I chose to have an abortion. I wouldn’t have been able to provide this child the kind of life he or she deserved. And I wanted to finish college and provide for my siblings and give us a better life. I didn’t see how that would be possible while also taking care of a baby. When I was in nursing school, I got pregnant again. I don’t even want to admit that it happened twice, but here I am sharing my story so other women can feel that they aren’t alone. Abortion was so frowned upon in my family, but I think even my mom would vouch for this today: We should be able to have the choice in hopes of breaking the cycle. My mom went on to live a life that was so destructive not only for herself but for every single child she brought into this world that the cycle continued with my sister until she was able to pick up the pieces of her life and change it.
My abortions were a secret I kept to myself for nearly my whole life. I hated myself for a very long time for it, and I know the stones people will throw at me: Why didn’t I use birth control better? Why wasn’t I more careful? But the thing is, it happened to me and continues to happen to couples. You can throw stones at me if you want, but I just think of a young woman who has no one to turn to. I wish someone had said to me back then that I’m not evil. I felt like a terrible, selfish human being and sometimes I still do. I don’t want to admit that out loud, but it’s just a hard fact. But at the end of the day when I sit down and think about my life now with my daughter and husband Doug, I think about the fact that I wouldn’t have my daughter Henley if I had gone down that path where I had two children with two men who were not fit to be fathers. I forgive myself for having to make that choice.
Kevin & Aly Photography
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After Doug and I got married, I knew my abortions were something he needed to know about me before we started our own family. My palms were sweaty when I told him. I knew this revelation could change things. But Doug’s reaction couldn’t have been more loving and supportive. He said, “I’m so sorry you had to make this decision so young. That was so brave of you.” He saw my decisions from a point of view that was so completely different from mine.
I know I’m going to get backlash for opening up about my past. Like I said, my abortions still torment me and I hate that I had to have them. However, am I thankful? Of course. I wouldn’t be able to be a good mother to my daughter right now or have been able to be a good parent to my siblings back then. The cycle continues because there’s not enough education about sex and birth control, and not enough support. There’s not enough constructive discussion about abortion. It sucks. It really sucks. But the truth of the matter is it is a necessary option.
I’m so proud of women like Busy Philipps who have spoken up about their abortions because no one is proud of it. When she was brave and bold enough to speak out, it stirred in me an emotion that I need to do the same. For the woman right now who is struggling and feels that she has no one on her side, know that you’re not alone and you’re not evil. We women need to band together—men too—and support each other.
- As told to Melody Chiu
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