. I don’t regret any of it. I was not ready to have a child yet. One day for sure, but not now.

  7. Emiko, thank you for sharing your story. I love that your mom and your boyfriend supported you, and that you made the right choice for yourself. xomikki

  8. I recently had an abortion and I did have support from my boyfriend and mom, but some of my friends were not as supportive. I just sometimes feel guilty about it ,but your post really helps thanks

  9. I’m so glad this article is here! I have an appointment scheduled for next week and don’t feel guilty. I feel like I am in no position to raise and child and have no desire to. I feel stupid that I got pregnant, but will get on birth control again afterwards. I can’t believe how judgmental/rude some posters on other sites are. I don’t understand why they care. They can choose to have as many kids as they want & people who don’t want to can choose not to.

  10. “The decision to be on birth control is not a decision to have sex–it’s a decision not to get pregnant. It’s totally up to you whether or not you are sexually active.”
    I love this! This guy sounds great. It’s important that doctors have a good bed side manner and an open form of communication.
    To read other’s stories about their abortions and how they don’t regret them, go to http://www.imnotsorry.net
    Oh, and this Mark guy sounds like a HUGE hypocrite! He says he is a born again Christian but is having unprotected sex and is supporting her getting an abortion? It’s all about his pleasure, isn’t it?

  11. You guys I feel so bad I didn’t see these! I had appendicitis, which is kind of a totally absurd thing to have, and got behind on every email and everything. Tasha, you probably know this, but it is totally ok to feel guilty sometimes or ambivalent or just kind of sad. It’s a big thing, and sometimes we are all being so “FUCK YEAH REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS” which is an important part of the movement, but also the whole point of femininsm and of everything is to honor people’s experiences and let them tell their stories. I’m going to email this to you as well but I wanted to post it because there is a great website and group that my friend Aspen started called Exhale pro voice and they are all about listening to women and i think it is like one of the most important things happening these days. I am super glad your mom and your boyfriend supported you, and your friends, you know, well I got nothing. MY friends sometimes totally don’t get things with me either. xoxomikki

  12. I’m so glad I came across this. I’m 20 years old and had an abortion when I was 16 years old but I was only in High School and with a total douche bag. My Mom told me I wasn’t going to go through with having the kid and I only really had 1 friend (surprisingly a male) who was supportive of my decision. I respect all women who have the heart enough to share their story. Not every female regrets having an abortion. I can say it was the best choice I made – I’d probably be a high school drop out with a kid and completely miserable. I’m in College working on my accounting degree. There is light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

  13. Thanks for coming by and sharing your experience (it sounds completely dorky to say that, I know, but I mean it!). Will you be my accountant? 🙂

  14. I am 26 and June 13th I did it. 3 weeks ago I found out that I was pregnant. The guy used to be my good friend for 3 years and supported most of the time. But when he found out I was pregnant he started to write me terrible things and also said he would find me and kill me. I dont have financial stability and I rent a flat so I knew at the end what should I do. I was scared I was crying I wanted to keep it. But thanks God I found a very good doctor who is also a very good man. My mum supported me in this decision She said there is no good to give a birth to a baby who can be sick ( I was taking some pills as I had a flu, smoked a lot and besides this so called man was drinking like a driver ). So everyone and the doctor as well advised me to make it and wait till moments come to have a real family financial stability and then give a birth to a healthy baby. So I did it. I went through hell- but I feel releaved now. Empty for now but it will go away. I know that there is time for everyone to be born and my baby will be born one day as well. So all women who did it- do not regret it. You will have babies in the future when you are ready because a baby is not just a home pet- the baby is someone who you will have to give everything you can in order he or she becomes a good person.

  15. Thank you for your story Helena, I’m so happy your mother and your doctor supported you in your decision. Keep in touch.

    You guys seriously I cry over all of these comments. I love all of you.

  16. I had an abortion 7 years ago. I was 40, and the father was also the father of my (now 10-year-old) son. I thought I would be wracked with guilt. I have not been troubled by it in the least.

    Anti-abortion groups greatly overstate the emotional trauma a woman suffers when she chooses to have an abortion.

  17. Thanks for telling your story. A lot of people don’t realize that the majority of women who choose to have an abortion are married with children.

