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Abortion is legal in this country. But one of the things the anti-choice have been successful at is making it taboo to talk about it if you made the choice to have one. Hush hush. And what if you were trying to make the decision whether to have a baby or not? Silence makes it difficult for people to ask one another about it or get any input from the people who've actually experienced it. I think now is as good a time as any to break the silence. And besides, I've never really discussed it that much.

It happened when I was 16 years old. My very first boyfriend. My very first sex.

I hadn't even taken an algebra class yet. Or an American Literature class.

My parents, I knew, were conservative Christians who would never let me choose anything for myself, including religion, friends, lifestyle, classes in school I wanted to take. Not even my boyfriend, who they hated simply because he was my boyfriend. I knew I couldn't go to them unless I wanted to have a baby at the age of 16 and be a mother throughout high school, college and for the rest of my life.

I grew up with five brothers and sisters in my house and several foster children as well throughout the years. I knew I didn't like being around other people that much. I knew I didn't like being responsible for my little sisters the way my parents always tried to make me, I didn't like being held accountable for others' behavior.

Bottom line: I didn't need to have many years under my belt to KNOW - just KNOW - in my gut - WITHOUT a question - knowledge and wisdom that I know in my heart came straight from Mother Nature - and was the essence of my very being and nature- that I was not cut out to be a parent. And I knew in my heart - that early on - that that would NEVER change.

No matter what I have ever seen, nor what anyone has ever said to me, that has remained true. TRUE.

I understand there are others who have questioned their decision to have an abortion, and I can certainly understand why a person might, and is certainly free to do so. But I personally knew without question after having thought it through.

If I had wanted to be a parent, I would have simply told my parents and went ahead and told them and become a mother. But there were too many other things I still wanted to do with my life and motherhood was not one of them.

I am almost 40 years old now and this remains true. Never have I been even remotely tempted to be a parent. The concept of someday possibly adopting does sound tempting to me when I choose to entertain thoughts of helping out a poor little helpless child who is already here through no choice of her own. But in my heart, I know that even that would not be for me probably.

So my boyfriend took me to see a doctor at the clinic. It was confirmed I was pregnant. We made a date to have the abortion and we kept it.

I've never wavered for one minute thinking that maybe it wasn't the perfect thing for me to do. I know that God told me that being a parent was not for me.

I also knew after it happened one thing: that I would get some form of birth control - which I did immediately by having my boyfriend pick up a bunch of rubbers - because I never wanted to go through the trauma again of having to make that decision, stress and worry, have my body invaded like that again. Go to a hospital. Put my life in the hands of doctors. Know what they were doing down there when I was having the abortion. Bleed for hours afterward. Take the pills afterward. Not be able to sleep. I did not ever want to have that happen to me again.

I'm so very glad abortion is legal and available and was an option for me.

I LOVE children by the way. My nieces and nephews, children of friends and strangers, I love them to pieces. The responsibility and caretaking of them is not for me however.

But mostly I just feel sorry for children in THIS world.

It's funny when people ask me so seriously "do you ever regret your decision to have an abortion?" I could never even imagine regretting it. The only thing I regret is getting pregnant in the first place and having to have it done.

Fortunately, we live in a world where abortion is legal and if I ever got pregnant again, I would have another abortion. But that would suck.

I am glad I live in a world where it is legal to talk about this stuff. That felt pretty good to say that stuff.

tro$$ alert directly below this post.

You can spare yourself the bogus images of "aborted babies" (i.e., miscarriages, stillborns, etc.) by going to "My Controls" at the top of any page, then looking at the Menu on the left side of the screen. Way down at the bottom under "Options" is Manage Ignored Users. Just add WithoutExcuse to your list, and you're good to go!

You know what else this means, right? The BUST Lounge Xtian Fundie Fund for Abortions is on again! You can participate by donating any amount you want/can to pro-choice organizations (such as Planned Parenthood) for every post the tro$$ makes!
Hmm.... might be worth talking about anyways. Start some productive conversation, mmm? Unless there's another good thread for this?
i sorta like the little reminder from the only anti abortionist. when one posts something mean and visually upsetting, after my initial reactionof adding to my ignore list then watch for you, faerietails to keep me posted on how many post i am donating for. it is just a little reminder for me to donate to a cause that i hold near and dear!
i love it!

Support Planned Parenthood's work!
jan, thanks so much for starting this thread and for sharing your experience so bravely and eloquently. I've never had an abortion so i don't have anything more personal to contribute, but i think you're absolutely right in saying how important this conversation is. best of luck to this thread.
Thanks for the support.

I feel that abortion is a responsible decision.

A legal, respectable choice made by millions of responsible citizens each year. And it should be treated as such, rather than silenced as some others would have it.

