Gratitude and relief

by M

January 27, 2023

“I was a few weeks into a graduate program, which began the same day that my partner and I closed on our first home together. We had been walking past a freshly painted room in our home whispering sweetly about how this could be the room that our future baby occupies one day. I was just shy of 30 years old, and we had agreed in previous conversations that if our birth control were to fail, we would likely go through with the pregnancy.

I felt that I was pregnant before a test could confirm it, but as soon as both lines appeared, I knew instantly that I wanted an abortion and I wanted one as quickly as possible. Although there were fleeting moments of considering a different choice, knowing that I could have a baby did not mean that I wanted to or had to now. The meaning of the name ‘Planned Parenthood’ suddenly made more sense to me – I was lucky enough to choose when to grow my family, and that time was not right now.

I called the people in my life who I knew would be supportive of my decision to have an abortion. I requested that they text me hopeful and funny memes as often as possible, and their daily messages comforted me during a time of intense isolation.

I made an appointment for a surgical abortion and had to travel outside of the comfort of my liberal community to get the appointment within a few weeks. When pulling up to the clinic, we circled around to find parking as we had never been there before. I mentioned on the way that there might be protestors in front, and I felt emotionally prepared for that reality. But when we drove around the building and saw people outside with signs, my heart broke and I burst into tears. Just as I could not have anticipated how I would feel when I became pregnant, the overwhelm of despair hit me unexpectedly. That was until we parked the car and realized that the signs outside of the clinic were held by volunteers to support people entering the building. A volunteer escorted me into the clinic, and I thanked all of the smiling volunteers for their support, which still moves me to tears today.

I am constantly grateful for my abortion. I was back to school and life the next day, with a renewed fire inside of me to reach for my life goals. I felt like I was given a second chance in life. Three years later, I still look back on my decision and feel a wave of relief. Often, I will exclaim loudly and gleefully to my partner, ‘I’m so grateful for abortions!’”

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!