feimineach.com

I had an abortion when I was a sophomore in high school. I had another when I was a sophomore in college. Before then and since, I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life—some great, some terrible, and most somewhere in between. Those two decisions, however, were two of the best decisions I’ve made in my 34 years. I didn’t regret them then. I don’t regret them now.

Today, I share two children with the love of my life—an 11-year-old son and a 9-year old daughter. Not too long ago, I shook with anxiety and fear when they asked me about abortion for the first time because of something we saw on TV—I can’t remember what. They jumped immediately to saying things like, “Oh, my God! That’s horrible! Why would anyone ever do that?” I responded, “You should be careful not to make those kinds of assumptions, especially when you don’t know much about something. I’m sure some women who’ve had abortions had bad experiences, maybe even terrible, but many have not. I think it’s important that you know that it’s more complicated than just good or bad, like most things are.” Our daughter responded, “But mommy, you didn’t have an abortion with us!” Her brother co-signed, “Yeah!” So, I responded, “Of course, I didn’t! You’re here! But guess what? I have in the past…and I don’t regret it at all. I wasn’t ready to have children then. So, I did what I had to do. And it’s important that you both know that I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel guilty. And you shouldn’t either. In fact, had I carried those two pregnancies to term, you two most likely wouldn’t be here, because I wouldn’t want four kids.”

I told them that our conversation reminded me of when my mom had an involuntary abortion before she gave birth to me. It’s sad to think about it, yes, but she only wanted one child, so I just have to be grateful that I’m here rather than be paralyzed by my sadness about what happened before me. I also told them that abortion isn’t a decision that everyone makes when they’re faced with unplanned pregnancy and that it’s not what I would call ‘easy,’ but it’s definitely an option I support, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to have a safe abortion available to me. I also shared a bit of the history of abortion with them, especially concerning safety and accessibility. Then, we dialogued for a few more minutes before I decided to let it go—at least for the time being. When I get in my mode, I try to be careful not to overwhelm them so they continue talking to me about things that we, adults, tend to make much more difficult than necessary. They understood, though, and they asked questions, and I did my best to guide them through their thinking.

Source and rest: A Love Note to Women Who’ve Had Voluntary Abortions (feministwire)

(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

women's stories: A Love Note to Women Who’ve Had Voluntary Abortions