  18. So glad I found and read this, I got pregnant when i just turned 17, i was in a relationship with the guy and all that but there was no way we were ready. I’m not proud I had an abortion, but it was the right choice for me. I was brought up by a young solo mum and didn’t have the most normal childhood, don’t get me wrong, she did her best and I love her for that, but I saw how much she missed out on, and I know how much I did, even though she worked two to three jobs, it was a struggle, and my dad wasn’t in the picture half the time or they were always arguing etc. So i was brought up determined to do thing’s the right way, live my life, get qualified, have a decent job and be in a stable relationship etc, and I refuse to bring a child into the world until then. I want to be 100% ready and give them the best in life, and be a good example, not bludging off welfare or relying on my partner to pay the way. And now it just seems like being a young mum is the “in” thing. So many of my friends are just having babies without a second thought, half of them can’t even support themselves let alone a kid without support from family, welfare and the dad. And so few have qualifications, a job or any form of work experience at all, how is that setting a good example for our future generation? I know most people are going to disagree and say im a murderer etc etc. But i’ve got a decent work history, qualifications, a career where im now 2nd in charge and i’ve lived and enjoyed the best years of my life. Plus I have my licence and im completely set up house wise (new fridge, tv washing machine etc etc) all paid for with my own hard earned money, not benefit’s and i hardly drink or go out and I know better then to waste my time doing that now, which i cant say for alot of my friends with kids. Basically i don’t think its a bad thing, and when I have a child i’ll be able to give them everything they need and set a good example and know im 100% ready and committed, sorry that was so long winded, this is just a topic that really frustrates me with how ignorant and close minded people can be about it!

  19. I had an abortion a week ago and was having mixed feellings about it. I found myself thinking if it had been the right choice, wondering if it might have been a boy or girl and sometimes smiling about the though of having a baby but then I would get scared because i know i wasnt ready and I really didnt want to have it now. I guess I was really confused because I didnt regret it at all but still had these moments of thinking how it could have been. I guess its because i do want to have kids but now was not the time. After reading this, it made me feel so much better for not feeling bad abput my decition. I thought maybe I was a bad person who has no feelings or moral at all but it makes me feel much better that I am not the only one sho felt like herself and kind of free after the procedure. Thank you so much.

  20. Thank you so much for this! I am happy you got to make an informed choice and it’s the outcome you wanted. There are complex emotions — it’s a complex decision! My hope is that everyone be allowed to make these decisions about their own body, with all the best information available. xomikki

  21. I would like a response from you, if possible. I believe that people have the right to do as they wish, and sometimes these beliefs running over to the abortion area. I’m not entirely a pro-life or pro-choice…I don’t know where I fall. I believe each individual case is different, as each individual is different. I’ve never been pregnant, never had an abortion and had abstained from sex a lot through out my life, and is on birth control. I am 23 years old. When I was growing up, sex was a huge deal to the point that I didn’t discuss it with anyone growing up. I understood the pleasure of sex later on in life, and I always thought as a kid and even for most of my teenagehood that sex was only a means to be with a husband or boyfriend and to make babies.So, when people are free with sex, unashamed, I support them all the way. But sex does produce babies, and it is makes human beings. I feel as though if you take every precaution possible and you still get pregnant, then people should lay off, but honestly, I have a hard time accepting abortion when no measure was taken to protect from pregnancy. Can you give me your thoughts on this? I’m simply looking to have a conversation, women as women, and to see how you look at this. For me, I can never get over the fact that whatever you label it, at the end of pregnancy is always a human being, and I read an NPR article once about how people who knew their parents wanted to have an abortion are staunch anti-abortion advocates. So, if you could give me your thoughts, it would be appreciated.

  22. I think the thing is that none of us have the right to make the decision for the woman whose life it is. So wondering who deserves to have access to abortion and who doesn’t is a non-issue.

    Planned Parenthood actually did a study recently and, like you, most Americans don’t identify as pro-life or pro-choice—but the majority of them do support a woman’s right to choose for herself.

  23. Im 5 weeks along and terrified, I’m 36 and this is my 1st pregnancy ever, I have a stable partner, but we are so financially taxed we overdraft our rent every month. The timing is horrible and we would have to move to a bad neighborhood to survive and have no living family members to help us. Our child would be disadvantaged from the start and it would strain our relationship. I want to keep it but all the odds are against us…this article has given me the courage to do what I know in my heart is best, we cant even afford a proper wedding never mind a child, my partner grew up without a father and raised a child on his own in the past..he hardly survived that. Its just an impossible situation. We’ve made decision to abort, reading these articles help me feel like I might just be able to live with myself after. Thanks for sharing the flipside..so many other articles site doom gloom and regret.

  24. It’s not an easy decision, but I am glad you are able to make it for yourself and your family. If you want a non-judgmental place to talk before or after, try Exhale Pro Voice. They are wonderful. Here’s the talkline info, I’m going to email it to you as well.

