Speaker's Age: 33
Story Told In: 2005
20

I grew up in Washington State in a county that, at the time, did not have an abortion provider. I had to travel to Seattle-- an hour and a half away-- to have a procedure done. Now there is a provider there that does help out thousands of women each year. It's still a conservative town, and there's a lot of controversy about them being there.

I had two surgical procedures and I don't regret either one of them. I had the first procedure when I was 19 years old. I already had one child-- my daughter was 8 months old. I had been using birth control and accidentally got pregnant. My choice to have the procedure was based on the fact that I had an 8-month-old already and wasn't ready to have another child at 19. I was in college and working full-time and just trying to support my daughter as a single parent. That was in 1991.

The second procedure that I had was in 1993. I was 21 years old. My husband and I had my oldest daughter who was from a previous relationship, and then my husband and I had one child together. We had just gotten married and it wasn't the right time for us to have another child. So we talked about it and went through the whole thing: Do we really want to do this? Do we really not want to do this?

He and I decided it would be best if we went ahead with the procedure. I asked to go to the same place I went before. This time I knew everything I needed to know. My husband was with me and held my hand during the whole thing. We made the decision together and it was a choice that I still wholeheartedly believe in but it was a hard thing for me... because we were there together and we were both really sad. The second one was much harder because I did have someone else's feelings to consider and he had to consider mine. My husband and I are still together and we actually have three children now. We had a child a year after that procedure. I got pregnant and had another baby, and we have three wonderful kids.

The second procedure for me was really... I kind of go: was that the right decision? What if that's the wrong decision? And then I look back and realize there is no right and wrong. We have 3 tremendously great children, we have a loving relationship, we made that decision together, this is what we chose to do together as a couple and this is what we needed at that time. A year later when we had our son, we couldn�t have asked for a happier time. That was something that was good for us-- we were financially set to have another child. That makes all the difference in the world for me.

They're not extravagant stories but they're mine.