Browse stories

I was married and had one child when my husband and I decided he should have a vasectomy. Our marriage was difficult due to the fact that he had an alcohol problem, as well as DWI arrests and consequences that he kept avoiding. Our first child was born with a Congenital Heart Defect and we were told any subsequent child we had together would potentially also have a defect as well. Between my husband not being able to hold a job, the fact that I was the sole breadwinner, the stress that our son's disease put me under, as well as my husband's arrest warrants, jail and legal problems, I couldn't fathom getting pregnant again. Four days before he had the vasectomy, ironically, I did.

I knew early - the fatigue overtook me. I also knew that my marriage was becoming intolerable, and only would become moreso if we had a second child. The concept of having a second child with a heart defect overwhelmed me. Picturing myself trying to care for two children with an alcoholic husband even if the baby was born without a defect was fairly overwhelming, as well. After some soul searching and deep thought, I opted to have an abortion.

I was so grateful for the clinic, and how kind they were. I was so grateful that RU486 was legal because the abortion itself, while emotional, was dignified and safe. I am grateful that today, nearly eight years after I made the decision, I can look at my child, and how well he's doing, and know I made the right decision for both of us. I eventually left the husband, something that would have been infinitely more difficult with two children. I found a wonderful man that adores me and my son, and we have a wonderful family life. My ex-husband has not seen his son in years, having abandoned him completely.

While I do occasionally think of the potential child and wonder what might have been - and both my religious and moral viewpoints see what I chose not to continue with as a "potential" child - I am still comfortable with my decision 100%. I know that my beautiful son needs all of me, and having made the decision I did, I can give it without reserve.

Not only do I have absolutely no regrets, I am incredibly grateful that the option was there. I don't know what would have happened to all of us if it had not been.