    After-Abortion Talkline

    1-866-4-EXHALE Closed Now
    Mon–Fri: 5–10pm PT Sat–Sun: 12–10pm PT
    Español, 廣東話, 國語, tiếng Việt, Tagalog

  25. Want to note that I will approve comments from those who identify as anti-abortion advocates if they are thoughtful and invite respectful discussion like TT’s above. Hate speech and abuse gets sent to the FBI along with your IP address.

  26. Although I don’t agree with all things said and am pro-life and a mother of two, I have respect for a lot of you. The reason I don’t agree with abortion is many say its not living,doesn’t have a heartbeat,can’t feel pain. Some teens will continue to have unprotected sex because they see abortion as an easy fix and the way its been done and to the point some are done(how far along). Truth is I see how happy I am and how my kids make me want to be successful. In all honesty because I’m not in your situation I don’t understand. However, I know there is some pain emotionally that goes with abortion so in that sense I respect how honest all of you have been and while abortion would be a hard thing for me to do, having a baby in your situations seemed hard for you. Take care

  27. Thanks for coming by Melissa. I think the point of choice is that each woman should get to decide for herself about her body, and it kinda sounds like you might agree a little. Take care.

  28. I am so grateful there is such a website that allows the full range of experience that women have regarding abortion. I had two abortions, one when I was 16, and one when I was turning 21. I am 31 now, and there is never a day that passes, that I could ever report being ‘regretful’ for the decisions I made. My first pregnancy took place when I was in high school. The event of the pregnancy itself, not the abortion, was absolutely horrible. I had an increasingly possessive and abusive boyfriend, and emotionally abusive mother who would not even speak to me in the house. Thinking about living my life with my two abusive parents, or my abusive boyfriend, who turned out to have very misogynistic views regarding women, was more then I could bare. It was the first time in my life I ever considered suicide, and wanting to follow through with it. I couldn’t bear to think of this dark life that lay ahead of me, or what kind of future would ever greet this child. The abortion was absolute relief, it felt like a second chance at life. The place I went to was in a discrete location, so I did not experience the horror of protesters. People there were very nice, and more understanding then I could ever imagine. It truly was the judgement-free zone. The doctor I had was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. They gave me a choice of local or general anesticia, and due to the amount of emotional trauma, I chose general. It worked perfectly. When I woke up, I felt my spirit very much alive, like I had been given this second chance to live. It was a very huge emotional impact, I don’t know how any pro-lifer could ever make some sweeping generalization about how women just decide to ‘kill’ their babies. Mind you, the pregnancy and the way I was being treated by others made the damage, not the abortion. Anyone who is considering an abortion, I don’t know your circumstances, so I can not speak for you, but my own was overall, very positive. I broke up with the boyfriend who got me pregnant, and eventually graduated high school to attend college. I now hold a bachelors degree in science, and I am working on a masters in social work. I hope to reach out to women and girls out there, so maybe they won’t feel alone, and I plan to advocate for women’s rights.

  29. Katey thank you so much for sharing your story—I’m happy you were able to make the right decision for yourself. Good luck with your master’s degree!

  30. I was 16 and in high school when I had an abortion.My boyfriend at the time wanted me to keep the baby. When the test turned positive, I realised I didn’t love him. I feared ending up a single mum and poor, and I feared being stuck with him because of a baby. (His next girlfriend ended up a teenage mum, and a single mother a few years later.) My parents are religious/conservative, so were less than pleased, but at least they came around. I still sometimes feel like a bad person about it all, esp as I was raised religious, but I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.

  31. Thank you all so much for your comments and sharing your stories. I just turned 35 and found out I am 6 weeks pregnant. I’ve been with the father for about 6 years, on and off, but mostly on. Before I got pregnant we were planning on moving in together and both very excited about. This unplanned pregnancy has put a lot of stress on me and our relationship. Internally I’m struggling with the moral side of letting this blessing go, but ultimately I’m not ready and our relationship is not steady enough at this time. This has been the hardest decision of my life and since I found out I’ve gone back in forth about whether to keep it and most likely be a single mother (my BF has been adamant that he is not ready) or terminate the pregnancy and hope for another chance to start a family when both me and my partner are ready. All of your comments have helped me get to a point where I don’t feel like a bad person. My friend said something to me tonight that really resonated with me. I told her that I felt bad because I do want children, but that I’m not ready now. She said, “its ok. There will be a time when you are ready, you’re just not ready now.” I hope her kind words can help others trying to cope with this decision. Best wishes to all of you and thanks for finally developing a non-judgemental site. The support is needed and I very much appreciate it.

