"I was 22, working as a secretary and living at home with my mom. My boyfriend and I had been dating two years. He was in college also living at home with his mom. It was back in the early 70s, and we were using the rhythm method, which we thought would work, since each month I felt when I ovulated, which typically was on the 16th to 18th day of my cycle because my cycles were always around 35 days or more.
We had unprotected sex on the 10th day of my cycle, thinking it was safe. The next night - day 11 of my cycle - I felt ovulation. I KNEW an egg had been released. I had health insurance, but in those days pregnancy and delivery were only covered if you were married a full 9 months. In addition, my employer required pregnant women to take a leave of absence the 6th month of pregnancy and not return until 2 months after birth. That was a lot of salary to miss.
We debated whether to immediately marry, but came to the conclusion neither of us had money nor means to support a child. His mother was widowed, as was my mother. My dad had died in a plane crash two years earlier, leaving my mom with 4 kids younger than me to raise by herself, and she relied on my monetary contribution to the household. She hadn't had a job the entire time of her marriage. After my dad was killed, she spent a year in secretarial training and just started working to support her remaining underage kids. I had next to nothing in savings, and neither did my boyfriend, as we were pretty young.
I couldn't accept the idea of gestating and handing a baby to someone else. I decided to abort rather than create a child. My boyfriend found the contacts for me, and after a counseling session with a Planned Parenthood representative, I flew to New York City where abortion was legal at that time. (The Supreme Court was deciding Roe at the time.)
In New York, I was picked up at the airport, transported past radicals waving signs, and safely had an abortion after pregnancy testing and individual personal counseling. After the procedure, the women who flew in were accompanied back to the airport and to the appropriate gate for their return home with clear instructions as to what to do/not do for aftercare, and how to follow up with our own gyn. I had no complications, but I had COMPLETE relief that I was no longer pregnant. Yes, there were times I went to that 'what if' stage... but I always knew my decision was best given my circumstances.
As a result of my choice, I retained my job, and a few years later met the man I married and remain married to 40 years later. Had I taken a 5 month leave of absence from my position, I would have been reassigned to one of the various locations we had in a different part of the city and never crossed paths with my husband. 40 years later, we have 3 adult children who have been the light of our lives and have contributed to society in many ways I won't list here.
Sometimes I think one goes through the challenge and decision of abortion for the reason there is a different path in life fate has set up for you. My decision to abort turned my life into a very happy path. Only God knows what was in my heart and what my challenges were, so the anti-choice people have no affect on my feelings toward my decision. And my only regret is having been in that unfortunate position, NOT in my decision to abort." —Sherry