This does not make it a desirable situation to be in, like so many other unpleasant life situations one wouldn't choose to be in.

But it is a normal and acceptable topic for discussion.

Feel free to share your story if you want.
sorry, i meant to do this last night.

the bustie's least favorite troll goofy euphy is back, this link will take you directly to your blocking screen. just hit update, and he will be blocked.

new troll : withoutexcuse


if he posts in other threads you can post this same link. here is the link info, but you'll have to add the brackets. i've set it up so you just have to put left brackets "[" on the first and second lines below:

url=]new troll : withoutexcuse

thanks for sharing your story jan
Jan, thank you. This is really important--people need to talk about their experiences. I posted about the problem of lacking (positive) narratives about abortions in our society in another thread awhile back. Creating a supportive environment and building vocabularies for personal histories seems like of part of the work necessary to make choice a real possibility for people. Violent reactions to abortions seem to stem from sheer ignorace (on the part of those who have not been through them), unresolved issues, and lack of compassion. And telling real stories--rather than posting inflammatory, inaccurate pictures, probable lies, and judgmental bullshit--is political and educational. I am grateful for your openness and hope more people do the same. You are proof that an abortion can be the right choice for a sane and healthy person--and it can be the right choice over time, as they look back. It makes me so angry that this decision gets left in the dark, that society makes it hard to talk about having an abortion in a way that's not laden with guilt. I think some of it is because women are socialized to not think for themselves, that personal decisions are seen as self-interested or selfish, even suggesting that putting the needs of a bundle of replicating cells is ideal to taking stock of your own needs. You did the right thing and continue to by making your experience public!
I'm glad you started this Jan. I'm also glad that you made the point of never having felt regret. I also had a termination, at the age of 18, and not ONCE at the time or since did I feel any regret. It was right for me at the time, and yes, I'd do it again. Hopefully though I won't be let down by contraception again, as I was in that instance. At the time it was a huge deal - I grew up in Northern Ireland, where abortion was, and still is, illegal except for cases where the mother's life is endangered. My parents are stringently anti-abortion (not for religious reasons, they're not religious at all but my mother suffered repeated miscarraiges when she was young and both my brother and I are adopted), but because I was unemployed at the time, I had to beg and plead with them to lend me the money to travel to England for the procedure. They eventually came round when the realised how deadly serious I was about not going through with the pregnancy, and that I probably would have gone the backstreet abortion route without their help. I've never felt maternal, I felt absolutely nothing when I was pregnant, I had the abortion. And even though it was pretty horrific (I had a vacuum procedure), I have never once regretted my decision or felt bad about it. Like yourself, I only regret that it happened in the first place.
Lapis: I love what you have to say. It rings truth for me. And others I know who have had abortions. We are healthy women more than capable of making good and wise choices. Even at a teen age one knows whether or not she should be a parent. Yes, I am sane (although those who know me would challenge that with winks, winks, nudge, nudges), I'm well educated and have been told from a young age (toddler) that I am above average in intelligence, even "gifted" (although I must laugh at this, I certainly do not take myself that seriously and have never had a big ego as far as 'smarts' are concerned ; ) But I am a caring person to all of the people in my life and I am proud of that.

I did make a thoughtful choice that was 100% percent right for me when I chose abortion over life as a mother at the age of 16. God/Mother Nature is in each and every one of us and speaks to us through our consciences and hearts. We listen to God in our bodies as part of our survival. When we listen, we know what choices to make so that we can survive and live our lives.

I really appreciate all of the support on this board. After I first posted the thread, I must admit that I became afraid - ?. And then I realized how absurd it was that I should feel that way - ? Maybe like you said, that's why it's important to talk about our experiences openly if we feel we want to. And I feel more honest when I share my experience - it no longer feels like a secret I have to keep, or that I can't say the word "abortion."

My hope is that others will come in and share their abortion experiences as well. It certainly is a life-saving choice for those of us who have had to make it. I consider mine a story of survival.
jan, thank you for being brave enough to tell your story. A close friend of mine just went through an abortion (and the experience of trying to get one in the first place), and I know it's not an easy experience - but refusing to be silenced about it seems to help, in her case. I think it's important that women feel safe to speak their truths.

