Karen’s Story

I have always been ashamed of having had an abortion. Maybe this site and women’s stonger sense of self esteem these days will eventually wipe that stupid stigma away. Thanks for still fighting back against those that don’t want us to have abortions or lives of our own.

My story? Not so special. I was 26, single, struggling desperately in a low paying job, with low self-esteem and undiagnosed chronic depression. When I realized I was pregnant and told my boyfriend was when I found out he was still married. My emotional stability in those years was pretty shaky. I panicked. I was afraid to tell anyone, even my boyfriend, who was actually very supportive, if still in love with his estranged wife. I was ashamed to seek an abortion. It was a difficult choice for me to go into the Planned Parenthood office and ask for an abortion rather than just to drive my truck into a bridge abutment. That was my mental state in those days—to see those as my only two choices. I am very grateful for the option of a legal abortion and the support of my lousy boyfriend. Give a thought for a moment to the sort of emotional cripple I would have raised. The kid would have been poor, unwanted, poorly cared for by a mother who hardly survived and possibly would have killed herself before the child was out of diapers. I would have lost my job for being pregnant and lost the little support I had within my community. I’d have felt like I had to move to another town where I knew no one…not a good prospect for an emotionally unstable, poor, unemployed, pregnant single woman.

I never regretted that I had the courage to have an abortion instead of killing myself, of course. I spent several years teaching myself self esteem. I’ve learned tools to never fall into depression again. It’s 24 years later. I never married. I never got pregnant again. I never regretted that I don’t have children. I work as a hydrologic engineer in international humanitarian aid. I travel the world and build water systems in places where there is no potable water. I cannot count the number of lives that must have been saved by my work, which never would have happened if I had not had that abortion. If there is one thing I regret is that the world still condems women for having sex, getting pregnant and not wanting to stay pregnant. Some of us would be lousy mothers. Some of us are lousy piano players. Why is one socially acceptable and the other not? I’m a lousy piano player AND would make a lousy mother AND I’M NOT SORRY.