When I graduated from college...

“When I graduated from college, I was in a tailspin. I had a dead-end job and no real idea what I wanted to do. My mother became very ill and nearly died. I had a long-term boyfriend and a side piece, who was an emotionally abusive mess. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't know whose it was, but suspected it was the side piece. He wanted me to keep it, but I knew what he really wanted was a way to make sure that we stayed together. A child would give him some control over me and my life. My boyfriend was different, comfortable with the decision, though I never let him know that it might not be his. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family, I knew I never wanted children, but I kept this story a secret from my family and close friends. Because I had an abortion, I was able to go to graduate school, get a doctorate and have a successful life. That would never have happened otherwise.” —Mary

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