And on that note, everyone, just put the dumb troll on ignore. I already have.
jan, you rock. it takes a lot of courage to say the things you've said, and i think it's that courage that makes the world a better, healther place.
ditto on starting this thread jan! one of my closest friends has an amazing story about her abortion, and I use teh word amazing becasue it was such an incredibly positive experience for her (well, there was a lot of prejudice up to her having it, but as soon as it was done she felt overwhelming relief and like it was the best thing she could have done) - and when she told me about it it was the first time I'd heard the experience talked about so freely and with so much gratefulness for having had one. I love her telling her story because it helps make it okay. For some reason, it's okay to speak loudly against abortion, but not for it. I so don't get that. Especially since it is such a privilege to be able to make a choice about our bodies, I know it's a choice that I cherish having. So thanks and I hope people keep their stories coming.
pointybird: Wow. That is an incredible story!! See - I cannot imagine having had the additional problem of having to go cross-country to have the procedure done. You had remarkable courage to forge ahead and take care of yourself the way you did, esp. considering you really didn't have familial support in regard to your decision. I feel it was considerate on your part to not bring a known-to-be unwanted child into the world. I have to ask: do you think you would have told your parents had you not had to travel to another country to get the abortion? And had you even been to England before??
Jan, thank you for posting this. I had an abortion too, when I was 16. I was involved in a really really abusive relationship...and I shudder to think what would have happened to me, and the baby too, had I went through with the pregnancy. It was a very trying time in my life in general, and I truly believe that the baby is in a much better place than it would have been with me, and the abusive man.
Jan - yeah, I'd been to England many times before the termination, we used to have family holidays on the north west coast of England when I was a child. I don't think I'd have told my parents if I could have helped it though, simply because the whole thing would have been a lot easier without the screaming rows that ensued with them! In the end they came through for me though, and gave me the money etc, although I had to pay my dad back every last penny in installments from my social security cheque! I think they were still pretty cut up about it. But I guess they eventually figured that the child they already had was more important to them than a potential one...

Treehugger, sounds like your experience with this guy was a nightmare. Did he know about the abortion? Did he approve, or would he have liked you to have had the baby? I was lucky in a way that I didn't have to think about the father's feelings on the matter - he was a guy I knew vaguely and had a one night stand with, and by the time I even knew I was knocked up he'd disappeared off to live in Amsterdam. It's an interesting discussion though, everyone's experiences are so different.

oh wow. thank you jan for starting this, and everyone who's chipped in.

our first child is due next month, and as it has been making its presence felt the last few months i often wonder about the one we could've had. it was early on in our relationship, and even though we could both see ourselves as parents down the track, we weren't ready. the decision was ultimately up to me. i cried so much and couldn't talk to anyone about it - the counsellors i went to i thought were useless and just 'didn't get it', the friends i told didn't know how to react, and i was scared shitless. with the cultural and religious upbringing that i had, there was no way i was going to let my parents know, let alone discuss with them about it. i had become a hippy vegetarian too, and one of the reasons was that i didn't want to 'hurt' animals. i was also working hard on my 'career', i wasn't ready to 'sacrifice' myself or my youth. the main reason i kept giving myself though, was that i didn't want to bring into the world a child who would not have a safe and comfortable home - not materialistically, just stable loving reasonable parents. those weeks were a nightmare, really.

it wasn't easier afterwards - i wouldn't say i regret the decision, but there were many times when i wondered how i could've done it, and wished i could've had a second chance. if i let myself i could feel my child being scraped off my womb, and i would imagine how it would try holding onto the cord, clinging onto its mummy. yes i felt my body was violated, but i was also aware that i had let myself be, and i hated that feeling - i had control, but that didn't mean i liked it.

today, as we prepare ourselves for the little one, we begin to realise how much it takes to become parents and how important it is for a couple to be strong enough to build a family (for us, that is), and we are so glad, so glad that we hadn't taken up this most important job when we weren't qualified. true, people learn as they go along, and there will be arguments to whatever i say, but knowing that we hadn't brought up a fucked-up kid and that we ourselves aren't fucked up (or so we like to think) are enough reasons to believe that it was not a wrong decision. in fact, i guess there really isn't a right or wrong decision, more importantly it's how one copes with it, and learns to live with it for the rest of one's life.

it really sucked having gone through it, and still living it. it's important for me to talk about it, and not just be dismissed as oh-you-poor-thing. i think i wouldn't hide it from my children, when they're old enough and if they want to know - it's part of me, part of their dad, and part of them. i don't know if i will ever face up to my folks though - i think for their peace of mind, maybe not.

many thanx for the space, and could someone please put up again the blocking instructions for the inconsiderate one who put up those horrendous pics? there were things i wanted to refer to in earlier posts, but i don't dare to scroll down again...
QUOTE(faerietails2 @ May 16 2007, 07:18 PM) *

tro$$ alert .

You can spare yourself the bogus images of "aborted babies" (i.e., miscarriages, stillborns, etc.) by going to "My Controls" at the top of any page, then looking at the Menu on the left side of the screen. Way down at the bottom under "Options" is Manage Ignored Users. Just add WithoutExcuse to your list, and you're good to go!

