Browse stories

When I was 16 my mother became pregnant with her fourth and last child. Three out of the four of us were concieved because of bad contraceptive advice or lack of knowledge about fertility. My last brother was conceived while my mother was breastfeeding my third brother-- she wasn't getting a period, she didn't think she could get pregnant....she admitted this to me, and it caused me to PAY ATTENTION in health class from there on in. I knew different types of birth control, where to get them, their relative costs etc... I paid attention and went on to have two planned children with my first husband.

I got divorced at 30 and after being monogomous for all of my 20's, started dating plenty of different men, always remembering what I had learned and finding men to be pretty receptive to a woman who brought her own condoms with her. When I was 33, I met a wonderful man and we settled into a committed relationship. We used condoms and from the start we had problems, I searched for better brands, better fit, 'back up' spermicides; I still strived to be very careful. Once, on a camping trip, the condom slipped off... we knew right away and replaced it, but at the ripe old age of 34 and 11 months, I got pregnant anyway.

My biggest fear was of the instruments I feared would be used. I am an avid supporter of homebirth and natural childbirth-- my own children born in my living room. I was terrified of OBGYNs and their steely metal instruments. I was, however, very certain an abortion was the right thing to do. Yes, I was involved with a loving man in a committed relationship; but were we ready to change everything? Get married and have a child together? NO, we were not.

Again, having already been a mother, not having to try too hard to get pregnant, coming from a family background of women who seemed to get pregnant by using the same bar of soap as their husbands, I was confident that WHEN I was ready to have a child, I could. At that time, I did not want to have a child.

My boyfriend was supportive, called agencies and made inquiries on my behalf. We finally found the best option was Planned Parenthood and a "chemical abortion," which I was not aware had been made legal in this country. I was able to have an abortion AND avoid steely metal instruments. I have not regretted my experience. I am in fact proud that I made a good choice for myself and my family. My boyfriend and I are getting married in a few weeks, I am 38 and he is 35. I'm still not certain that I'm ready to have another child, but maybe in another few years I will be.

I think "The Abortion Diaries" [movie] is a great venue to start being more open and honest about "the real dirt on abortion." I had friends and a supportive lover to talk to, but I wish I could be more open about it. Not knowing which side of the "fence" a person falls regarding this topic, I don't feel free to be as open about my positive experience as I am about home birth experiences.