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Wed Jul 11, 2018, 12:16 PM

Daring to Remember: Relief, Not Regret (NEVER AGAIN!!!)



Daring to Remember: Relief, Not Regret

This post is part of Daring to Remember, an ongoing series of stories about life in the years before Roe v. Wade and in the face of contemporary attacks on the right to abortion. In these uncertain times, we are fighting for Roe and safe, legal abortion access with our own testimonies about life without choice. We are daring to remember what a nation without safe, legal abortion access looks like. Submit a story here.

“I stopped to think if I should share my story. I have never had the courage to share my abortion story. So here it goes: I was in an abusive marriage with two children already. I remember getting dropped off, walking in alone. My heart racing, my mind numb, my body tired. Scared I would have to explain that this baby came from rape or that I just simply couldn’t do it. Scared I would have to explain my life, my situation, my fears. I had all my answers ready for them. Yes, I love my kids. Yes, I love my body. No, I didn’t use protection, because I couldn’t, and so forth. I went in—and they didn’t ask, they didn’t judge, they just asked if I was okay and if I needed them. It was a quick procedure, and as I got picked up, I got into the car and he said you smell like death. I don’t know if it was the courage of what I’d done, but it was the beginning of my leaving my situation. This is not a dramatic story. It is one for those who are in a fucked-up marriage and want to have a choice. It’s not an easy one, but we have a choice—and that is what I’m afraid of, that we get that taken away from us.” — Tamara, New Jersey

“I became sexually active in 1969. Even though I lived in New Jersey and knew I could go to New York for an abortion if necessary, heath issues and very low income meant I’d have to ask my father for money for any abortion—and he would humiliate me, even if he did give me the money. Because I only got my period every four months or so, and found it difficult to use the pill because of yeast infections, I was frequently in a state of panic about possibly being pregnant. About the time abortion was legalized, I solved my financial issues—but I’ve never forgotten the repeated panics of those years. I have continued as an outspoken pro-choice activist, including for 30 years in a national organization where the small anti-choice minority is constantly lobbying for an end to the group’s pro-choice position.” — Carol, New Jersey

“In 1971, I was a college freshman at The Ohio State University in Columbus. I went to Planned Parenthood to get a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant. The second I found out, I knew what I was going to do: I asked PP how I could get an abortion. In Ohio at that time, you needed two psychiatrists to claim you would harm yourself if you didn’t get an abortion. They referred me to a clinic in New York City, where abortion had just been made legal. I called made an appointment and then had to figure out how to get there and how to pay for it. My boyfriend was also a student and we literally had no money; I didn’t want to tell my parents so asking for money from them was out of the question. The abortion was $150 and we would need gas—New York is 500 miles from Columbus. I borrowed $100 from a friend and he did the same. We figured $200 would get us there and back. We had not one penny more. We drove to New York City, I had the abortion, signed out AMA and we drove back the same day. Abortion wasn’t just a choice for me, it was the only choice. I didn’t consider any other option. On the ride home, I remember feeling relieved and grateful I could get this done safely and legally. 47 years later I still feel the same way. No regrets or guilt. Women have made amazing strides educationally, financially and socially, since 1971. However, none of it matters if we cannot control our reproductive lives as we see fit. Fight for abortion rights as if your life depends on it—because it does.” — Pam Mason, New Jersey

A pro-choice activist at a demonstration for the legalization of abortion in the Netherlands in 1981. ( Nationaal Archief / Wikimedia)

“Twelve years old… victim of incest… in the eighties… when no one would listen… child would have been my half sister… couldn’t carry to term… still can’t 30 years later… would have killed me and or child… had to deal with the pictures of fetuses in people’s signs… had to deal with people screaming at me to not do that to my baby…” — Little Girl, Wisconsin

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