You know what else this means, right? The BUST Lounge Xtian Fundie Fund for Abortions is on again! You can participate by donating any amount you want/can to pro-choice organizations (such as Planned Parenthood) for every post the tro$$ makes!

Here you go karcher. Congrats on the baby and thanks for sharing!
One thing this post reminds me of is how much sheer courage it takes to make a decision like this. Some people think that women who have abortions are flippant and remorseless, buth there is an enormous life-changing component to it--you have an opportunity to redefine your life, and it takes really searching your will to get to that choice. I am so happy you all are making a space for this kind of reflection and discussion despite some sick adversaries. I think about how easy it is to be self-righteous and post pictures of bloody babies and a fake narrative versus gathering up the strength to choose not to parent within a particular moment and to narrate your life after that. When I considered having an abortion my friend reminded me that life is not scripted and that you can choose to write your life story along a line of regret and guilt but you can also choose to narrate a powerful mastery of your own spirit's desire. It makes me happy to see that you women have not fallen into that easy trap of moralizing regret because you had the clarity to act on your inner truth. Do you know? I mean some people live their entire lives not makig an authentic decision, of course I will date men, get married, believe in God, go to college, whatever. And a pregnancy can be a moment for real reflection--who do I want to be? Am I prepared to do this? What do I want my life to be like? And an abortion can be this magnificent follow-through of realizing your will. I admire your strength, ladies.
Vapid antagonism is not welcome here. Any god-loving person would see this behavior as unloving and rude. Please take your hatred somewhere else. You are not moving people or gaining respect over here, so please go back to your robots.

Your story really touched me actually. It brought back the same thoughts I had about the actual abortion procedure. The scraping, my mind visualizing a possible "little baby" in my belly, I obviously had the vacuum procedure as well. Man those thoughts were not pleasant. Nor was the feeling. I remember the bleeding afterward turned my stomach too.

I remember that the nurses and doctors there were very helpful during that time. Just by their holding my hand and their peaceful presence, looking into my eyes with what seemed to be compassion and understanding, it really helped me at a time when I had not much else except my boyfriend in the lobby - ?

I have to agree with you that each baby brought into this world needs prepared, capable, guides to help them through it who are able to tell the difference between right and wrong. But too many children just do not have that and it hurts my heart to see some of them on the news these days.

Your story also reminded me that, in life, timing has to be there. It simply IS a factor in all of our choices. That's just life, right?

Like, college is a great, respectable choice. But you wouldn't ask a middle school or even high school kid to do it. It could be disastrous at a bad time.

You and your husband sound like very thoughtful people karcher. It takes integrity to consider the seriousness and the total committedness it takes to care for a baby and a family, every single day. It's great that you now feel prepared to give that. That is carefulness in taking another's life into your own hands. Congratulations to you both on your new family.
WithoutExcuse, thanks. I genuinely appreciate your use of real words to insult us (me in particular) as opposed to hiding behind inflammatory pictures and a fabricated first-person story. Being real is where dialogue starts, so thanks for this gesture of authenticity. I appreciate it. If you notice, we are not robots; we tend to be a diverse group of free-thinking people who welcome open discussions and try to foster a community of idea-sharing. If you would be interested in having a mutually respectful conversation about your personal experience with abortion (which is what this thread is about), I would love to hear what you have to say. But since you pulled your first-person "account" and photos come from a website, I suspect that your experiences with abortion are not very authentic and your responses hold a degree of malevolence not really appropriate to the spirit of the thread. Your redundant posts don't contribute to a discussion any more than hitting someone over the head repeatedly 'resolves' a conflict. That's called abuse or battery, not resolving differences. Maybe your behavior constitutes good manners where you come from, but in my experience it's not conducive to being a part of a community. Best of luck to you. I hope you find a place where your ideas are heard and your manner of delivering them is respected, but you might consider some different, more respectful strategies if you want people to receive you here. Take care. Having stated my position, I am going to return to putting my energy into sharing ideas with responsive people who treat me and this forum with respect because that's the kind of community I belong to.
I apologize, friends, for straying from the discussion for a brief chat with one of the posters and hope the pertinent conversation continues...

I'm glad you were able to work it out with your parents eventually in some small way - ?

I did not tell my parents beforehand, they would have found a way to stop me in their militance and I knew that. But they found out hours later, I'm not sure how still, maybe my kid sister cracked.

Unfortunately, it ruined my relationship with my parents for a while. They condemned me as a horrible person at the age of 16 and felt justified in shaming me whenever and wherever they felt necessary and in front of whomever they wanted to discuss the matter of my pregnancy and abortion. To this day, I wear it like a character in a Hawthorne novel. But years later, it is never discussed, having been replaced by silence. It is the elephant in the room whenever someone gets pregnant or pregnancy is mentioned. It is between us whenever I look into my mother's or father's eyes.

