Here is what hurts: abortion is political. My emotions are political. My body is political.
I watch the world and my silence shatters. Not because I wanted to speak about it. Because now, holding my silence feels like an act of violence.
It didn’t feel like a choice. He was an abuser, I was 21, almost done with undergrad but not quite. I’d wanted to be loved. He’d told me he couldn’t have kids. A bold-faced lie, accompanied by a scar.
I went to the clinic terrified. Terrified that if for any reason they said I’d have to give birth, I wouldn’t be able to.
A scary truth: I would have taken my own life before having his child.
What else does one need to know about my abortion? It felt private, between me and my body. It was never about him or anyone else but me. I was insecure, scared, angry: my uterus had let this happen to me. Hadn’t shielded me from a man who wanted to hurt me. I had begged, pleaded with my own body once I realized I was late. No, I told my womb, not now, not from him. And then: please, Body, please miscarry. Please.
But bodies do not always do what we ask just because we ask.
Misoprostol let me become me again. Let me finish undergrad. Let me stay in my body. Let me escape an abuser, support myself, stay alive.
That doesn’t make it easy.
Grief swells in solitude. I kept it secret. How was I supposed to feel sorrow at the same time as relief? The right choice – I know it was the right choice – gave me a heavy heart. Who would understand that the abortion had saved my life while also opening a chasm within me?
And yet, abortion saved me. And sorrow festers in secret: talking about abortion has saved my life again and again, over and over.
I watch rules and decisions made by people who know nothing about me, nothing about my body. I watch a younger version of myself and see her shrinking. I say with absolute certainty: I would not be alive today without Roe v Wade. I would not be alive today without access to safe abortion.
I did not ask to be debated.