Abortion was always an option in my family and always felt like a decision I could make for myself if needed. My great aunt who we lived with after my mother divorced my father, ran a clinic out of our home with a doctor when it was illegal. She had been a nurse and when she was working with this doctor who was much loved by the community, she did abortions to help pay the mortgage.
I was too young to remember but my mother said there was always two things boiling on the stove at all times 1. giblets for the cat and 2. instruments for the doctor. When we talked about abortion it was at the kitchen table, and as a child I thought that every girl had a right to the procedure if she needed it. Later in my teen years I had a daughter at sixteen because my home and mother was abusive and I thought having a child of my own and getting out of the house was a good idea.
I wanted my daughter more than anything. I was very naive about mothering and sexual relationships. I went on to be involved with a very brutal and cruel man for seven years and had two boys by him and several abortions. I am so grateful for my children, and I am also grateful for the ability to have abortions. The abuse my children and I suffered at his hands was life changing and horrific. Bringing more children into the world would have been unconscionable, devastating, cruel and just plain wrong.
I was not permitted to ever go back home after having my sons as my mother had remarried by then and was not interested in helping me. My great aunt died when I was eighteen and with her any serious talk of abortion, healthcare for females and other hot topics relating to sexism, misogyny and abuse.
I am so grateful to have had the right to healthcare when I was young, to have been given an option and a chance for a better life on my own. It was tough going to school with three young children but I did it. I could never have fed any more children as we were so very poor. I was on welfare for a long time chipping away on college courses at night. Looking back now I am grateful for my great aunt teaching me that my body was my own and what happened to it was my business. Her words gave me strength when I felt isolated and alone. Without abortion my life would look very different and I don’t know if I could have made it where I am now. Being able to have an abortion gave me a chance at a life worth living, a life where I can say it was my choice and I am at peace.