Funny thing is, my parents were abusive to my siblings and me, physically, mentally and emotionally. They believed and quoted "spare the rod, spoil the child" which is a quote from their Bible. My mom has stated on many occasions that she "didn't know what else to do with her life except have babies". She has stated on many occasions that she "did not like being a mother". She has had breakdowns periodically from the stress of having 6 children all close in age. She still has breakdowns at the age of 73 from child-related stress, the most recent breakdown was earlier this year and she just sort of got through it in the last few months.

But I forgave my parents a long time ago. I think I understand where their fear comes from. Ingrained in them was a "terrible God" and a "jealous God" (this is the way they describe 'him' and those are quotes from their Bible). Their own parents' religion and values were literally beaten into them. They have stated it is an "abomination in the eyes of the Lord" to question anything written in their Bible.

I know their fears and judging/policing of others actually comes from a place of compassion, however misguided. They feared for me that I would go to that 'fiery hell' they imagined. I also know that they love me to the best of their ability. I appreciate how difficult it was for my mom and dad to raise us, I watched them.

I love my parents so much. I do regret that the issue of my choice had to come between us. But with them there is always something.

I'm still glad I'm not a mother though, it is something I would not do well. And I believe each and every child deserves a willing caregiver at the very least.

Thanks again for listening everyone. It's so important to me to be honest about my life.
God bless you lapis. I am glad you are here. It is comforting to know there are good people respecting and taking care of the people who are here in the world and who need it.
jan, I really admire your courage in starting this thread. And yours too, Treehugger and Pointy and Karcher, for sharing your stories.
I am grateful this thread is here and for those of you with the courage to tell your stories. There are so few supportive environments, yet so many experiences.
QUOTE(thepointybird @ May 18 2007, 12:36 PM) *
Treehugger, sounds like your experience with this guy was a nightmare. Did he know about the abortion? Did he approve, or would he have liked you to have had the baby? I was lucky in a way that I didn't have to think about the father's feelings on the matter - he was a guy I knew vaguely and had a one night stand with, and by the time I even knew I was knocked up he'd disappeared off to live in Amsterdam. It's an interesting discussion though, everyone's experiences are so different.

He did know about the abortion. He didn't really care one way or the other. But, if I were to go through the pregnancy, he was a very possessive person...he would have possessed me and the baby...there would have been no giving it up for adoption. He nearly killed me when I left him.

And I really, honestly, truly do think, if I had the baby, it would have ended up being one of those "shaken babies". Or worse. His temper was THAT bad, and I had THAT little control over him.

I am glad for this thread, because it gives us a voice. We live our lives being silenced. We don't have to be silenced here! Keep talking, people!
Wow, treehugger, how frightening, how vulnerable you could have been had you not been able to struggle your way out of all that. It sounds like you were facing the beginning of a dreadful - and abusive! - life, especially had you brought a child into that situation. So many women do not make it out of that but you survived. Yours is a story worth sharing and I'm glad you are here telling it.

I can't wait to be a parent to teach my child tolerance and respect for other peoples' opinions, to empower her with the gift of free speech and its responsibility, and to teach her the value of choice over hatred. Such an inspiring thread!
anyone here heard the song "lost woman song" by ani difranco? it's a really lovely example of a woman exercising free speech-- and honest, real speech-- about her experience with abortion. while her experience wasn't all positive by any means, she ends it with reaffirming the value of choice-- much like this thread! awesome, awesome thread.
oct, i was thininking the same thing when i was reading this thread. i heard it at work the other day when i was listening to a Yahoo! radio stream, and it just reminded me of how spot on she is in pretty much all of her songs...
I just bought it on I-tunes. smile.gif Thanks for the recommendation!
I'm back.

Some folks seem to love images of hardcore violence, blood, guts and pornography, etc., they just can't get enough of it. They seem to be *VERY* desensitized.

I rarely see violent images such as this used to protest anything else - not even the war, it interests me - ?

Either way, some Americans seem to have a real healthy appetite for this stuff and so they just keep on cranking out those images.

Fortunately, many of us are pretty much desensitized to photo-chopped images of violence by now and it doesn't affect us the way it probably should. After I see something so many times, I'm just like, well okay then!

I guess those hardcore violence lovers will just keep cranking out those images and there will just keep on being more school shootings, wars, etc., while people still aren't talking to their teenagers and children about how to survive in the world.

I'm just glad my right to choose is still 100% LEGAL.
OMG! You know, I never thought of that! You never see images like this used to protest the war! I wonder why not?

