Rachel’s Story

I had an abortion when I was 18 and have never once regretted it. My then-boyfriend was abusive, and I eventually got a restraining order against him. He was an active alcoholic and drug addict and the pregnancy occurred the one and only time I had unprotected sex with him, on a night when he was drunk and wouldn’t let me put in my diaphragm.

I had my abortion at Planned Parenthood in Burlington, VT in the fall of 1990 (?) when Operation Rescue was targeting the clinic. My wonderfully supportive father took me for the procedure. When we walked into the clinic Bible-waving protesters cried and yelled that I was killing a baby. One screamed at my dad, “You could be a father!” (presumably thinking he was my much older boyfriend!) and he replied, “I am. I’m her father and I am taking her in.” This momentarily silenced the protester.

After this experience I became a pro-choice activist and wound up becoming the youngest ever member of the board of ProChoice Vermont (now Vermont NARAL). My involvement in the pro-choice movement has led me on the career path I am still on today. When President Clinton came to campaign in Vermont, I got to meet him. As he shook my hand, I said, “Mr. President, thank you for supporting a woman’s right to choose.” He stopped moving along the rope line, put his other hand on my shoulder and said, “As long as I’m your president, you’ll never have to worry about that.” I was so thrilled and happy that tears came to my eyes. After that, I started volunteering on his campaign, and eventually was hired to join the campaign staff . After Election Day I moved to Washington, DC where I was proud to serve in the second Clinton administration at the Department of Health and Human Services. While living in Washington, DC I was a volunteer clinic escort at the now closed Hillcrest Women’s Clinic.

Currently, I live in western Massachusetts. I still work in Human Services. I am not as much of an activist but remain as committed as ever to women’s right to choose, and only support candidates that are unwavering in their support of a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions about her body.