I knew the instant he came that I was pregnant. A moment of love and lust and abandon. But, there it was, and I was correct. I didn’t tell my mom. I was embarrassed because I knew better and didn’t use protection in the heat of the moment. So I confided in my friend and she and my boyfriend drove me to get the abortion. Not for the faint of heart, but I KNEW I HAD to do it. I was in College, my life was just starting. I did NOT want a baby, a child. No way. I would have been a terrible mother at that time – totally ill-equipped and would have resented having to become a mother at that point in my life. It would have been totally unfair to the child as well. I never questioned whether I would keep it or have an abortion. Never. Off we went, and the abortion was obtained.
We didn’t speak of it, really, after that, until MANY many years later, I was driving in the car with my mother, and somehow, it came up, and I told her, while driving, that I had had an abortion. She was Shocked and so Sad. Not so much Shocked or Sad that I HAD the abortion. She was Shocked and sad that I didn’t feel I could have come to her, to tell, to confide in her and let her comfort and help me. So that’s the only part I felt bad about… not sharing a very important event with her, and the secrecy I thought was required.
A large percentage of women get abortions every year for a variety of reasons. Some women medically require one to literally save their lives. Some women do not want to be a mother, or know they would be a terrible mother. I cannot imagine being forced to carry a rapists baby. Women of every race, every ethnicity, every religion and every political persuasion, have had abortions, including those whose voices are sometimes the loudest trying to ban it for others. And so I speak up, because it is not something that needs to be hidden. It is not something to pretend it didn’t happen to make you look pure to a spouse or religious institution. I did not need to carry that secret, and you don’t either.
I painted this visceral angry graffiti protest work in the minutes after the Supreme Court “leaked” their decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade and 50 years of the Court’s own legal precedent upholding the constitutional right to abortion. It is 8’ x 8’ and has been marched up to the top steps of the Indiana Statehouse at the rally to protect women’s rights at Indiana’s Special session to outlaw abortion, and published in the IndyStar newspaper along with photos of thousands of other brave women and men and their protest signs.
To all the women who have had an abortion, I ask you to please speak up. Speak the truth. Let the world and politicians know that while it is not a joyful thing, it is in fact, common. Even many of their own wives and girlfriends have had an abortion. Motherhood should be a choice and abortion should be legal.