Hey, I have to thank you, again, for starting this thread. smile.gif

QUOTE(i_am_jan @ May 21 2007, 04:29 PM) *
I'm back.

Some folks seem to love images of hardcore violence, blood, guts and pornography, etc., they just can't get enough of it. They seem to be *VERY* desensitized.

I rarely see violent images such as this used to protest anything else - not even the war, it interests me - ?

Either way, some Americans seem to have a real healthy appetite for this stuff and so they just keep on cranking out those images.

Fortunately, many of us are pretty much desensitized to photo-chopped images of violence by now and it doesn't affect us the way it probably should. After I see something so many times, I'm just like, well okay then!

I guess those hardcore violence lovers will just keep cranking out those images and there will just keep on being more school shootings, wars, etc., while people still aren't talking to their teenagers and children about how to survive in the world.

I'm just glad my right to choose is still 100% LEGAL.

Wow. All these stories. Amazing. I had my abortion at age 23. If you had asked me at age, I dunno, 19 or 20, I'd have said that at 23 I would suck it up and have the baby. But it was not to be. I was with a man who told me he loved me and I truly felt I loved him even though he was so wrong for me on so many levels, but I was too stupid to see it at the time. We had sex three times and used protection each time. I still ended up pregnant. Financially, emotionally, and career-wise, I couldn't have a baby and neither could he. This we agreed on. I was an unmarried teacher. Unmarried teachers didn't have babies, not in my town. I couldn't afford a kid, and he was a deadbeat. We went to Planned Parenthood together and made the arrangements and cried together.

Then he turned on me. He came over, told me he didn't love me, never loved me, and was breaking up with me. But he wanted me to have this baby and just give it to him. Just be an incubator and hand it to a deadbeat with a drinking problem. His offer to me was, "I'll marry you in name only so it won't look bad at school." Yeah, what a great offer. Thanks, guy.

I told him I was going through with it. He said he would accept whatever I decided.

I drove with my mother over 100 miles to the nearest place to get one. It was a cattle call. Apparently they tell everyone to show up at 8a.m. Like court. I waited for hours. I was the only one there with her mom. My mom was freaking out because it was taking so long and I was so distraught. I got called back for my turn and got the obligatory counseling, the obligatory valium, and the horrid dressing gown.

They had this girl who was there to hold my hands and talk to me. The doctor came in and treated my womb like a tooth that needed to be pulled. But this girl. I will always be thankful for her. She held my hand and talked to me the whole way through. She went to my college, it turns out. There were stars on the ceiling, little stickers. I kept looking at them and thinking how small I felt and how horrible. I wish I knew that girl's name.

Afterward, I healed physically and emotionally as best as I could. I still think I made the right decision. September is hard for me. The baby would be nine in September. Even so, I don't think I would change my decision, but I would never have another one.

The guy slammed me all around town. He told strangers I killed his baby. People I didn't know walked up to me and said, "Oh, you dated D____? Yeah, he told us about you...." And I knew what they were thinking.

I had to be in a wedding with him a few years ago. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Stand up there for my friend with him right nearby. But I did it with my head held high. He's still a deadbeat. I know I made the best decision possible at the time. But it's still a shitty decision to have to make.
kelkello: Thanks so much for sharing that. So much interesting stuff there...

I feel bad that your partner in the pregnancy apparently could not appreciate the complexity of the decision which you ultimately had to make. Time was of the essence for you and so you really had to be the proactive one -- that's sort of how it was for me, too.

And then he seemed to be okay with it - yet, had trouble owning up to the decision later? Maybe blaming you for it?

It seems like the partner not being right is a factor in every abortion account I hear.

I read these stories and I wonder - does the maternal instinct work in strange ways? Is it compassion that leads one to choose not to put a child in harm's way - with the knowledge that a child is not wanted and that it does not have a 2-parent support system.

I can't say for sure, but I know that it did feel that way to me. Like ultimately the Mother in me made the decision.

I know that I cared a lot about the life that the potential child would be given and decided it wasn't fair.

kk: what you said about September sort of touched me, I don't know why.
kelkello: I was curious: Did you have to debate the decision with your parents, or were they supportive from the outset?
My father never knew because he lives far away and was completely absent from my life at the time. My mother was supportive from the start. Sad, but supportive.
ok, i will share my story here as well. there are so many inspiring stories of strong women here!

i had my son when i was 21 years old. his biological father was never very involved accept to come around to steal money and what ever he could find of value. when i found out i was pregnant i wanted to consider all my option and he was horrified that i was such an evil person "how dare you even think of killing my baby" he said. (i might add that at this point he already had a little girl he seldom saw and paid no support for by another lady) i basicly let him talk me into not even looking into any option other than having the baby. my son is now 10 years old and a truely lovely boy. i however was pregnant with him on my own, went through all the baby stuff on my own all while working full time and going to school full time so i could make a good life for my baby. (i look back on that time and wonder how it was at all posible yet i did it.)

