I had an abortion in 1976. I was in college, working nights, was on food stamps, no possible help from family, and my partner and I had just broken up–for good, I thought.
Here’s how it went. I had been using a diaphragm. I had also recently been told by my male gynecologist that my tubes were so scarred from a Dalkon Shield that I would likely never get pregnant. I had gone to see him about chronic pain and wanted a laparoscopy to find out why. He insulted me about being on public assistance, but I insisted on the procedure and he told me about the scar tissue. But a few months later, I did get pregnant (my ex and I still saw each other frequently). But he wasn’t interested in getting back together. There I was. Pregnant, no partner, broke, in school. (As to how I got pregnant, the doctor had said it was probably a temporary opening in the tubes due to manipulation during the laparoscopy and still predicted little chance of another pregnancy.) So. Great choice…I had the abortion.
But, do I ever regret my decision? Even when I think about the fact that I might never have been able to get pregnant a second time? and believe me, I have thought about that. NO….. I still would have made the same decision. It was the right one for me at the time. To have a child while a destitute partnerless student was, to me, not an option. And I had no problem with adoption.
A few years later, I had a hysterectomy in an attempt to end the pain. But by then I was through with school, had an income and a partner (ironically, the same guy), and a wonderful child–yes, I did get pregnant once more.
Do I ever want to see a time in which a woman cannot safely make this difficult choice? Absolutely not. Am I glad there were no groups of shouting protestors in my face at the clinic? Absolutely. It needs to be that available, harrassment-free and safe–always. Thanks for listening.