Meredith’s Story

I know there are a lot of people out there who say that abortions in cases of rape and incest never happen. Well that’s just not true. It happened to me.

I met my father for the first time when I was seventeen years old. He and my mother never got married and when my mother started just standing by while my stepfather was verbally abusing me and calling me nasty names and getting physically violent with me, that’s when I started seeing my father.

At first my father was very good to me. He treated me very kindly and bought things for me. But as time went on, our relationship started becoming more and more physical. My father was the first person I was ever intimate with. Well, to make a long story short, my father finally told me that unless I let him do what he wanted to do, he wouldn’t see me anymore. So I started having sex with him.

As you can imagine, this was a secret I kept for many years. I couldn’t tell anyone. Not even my closest friends. This relationship went on for many years. And during that time my father got me pregnant twice.

As far as I was concerned, there was no question about it. Both times I had an abortion. How did my father react? Well, surprisingly, he was very good about it. Both times he took me to the clinic, paid for the abortion, and took me home to recuperate. I was never left hanging. I was never just abandoned. I was helped. I was taken care of.

I am forty-three now. My relationship with my father is pretty much over. It ended primarily because he was a domineering tyrant and could not stand me having a life of my own. There are many things I regret about my life. I regret having to have sex with my father just to get him to care about me. I regret getting pregnant by him. I regret not realizing earlier the problems he had relating to women. But the abortions? No. I definitely do not regret those! Both times it was the wisest and best decision I could have made.

I also think I was very lucky. I did not have money problems in terms of paying for the abortion. The money was there. Also, I was lucky to live near a very good women’s clinic where they did abortions and really respected a woman’s right to choose. And I was lucky that I could have my abortion quietly, privately, and without being made to feel like a criminal.

Now that I’m forty-three, I see things from a very different perspective. I really see that I never should have had to go through what I went through with my father. I deserved my father’s love and care without having to pay for it with my body. And I can see now just how self-serving and exploitative he was.

I don’t regret the abortions. I just regret that I got pregnant. And whatever you may hear, don’t ever believe that cases of rape and incest never happen. They do. It happened to me. And it happens to a lot of other women and girls. The thing you have to understand about incest is that it’s a very secret thing. People just don’t talk about it. I know I never told anyone I was an incest victim when I had my abortion. Even afterward, I never told anyone. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve even opened up about it.

Abortion should remain safe and legal in this country. Not just for rape and incest survivors, but for women in general. The fact is, we just don’t live in a perfect world. Rape happens. Incest happens. Birth defects happen. Poor health happens. Poverty happens. You name it. These people who are anti-choice, I want to ask them what planet they are living on!

Thank you for letting me tell my story. I hope it helps someone.