When I was in my late twenties, I had an ex-boyfriend who had undergone hernia surgery and was told he could never have children. We were still friends and I cared, and still care very much for him. He asked me if we could have sex one more time to make sure everything still functioned properly. I had just decided on a career change and been accepted into a masters program for teaching. Around the same time, I got that letter I found out I was pregnant. I was on oral birth control but had come down with a stomach bug that month so perhaps it had not been effective.
I felt so powerful to be carrying around a life in my body! The ex-boyfriend and I were waiters together and my memory of walking around that dining room floor are that of elation first and a sense of duty second. A duty to myself to continue down a path that I’d been working towards and a duty to that baby to let that experience happen another time and place. I cannot believe that a soul loses its only chance if a group of cells is evacuated from a woman’s body. Although I’d grown up catholic, and even marched with my family at anti-abortion rallies, I knew that my life would be better if I waited to become a mother until later in my life.
I had a surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood and it was a standard procedure. I moved on with my life, received my masters degree and taught in public school for over a decade. I found the love of my life, had two beautiful children with him and I’m living my dream with my family. My ex-boyfriend and I ended up in the same neighborhood by chance and have kids in the same school in the same grade. My husband is aware of our story. His wife sadly passed away a few years ago but I bet she’d been told the story as well. We are friendly and I can say with confidence that we are both wonderful parents and contributing members of society. I would have no problem shouting this story over the mountaintops except that it would deeply injure my parents. They refuse to even listen to my reasons for being pro-choice. I’m happy to share this story as an anonymous stranger because I think many of us are faced with decisions that are our own. There is no reason for this to be anything other than a choice made by the body carrying the greatest impact on one human life. The woman’s choice.