In my mid-20s, I terminated two pregnancies. That same year, I got pregnant twice, each time using different forms of birth control. At the time, I’d been living with a boyfriend since I was 18. He was a sweet, intelligent man who I loved dearly.
We were surviving on sporadic work, earning hardly above minimum wage. For that and many more reasons, I didn’t feel I could provide any child with a decent upbringing.
Abortions were expensive and weren’t covered by my job’s health insurance. Each procedure was a physical ordeal of pain and then high fevers. I had to take days off from work, which I could ill afford.
I had a kind lover to help me through. Never have I regretted my decisions.
Later, in my 30s, I was sexually assaulted. Good luck, if luck can apply to anything about rape, is the only reason I didn’t get pregnant.
When people seek control, they say others “need to be held accountable.”
Seeing the world as “them” versus “us” makes it easy to objectify one another. Not so long ago, United States medical officials conducted the infamous 40-year Tuskegee Study. They pretended to treat black people for syphilis when really, they were studying the full progression of the disease. To their reasoning, white lives mattered, and black lives didn’t. Sound familiar?
What if you’re very young and your family is the opposite of a Hallmark card? What if you’re not employed? Or your job doesn’t provide insurance and sick days? What if the rape was more than you could bear? And you don’t want the added burdens of facing the police, defending your reputation as well as your case, can’t afford a good lawyer, and don’t want to confront whoever assaulted you in court?
Or say you simply got pregnant at any age, and for whatever reason, just don’t want to go through a full pregnancy?
What if, what if, what if?…
It’s no one’s business why or how many times any woman has an abortion.
When statisticians tally how many people consider abortion acceptable, they sidestep the real issue. What matters is no government ought to be entitled to have say over women’s bodies.
No one should have a say over who is sterilized or who must bear children. End of story.
Is it still legal to get an abortion?
Now that Roe has been overturned, abortion bans are sweeping through the country. Planned Parenthood is cutting through misinformation. The organization offers a range of affordable health care to all genders, all ages, all over the world.
Interestingly, in 1970, Republican President Richard Nixon signed into law funding for family planning services, which included Planned Parenthood. According to Wikipedia, Nixon decreed…
“No American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.”
We are faced with an uphill battle to won back our rights. It seems like parts of the United States are emulating Poland.
“Poland is one of the few countries in the world to largely outlaw abortion after decades of permissive legislation during Polish People’s Republic. About 10-15% of Polish women seek abortion in neighboring countries due to the strict restraints in their own country. Poland’s abortion law is one of the most restrictive in Europe, along with a group of other traditionally Roman Catholic countries of the region.”
The end of Roe is daunting news, yes — which is why we absolutely mustn’t succumb to burnout. Now more than ever we must be active in whatever way we can, big or small. Please share this post and podcast on your social media, tell lawmakers and whoever you know where you stand. Contribute time and/or money to organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Contribute to justice winning. Stay informed and connected. Infidel753’s blog offers a growing wealth of information. A recent post included abortion resources, tips to avoid criminal charges for abortion pills, a link to Valerie Tarico’s post on fighting for abortion rights inspired by a discussion at Nan’s Notebook.
About the Author
Before de-Al became a novelist/blogger/podcaster, she was a reporter for cable TV, radio, and print, as well as a visual artist. Her journalism awards include an Emmy. Her childhood was spread out between U.S. coasts, parts of Spain, while she corresponded with her grandmother in Argentina. de-Al and her Iranian-American husband share a passion for world dance, cuisine, music, travel, literature, and animals. Find more about de-Al and her writing at HappinessBetweenTails.com
Supporting Reproductive Rights
This is a critical time in our fight to preserve access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. We believe that every action counts. Here are three things you can do.
- Fight stigmatization by sharing your story and/or supporting people who have shared their stories. Supportive comments and likes make a big difference to the people who have chosen to share their personal experiences.
- Reach out to your representatives on the federal, state, and local levels and tell them that you want them to pass legislation that protects reproductive rights including abortion access.
- Donate to organizations committed to protecting access to safe and legal abortions. This writer recommended Planned Parenthood for the work they are doing to ensure access.
5 thoughts on “Abortion: My Story”
Thank you for posting my story, Teresa, as well as your work for human rights and efforts to help writers.
Thank you de-Al for sharing your story. I hope we will collaborate on future projects. Hopefully in happier times where we share essays on how we pushed back against misogyny and won. 💙
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