  32. Hi Beacon, thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad that your friend has been there for you, and that you are feeling like you have made the right decision–and that you still have the right to make it! You aren’t a bad person. If you ever want someone to talk to, let me know, and also Exhale, their url and hotline # is above, they are a great resource. xxxomikki

  33. Hi, I recently found out after having been married to my wife for 8 years that she had had 2 abortions when she was in college. I myself got my high school gf (not my wife) pregnant when I was 18. The difference was my gf miscarried.
    Anyway, long story short, my wife’s abortions really hurt me when I first learned of them and even now they bother me. My wife and I have 3 wonderful kids together and as a man, ego and all, it is sometimes difficult to swallow that the womb my kids were in is/was shared by another man’s fetuses.
    Reading your article, and subsequent replies, today has opened my eyes a bit more to understand why my wife says she does not regret having had the 2 abortions. I have to accept the fact that my wife had a past before I came along and that what she did before me has nothing to do with me. The tough thing was learning about it after 8 years of marriage and 3 of our own kids later. Everyday is a struggle but the pain and my self-esteem issues are fading and fading.
    Thanks again.

  34. Thank you for your post. I’m sorry you are struggling, but your goal—to understand and respect your wife’s decisions—is one of love. WIsh you the best!

  35. I am so grateful to have read a post like this. I had an abortion last december exactly a year ago tomorrow and i’m having flashblacks. I truly felt the same way about my abortion too though. I was with my new boyfriend at the time, we were only dating four months when I got pregnant. I was 18, in nursing school, and scared to death. When I found out, I called the clinic immediately and my boyfriend stuck by me, went with me to the appointments, and also paid the $600 for the abortion pill. (I was extremely happy I did not have to go through the surgery) Everyone should ask for the pill if they aren’t super far along! I was five weeks and the pill was similar to a very bad period. But anyway, after my abortion I immediately got on birth control and there have been no problems since. I’m even still with my boyfriend and I am so happy. The decision to get the aban abortion was the best decision of my life and I never had to burden my old-fashion parents with teen pregnancy. Abortion saved my life.

  36. I was adopted as an infant into a loving family and have adopted two children of my own. I work as a professional helping kids, have a wonderful husband, and many friends. Both my children are now in college, working out their life issues, full of plans for the future. My older daughter put a bumper sticker on her car that reads, “smile, your mom chose life.” That simple statement says it all. My daughters and myself were once problem pregnancies, causing fear and distress…but we are sharing life and love and supporting others because three young women courageously brought us into the world.

  37. Reading this has been validating. I am not sure if I’m pregnant or not…but I suspect I am. It’s too early to test but I feel exactly the same way I did when I was pregnant with my son who’s 18 months. While my husband and I used the appropriate protection, I’m convinced something didn’t work. I am nowhere near ready for another child. Financially, emotionally, physically, mentally. Even if I were, my son is not ready. He is an adorable, needy, mama’s-boy and I wouldn’t have him any other way. I’m selfish with my time with him and don’t intend to have another one to share that time until he’s at least 4 or 5. If I’m pregnant (I can test in another couple of days), I will most assuredly abort the mass of cells growing inside me (because, who am I kidding? It won’t even have a heartbeat until day 22 and no cognitive thought until between weeks 20-27). Thanks for being so brave to write about an incredibly unpopular and taboo subject.

  38. God Bless you. I called Planned Parenthood to schedule “the procedure” as soon as I found out that I was pregnant 8 years ago. I had been involved with a guy who I later found out was a pedophile, who was very interested in little girls and was only with me because of my 8 year old daughter. I have NO REGRETS for this! He was evil and I am so glad that I do not have to deal with him.

  39. I’m so glad your posted your story. I had an abortion almost 3 years ago, I was 26 at the time. And I too made the mistake of not using protection and not believing something like this could happen to me. But since that time I’ve learned a lot. It feels good to know that someone else has gone through the same thing but they don’t regret making the decision. My dad at first was kinda the same way yours and did say if you don’t want it then you know what to do. But at the same time it was still one of the worst moments of my life thus far. And even though I don’t regret not bringing that unborn child into this world, I do regret putting myself in the situation. I’ll be 30 this year, am still single, and not having sex with anyone. I don’t plan to have any children, unless I’m in a marriage with someone I want to have a family with. Thank you so much for your story:)

  40. Hi,
    I’m 25 years old and recently found out I’m pregnant. I have a 6 year old. My boyfriend and I discussed having children and getting married. This was not unplanned but not prevented either. We were both scared and excited in the beginning but when we told his parents they disagreed with our decision and talked him into not having it. They convinced him we are not ready to have children and questioned whether he loves me and wants to be with me forever. I respect every woman’s decision to have or not have an abortion. I’m conflicted on what to do because now I feel alone and don’t have his support and that makes me very sad. I don’t want to have an abortion but I don’t want to bring a baby into a family that doesn’t want it.

