I’m a “Senior Citizen”, and I had an abortion 40+ years ago

by Nel

September 30, 2018

I was 16 when I had an abortion. It’s how my summer began. It came after a tumultuous 2 years of confusing teenage drama that included my mom having cancer. We both survived and I just spent a couple of weeks with her – now in her 80s with me in my 60s. It was the best few weeks with my mom that i’ve ever had.


My parents knew about my abortion. They took me to the clinic for the procedure. None of us have ever regretted that decision.

I was able to finish high school and go to college. I met my future husband at college. I would never have met him had I not had the abortion.

My husband and I wanted 8 children. We had 4 pregnancies, with three viable babies who made it to that last trimester. One didn’t. The spontaneous abortion was far more difficult than the abortion I chose to have years earlier. The difference was about having choices. One abortion was chosen. The other occurred despite my wanting to have a baby.

Wanting a baby – choosing to be pregnant and being able to carry a baby to a viable status – those are miracles. My last two pregnancies ended prematurely. The babies were viable, but their early arrivals were difficult for them.

I know those feelings of being a mother, of wanting to be a mother, and the grace of that miracle when it is able to occur.

But I also know what it is to find out that one is pregnant, and to have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be pregnant or to be a mother.

I have never forgotten that I had a choice to not be pregnant. I have also never forgotten what it was like to have no choice when the fetus was unsustainable. The procedures seemed much the same to me, but the emotions felt were entirely different.

Women should always have a choice to be, or not be, pregnant. While we cannot control every biological factor that leads to and sustains a pregnancy, we should most certainly have the legal authority to determine what is or is not right for our own selves.

I aborted an unwanted pregnancy. It literally meant no more to me than if I’d gone in to have a mole removed. I had to undergo a similar medical procedure after a wanted baby didn’t survive. That was emotionally painful. The difference was choice.

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