when my son was almost 2 i met and immediatly married a man who i thought was going to be a great father for my son. not long after i got married i got pregnant again. this time however i was married and although not at all rich we were financially able to care for a baby. emotionaly however, i was totally unwilling to go through the whole thing again. (both these pregnancies were while i was on the pill by the way) i had tons of fears about everything including some major reservations about having a child with my husband. i held my head up high and informed him that i was not going to keep the pregnancy. i did not put it too him as a question or choice of his. he cried but did not argue. he went with me to the procedure but not in the room with me. i had a vaccume procedure with out any medication. (still not sure why they didn't give me any vallium or anything but that is niether here nor there.)

i remember looking up at the ceiling and thinking just a few more moment and this will be over. afterwards i was weak and queasy but my husband was pretty upset so again i held my head up and told him all was ok and that i had made the right choice.

i am since divorced from him (he really didn't turn out to be a great dad) and remarried to a really loving and wonderful man who is so good to me and to my son who he calls his own. i truely thought i would not ever have another child. i thought i had been through enough and ha a sweetboy and had no need for another. so when my husband and i decided to try for a baby i had to go over in my mind, for myself, all the reason to have a baby and all the reasons not to have a baby. in doing this i came back in close contact with my concious decision to terminate my previous pregnancy. in doing this and looking at the situaltion with hindsight and 8 more years of life experience i can only say that as life is, it is not one of the enjoyable or happy memories that i have but i am so thankful that i had and made the choice that i did and i am completely sure that it was the choice i should have made. i am now expecting my second son in august and am so excited. this is how it is supposed to be, planned, happy, and when i am ready.

my whole experience has made the right to choose a cause that is near and dear to my heart as i do not want to imagine life with out that valuable right to chose the path of ones own life.
kel, thank you for your story.

shiny, thank you for your story.
shinyx3: Thanks so much for sharing your story. One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb for me is how some men can say such things as "you're killing my baby" before a baby is even in existence - yet they can hold their own actual baby in their arms, look into their child's eyes - and then just take off without a thought whether it will eat or survive or ever see a coin of money. ??

It seems to me that those situations are one of the reasons that a woman is literally FORCED to choose whether to present a baby a particular set of circumstances in which to live.

It seems to me that life IS literally, at its essence, a series of choices. No matter who you are, what gender you are, whatever you do - there are always going to be two paths (if not more) - you will have to use your brain to weigh the good and the bad, and then choose which path is best at that time. Of course, you will always have the memory of the path NOT taken. Even regret is okay too, it's a natural part of life, and human emotions. But timing is everything. Like, getting your master's degree can be a respectable decision. But you wouldn't ask a middle school child to do it...or someone who has sick or disabled relatives to care for, a good thing at the wrong time could be disastrous.

Fortunately, as women, as far as choice and having babies go, we have many, many years of fertility ... and we may choose the road not taken first, the second time around, or maybe the third ; )

Also, shinyx3, Congratulations on your new baby and new family ; )
I had an abortion when I was sixteen. I was considered a runaway and hadn't been home in over a year and at the time lived in my boyfriend's basement. His mother was a raging alcoholic who occasionally would smash things and chase people around with blunt objects so the thought of raising a child in that household was terrifying. I was so immature about the situation at the time and some of the things I did just for the attention of the situation are embaressing to look back on but I realize that what I did was the best decision. I was totally still a child in my mind. I was a high school dropout with no family to help me. I had to go to another state to get my abortion because in Pennsylvania they require parent or guardian to be present the day of the abortion if under eighteen. I had no anesthesia which would have been hard to bear if not for the jovial nature of the doctor. He talked to me the entire time and tried to tell jokes, he kept my mind off of everything that was happening. I could not have asked for kinder people than the employees of that Planned Parenthood. When I found out at nineteen that I was pregnant with my daughter Madelyne, I knew that it was the right time to have her. I had my own apartment, I was working full-time and attending college. I thank Planned Parenthood everyday for my choice, that I was able to welcome a little girl into this world offering her far more than I would have been able to if I had already had a child.
I just wanted to say thank you to whomever put up the link to donate to Planned Parenthood. After hearing from all of the women here, it appears that Planned Parenthood and the nurses & doctors there were like angels to those of us who had really no one else to support us during the abortion process and procedure. Those people made sure we were safe, cared for and respected. I just now made my donation and it felt so good to give back to such a worthwhile cause!


