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I live in Kansas City, Missouri and I am from St. Louis. Throughout the course of my life, I've had four abortions.

The first one was the hardest for me. I think it's because I was very young and still took into huge consideration what society thought about certain things, and not necessarily my core family values and what I, personally, had grown to believe. I had my first abortion when I was 17 years old. I was dating a guy who... we just didn't use any protection and I got pregnant. My family supported choice, and I was able to make a decision even though I did not tell my family about it... there was still stigma attached to it even though it didn't come from my family. I was not interested in talking about it at that time.

At age 17, I was living in Missouri, right next to Illinois. It was not easy in Missouri. You needed parental consent, so I went across state lines and had my procedure done in Illinois the same day-- it didn't take very long. I could have had my parents sign but there was still that stigma with me. I didn't want my mother to know.

I took the opportunity to talk with my sister, who was a lot more open than I was at the time. She would say things like "Can you imagine how many children I would have right now if I never had an abortion?!" She has four children right now, so that would be a lot.

When I first started college, I found out I was pregnant, which was about a year after my first abortion. I had an abortion procedure done in Columbia, Missouri... I was going to school there. At the time I was able to keep open about it, to tell my sister and have her support. That experience was not traumatic for me at all. I really felt that's what I needed to do and had a huge sigh of relief once it was done.

I did have the third abortion while I was still in college. However, the clinic was no longer able to do abortions because Missouri laws are very strict and they're always changing. At that time, it was nearly impossible to get an abortion done in Missouri, so I traveled to Overland Park, Kansas, where I did the medication method. It was an easy decision for me. It was really easy, really simple.

Then I had one other abortion procedure... I believe I was 23 years old. That one was a little bit harder for me, as far as: OK, I think I'm growing up. I have the finances to support a child. But then again, I just started growing up. That was hard for me-- deciding what I wanted to do, looking at aspects of my life and where I thought they would lead me. At the time, I felt that it was best to have the abortion procedure.

Three years later, I got pregnant, and now I have a son. He's doing great, he's cared for and loved. I'm very glad I waited. It's still harder than I thought it would be!