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The open book that is my life still holds a few secrets I’ve kept throughout the years. Some are just not that interesting, some are not wholly my secrets to share, and others I just haven’t been ready to share yet – like this one.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I am fiercely pro-choice – I believe women should have the unquestioned right to choose if and when they wish to have children. I am thankful everyday that I live in a country that DOES give me that right, and it physically hurts my insides to know that this (and gay marriage) is so hotly contested by so many people. I just don’t understand how someone can claim they know what is better for me than I do – how? How can you know my situation, my life, my circumstances? Do you have so much hate in your lives that you actually see forcing women to carry unwanted children to term is a viable option and just punishment for sex, regardless of how it came to pass? I don’t understand.

I can talk pretty about choice all I want, but it’s more than just talk: when I was 18, I had an abortion.

It’s a fairly typical story: I hadn’t received enough education about birth control (I had no idea how to go about getting on the pill), and while we were strict with our condom use, there were incidents. I was 18, living with my boyfriend of less than a year in the basement of his parent’s townhouse, and in absolutely no way physically, emotionally or financially capable of having a child. We made the decision to terminate the pregnancy, and I have never regretted it.

Funny story, I found out I was pregnant by going to the ER for what turned out to be my very first bladder infection. To this day, I am abnormally paranoid of UTIs which also feeds my fear of alcohol – one of the side effects of alcohol in my system mimics the feeling of a UTI. Hilarious!

The act of terminating the pregnancy was not difficult, but dealing with other people was. I didn’t handle the news well, to say the least – even then I knew I was not destined to have children. As well, my doctor had been my doctor since I was four years old and being an old, old man from a completely different era, held the “very disappointed” card over my head and insisted on telling my mother. My shrieks of terror managed to dodge that spectacularly hot mess, but he was not happy about having to schedule me for the procedure. Nothing like disapproving old man guilt to make an already frightened kid almost delirious with terror – I am barely exaggerating when I say my mother would have killed me if she knew I was pregnant. Renee can vouch for me; she knows how it would have gone down.

Having an abortion at 18 was the best possible thing I could have done, given the circumstances. I had no job, no education, no real home, and no idea what I was going to do if I was forced to have that baby. While I was in a loving relationship, love alone is not enough to raise a child. I didn’t get pregnant because I slept around, or was promiscuous, or made stupid decisions. We used birth control, and it failed. We did the responsible thing for ourselves, not for the cluster of cells forming in my womb.

I’ve never mentioned the abortion on my site before, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with the backlash (real or imagined). A tiny part of me has been ashamed about it for years, but when reading the horrible things that were being posted by pro-life lunatics, I realized something important: the tiny piece of shame I once held is no longer there, and this is such a big issue that I feel so strongly about that I want my voice to be heard.

Having an abortion does NOT make you a bad person, and I want every woman to have a choice beyond “choosing to not open your legs” or “choosing to wait until marriage”. Abortion is not “being lazy and using murder as the easy way out.” What kind of universe do we live in, where being forced to bring an unwanted life into this world is seen as a justified punishment for having sex? If children are as important as the pro-lifers think, wouldn’t they rather see those children cared for properly by people who love and want them instead of being stuck with it for life because of a mistake or a tragedy?

My name is Kimli, and I’ve had an abortion.

Thanks for reading.