  41. Maria, I am going to email you, but also wanted to respond here. What a horrible situation. I respect whatever you do—don’t let them pressure you into a decision you don’t want to make. Have you spoken with a doctor or a counselor about how you can best make a decision? Planned Parenthood, among other places, offers judgment-free counseling that considers all of your options. I am happy to help you find someone. xoxoxo

  42. KC thanks for telling us your story—I’m really glad you were able to make the right decision for yourself, and you had access to the care you needed. Good luck with everything!

  43. Becca WOW. Thank god you and your daughter are safe! These stories are always so incredible—happy you were able to choose the right path for your family.

  44. Hi Tani—
    Adoption is a wonderful choice. My brother is adopted. Let’s make sure that all women have access to safe, supportive prenatal care and loving adoptions, as well as access to safe, legal, supported abortion care.

  45. Dear Possibly,
    It sounds like you are really clear on what you want—and as a mother, you know very well what is involved in this decision. (Did you know that most women who choose to have abortions are mothers?) Best wishes for your family.

  46. I’m so happy I saw this page..I had an abortion a little over a year ago(I’ve never wrote about it and dont really talk about it) my now fiance and I have been together for almost 3 years and love each other very much. When I found out I was pregnant the first thing I thought was I am going to ruin his life. He is in college and doing amazing. We both dont have jobs and then my mom was very sick(she has since passed) I didn’t want to put the burden of it on her. So I made my appointment at a place my school teacher told me about. Both my fiance and mom were very supportive and loving. I’ve been told by many people God will not love me because of the abortion and that I am an evil person for believing women should have a choice. I’m glad I was given a choice. I love kids and hope to have them one day when I’m financially stable. I worry sometimes I won’t be able to have kids because of it even though I’m told I’m healthy.. I’m now on birth control. It gets me sad sometimes but I know in my heart I did the right thing. Thanks so much!

  47. Ashley, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about your mother—she sounds like an amazing person. Having had an abortion is very very very unlikely to affect your chances of having children in the future, especially if it was a medical abortion (the kind where you take pills). I am happy to dig up the actual studies for you if you like. I know there was a big on in Denmark in 2009.

    “It gets me sad sometimes but I know in my heart I did the right thing.” —this is so important. It’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to not be sad, I’m so happy you were able to make the right choice for you and have access to safe and legal medical care, and your mom and fiance were supportive. xoxo

  48. To women struggling with this decision,

    Don’t be ashamed about it, and make the choice that is best for you. Mikki, thank you for this blog post. I had an abortion last summer, and have struggled with how to feel about it, wondering if I should feel more guilt when really, I was very relieved after the procedure. Is it something you want to go through? No, probably not. It’s an unpleasant experience to make the painful decision of terminating a pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant four weeks in, just a couple weeks after becoming engaged to my fiance (his child) and I was 25. This put a magnificent strain on our relationship. I was pro-choice, he was not. We were financially unstable, had family problems, no steady careers (i had just finished grad school) and so many dreams and things we wanted to do before having children. I was not ready to be a parent and neither was he (though people will try to convince you that you need to drop everything and resign yourself to pregnancy and parenthood). I called to have an abortion and had to wait 3 weeks as the clinic was closed for summer holidays. I went alone and spent the day in the hospital with the other women waiting for the procedure. By this point, my fiance had offered his support of me, but couldn’t make the step into being there on the day. I was the last one, so I watched women go through the procedure and come back out to the waiting area. One girl was very scared and had to be sedated. Most women seemed incredibly relieved after the procedure was over. That was my overwhelming feeling when my procedure was over. Only two people in my life and the medical system know I went through this, and I will probably never tell anyone else because it’s so taboo, despite the fact that so many women face it at some point in their lives.

    I look back on it and know I did the right thing for our lives – in general just wishing that I never had to be put in the position to make that choice in the first place. The baby was due on my birthday, so I am reminded of it as the day approaches. It’s something that just happens… and I wish more women had the right to say “no, I don’t want to go through a pregnancy”. Parenthood and pregnancy is not the be-all and end-all of your life – do what is right for you.

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