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Sharing Our Stories, cont'd.

Behind every abortion is a real woman’s life and her story. 

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During my teen years, I was very involved in my church youth group ...

"During my teen years, I was very involved in my church youth group. One of our activities was protesting abortion clinics. I held up signs letting people know that abortion kills children. I told people that abortion was murder. Then I became pregnant and unmarried at a young age and I knew I would keep my baby. Being a mom completely changed my life for good. I went on to have 3 more children. It’s not easy, but it is awesome. Having them helped me to see that being a parent is not for everyone. It’s an important job and takes a lot of work. I also realized it’s not for everyone and should not be forced on anyone. My opinion on abortion changed dramatically at 37. I was dealing with a failing marriage, a lot of debt, and 4 kids that kept me extremely busy. Still, I knew I would not be able to keep this baby. I was in love with the idea of being pregnant, and while I was I let this child know that I was grateful for the sacrifice it was going to make. Having a safe, supportive place to go for my abortion made it a much easier decision. There was no judgment, no pressure. I was surprised to meet many women here in my exact situation. The “other side” leads you to believe in a stereotype of women who have abortions and of the clinics. None of it was true. I feel very lucky to be able to make my own choice. I made the best choice for the 4 beautiful kids I already have at home." -- anonymous

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I'm 22 years old and had an abortion this past year ...

"I'm 22 years old and had an abortion this past year. I love children and always was pro-choice but never thought I would actually have my own abortion. I found out I was pregnant this year 2 weeks after my then boyfriend domestically assaulted me and then left town. At first I had every intention of giving the baby up for adoption but as the first few weeks progressed the father of the child decided he wanted to be a part of the child's life, and would not take no for an answer. As some of you may know, if one parent of the child does not want it to be put up, then it cannot be. I was devastated that I wouldn't be able to help a family because I know there are many people who cannot have children of their own that would make great parents. The father then wouldn't leave me alone even though there was a restraining order on him. He was not only abusive but over time I came to terms with the fact that he was a sociopath, someone so out of touch with reality that he was dangerous. I am not one to just throw a term out there like that either, I did my research and it took me a long time to actually admit that it was true. I was scared for myself and my child. Living in fear of what could be or what kind of life my child was going to be subject to. I knew in my heart that this wasn't right. I made my decision to terminate my pregnancy and within a week I went in for surgery. I DO NOT and WILL NOT ever regret what I did. At that time it was what was right for my child and my life. You always must stand up for what you believe is right no matter what people think, this is your life, you are the one that lives it, nobody else." -- anonymous

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Never wanted children, but had healthy, heterosexual relationships ...

"Never wanted children, but had healthy, heterosexual relationships. Was a great pill taker; then my gyn told me women need to 'give their bodies a break,' that I shouldn't stay on the pill for a long time, and took me off it. My (monogamous) partner and I used condoms, but obviously not successfully. Discovered I was pregnant after I had left him and quit my job to return to college. The judgmental will say I'm cold or heartless, but abortion was an easy decision for me -- I knew I didn't want children and was certainly in no position to have/raise one now even if I did AND I had been raised to believe that women are smart, moral creatures who have both the capacity and the responsibility to make such decisions. I was treated kindly and well for my abortion. Went back on the pill until I had to discontinue it when I was 35 and still smoked. Got a diaphragm. And my second unplanned pregnancy at 38. Still clear that I didn't want to have a child and having made sure my (monogamous) partner understood that before we ever began sexual relations, I had my second abortion. Again, I was treated kindly and well. I remain healthy, happy, and grateful that I had the right to control my own life. It is unthinkable to me that millions of women are not able, or soon will be unable, to control their own lives, are not considered intelligent enough or moral enough to be entrusted with the work that is our birthright, are so devalued as to be worth killing in the name of ideology." -– Heather

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It could never happen to me. I am a planner ...

“It could never happen to me. I am a planner. I am responsible. I always use protection. I waited until I was 27 to start having sex. I'm still 27. And now my abortion is part of my narrative. The weeks following my positive pregnancy test were the most difficult and trying of my life. My conservative childhood collided with my progressive adulthood and forced me to make a choice. And I chose to love myself and make the best decision for me. I am relieved. I am angry I can't share my narrative with some of those closest to me for fear of making their worlds crash down around them. But I am empowered and thankful to be connected with a THIRD of the women in the United States--and all women throughout history who have taken control of their own bodies. I support whatever decision women make for themselves. Whichever decision is made is the right one. And I made the right one for me. It has been an incredible opportunity for me to open up and accept love from my family and closest friends. I am lucky. I embrace my abortion, my life.” -- Elizabeth

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I have not had an abortion but several women I love and respect have ...

“I have not had an abortion but several women I love and respect have. The My Abortion My Life campaign has inspired me to have "Abortion Conversations" with many people in my life. I've learned that many women do not speak about their personal abortion experiences for varied and complicated reasons. But all it takes is for one person to strike up a conversation and initiate a safe and respectful dialog, and women touched by abortion will open up and share their stories. This can be a powerful and much needed experience for these women.

I encourage everyone to start their abortion conversations with people in their life. You will be surprised at what you learn and who you will be supporting!” -- Beki

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When that test is positive, it shows up so quick ...

“When that test is positive, it shows up so quick.

I was 17, a Senior in high school, and just took a pregnancy test during my 2nd block class. I was on the pill, but not taking it properly. The baby's father (2 years older) and I had a rocky relationship, plus he had a daughter already. Something tells me he knew I was pregnant before I did.

Anyway, I immediately called my mom and expressed interest in open adoption. Later that night, she did her best to not scream at me, but let me know that a baby, whether you keep it or not, will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. We began the process to find an abortion clinic and had the appt set for 2 weeks later (I was 6 weeks pregnant)

Those two weeks sent me through a blur of events. Leaving one guy, and rebounding to another (bad, year long) relationship. Losing friends, being talked about, and still going through minor pregnancy symptoms.

The abortion itself was a surreal experience. I was put to sleep, but I went to sleep crying, looking around the table for someone to just hold my hand. No one even looked at me.

That was 4 years ago, and even though it was sad, it was the best decision I ever made for myself. It gave me another opportunity to live my life the way I planned, to live my life without first considering another. I can't imagine being a mom at 21. I would've made my parents grandparents in their early 40's, be put on welfare, and put my whole family through a life change that none of us were prepared to handle.

I'm pro choice, not only because of my story, but because of the millions of girls out there who have a life plan that doesn't include a baby just yet. People say abortion is death, but I believe the opposite. Abortion is the gift of TWO lives through sorrow. Girls shouldn't be afraid to consider abortion, because it is THEIR choice. Your baby, your body, your life.” -- Johanna Bethany

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I got knocked up over spring break — as a 32-year old married graduate student ...

“I got knocked up over spring break— as a 32-year old married graduate student. Having children was never something that my husband and I considered to be an option. The decision to terminate the pregnancy was easy— anxiously waiting out the week until my Saturday appointment was hard. Clinicians who treated me with respect performed my safe, legal abortion. Every day since then, I am grateful that I had access to this care and that my birth control slip-up did not determine the path of my career or my life. No regrets.” -- Jess


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