Into a Bulb: Thanks for sharing your story here. Your situation at the time of your first pregnancy sounds like me: a teenager running wild ... I wonder if you even knew what birth control was? Can you believe my parents never told me about birth control and my school never told me of the option to go out and buy rubbers or pills either! Like you, I had a crash course in sex, pregnancy and birth control, had to learn the hard way!? Man, you must have had guts to have to do that without your parents, and to TRAVEL TO ANOTHER STATE for it?! That is huge. But you took care of yourself, and you survived. And grew up to be an articulate woman and mother of a little girl. And a career, and college education in tow! Um, WOW.
I am so glad that I came across this thread today...I had two abortions back in 1996. Since I am now at that age where all of my friends are getting married and having babies, it has really made me sit and think of the decisions I made when I was 16. I only recently put my experiences down on paper, and it was so cathartic.

Basically, I got pregnant after being sexually active for less than 6 months when I was 16. I don't remember even thinking twice about the decision to terminate. I didn't ask anyone's permission, not even the boyfriend, I just knew it was the wrong time to have a kid. Thinking back on what kind of parents we would have been makes me SO SURE that I did the right thing.

Unfortunately later that year, I was raped, and became pregnant again. The first time, I didn't tell me parents, but this second time, I had to, and I had to tell the police as well. My abortion that time was accompanied by a Police Officer, so that they could "collect" the evidence. Unfortunately, the guy who raped me skipped town, and I went through a horrible time with nobody believing me that I was really raped. Terrible circumstances, but again, I was 100% sure I did the right thing.

As I get older, I realize that had I not made those two decisions in my youth, that I would be a completely different person. Women in my family (very very large Mormon family) did not get college degrees, do not have careers, and have "settled" with just being mothers and wives. This is fine for some people, but I knew very early on that it wasn't for ME. I am unbelievably happy with my life, my career, and I recently got married to boot!

I can't stress enough how I would not have been able to do any of the things that I have done with my life had I not terminated those pregnancies.

And I think there must be some sort of "motherly" or even "humanly" instinct that kicks in to tell you when it is the wrong time to become a parent. Looking back on my situations, I can't believe how "adult" I was at 16, and making those decisions on my own. Maybe I don't give my younger self credit for knowing what was best for me then, but I am SO GLAD that I trusted whatever instinct it was to actively choose my life's path, instead of allowing nature to choose it for me.

Thank you for opening this thread. And thank you to everyone who has shared their story. There are not enough places where women can talk positively about these things. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!
QUOTE(emlikesart @ May 23 2007, 04:06 PM) *
And I think there must be some sort of "motherly" or even "humanly" instinct that kicks in to tell you when it is the wrong time to become a parent. Looking back on my situations, I can't believe how "adult" I was at 16, and making those decisions on my own. Maybe I don't give my younger self credit for knowing what was best for me then, but I am SO GLAD that I trusted whatever instinct it was to actively choose my life's path

emlikesart: Wow, thank you for coming in and sharing that with us. So - a police officer had to come with you to collect evidence from the abortion after the rape? Oh. my god ? ... I had not a clue, but yes, it makes sense that you would have to have THE COPS there. With you. At your abortion table. I can't IMAGINE the trauma of it all ... em - I am so glad you are here to tell about this. It is an amazing tale of personal survival. I did hate to hear about the rapist skipping town ... it sounds like he was never caught?

I think it's good that you have decided to talk about all of this -- I'm glad to hear it's been cathartic for you.

Since the age of 16 when I had my abortion - I had been walking around with a lot of guilt on my shoulders. But not MY guilt, as I knew I had done the appropriate thing. It was my parents' guilt that they insisted I bear about this.

For all of these years, since 16, I was silent and bore my pain alone. Again - not for me - I was silent, I guess, for everyone else. For the conservative Christians in my parents -- so as not to offend ANYONE ELSE'S sensibilities. -- When, actually, looking back - I - was the only one who'd actually gone through the trauma of it all. Becoming impregnated as a child and having to go through a medical/abortion procedure with no parental support. ? To this day, if my parents have ever been considerate of MY feelings - they have never said so. That's why the support on this board means so much to those of us who've had these experiences!
Big love to everyone posting in here (apart from the tro$$, obviously! rolleyes.gif ). It's good we all have a place to talk/vent/share stories etc. Funny how everyone's experiences are so different, yet we're pretty much all sure we made the right choice at the time. Congrats to all those who've gone on to have wanted, cared for babies and congrats to those who've remained child-free if that is their choice. Ladies - we are the success stories of the pro-choice movement, and as such, WE F**KING ROCK!!!!
Jan, I am glad that you created this thread. A place where those who have experienced abortion can come and heal and tell what needs to be told is wonderful.

p.s. trolly mctrolltroll's posts are gone.
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