Nancy’s Story

In 1980, I had an abortion when I was 23 years old and already the single mother of a 3 year old son. I was four weeks pregnant by a man I loved who told me he wasn’t ready to be a father.

Six months before, I’d returned to college at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY to finish the BA I’d started at Oberlin College in the early 1970s before I dropped out and ended up having a child. I was living on welfare/AFDC at the time and scholarships; the last thing I needed was to have another child. I wasn’t ready to be the single mother of two children which was why I made the decision I did. I have never regretted my decision. In fact, the doctor who performed my abortion actually told me during the procedure that he respected my decision and my clear-eyed strength and determination to be a good mother to the one child I already had.

I went on to finish my degree in anthropology with distinction in all subjects. I raised my son mostly alone; he is now grown and in college in New York City. I had a successful career as a publishing professional for many years and also earned my M.A. in writing. Several of my short stories have been published. I would never have been able to have the rich life I’ve had and help my son as much as I have if I’d been the single mother of two children.