Married mother of two who had an abortion

by Sam C

November 16, 2018

I had my first child when I was 19. I had moved out on my own for the first time and was struggling to make ends meet in a little apartment outside Cleveland Ohio. One month, I couldn’t afford the $30 pack of birth control pills I was getting from planned parenthood, and accidentally became pregnant. Fresh out of high school, I had lots of very pro-life catholic friends and I was less educated about the realities of abortion. So I was conflicted. It didn’t help that the biological father immediately told everyone we knew.


I ended up leaving him and moving to NC to be closer to family and raise my daughter while attempting to juggle college and work. When she was about 5 months old, I met my now husband. We fell in love and he gladly took on the role of daddy over time. Once we were established, a few years later we had a son- this time I was trying to get pregnant!


We had an amazing homebirth. My husband caught the baby as I gave birth to him. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of our marriage.


I breastfed for about 14 months. This suppressed ovulation, menstruation, and my need for birth control. As we were weaning, I started ovulating but did not rush to get back on the pill thinking it wouldn’t be that easy to get pregnant during that time.


Suddenly I was having early pregnancy symptoms again. I realized I had one or two menstrual cycles but it had been a few weeks too long since the last one. I took a test one morning at home after my husband left for work.

I was stunned. I called him at work and told him. I already knew there was no way we would continue the pregnancy. I am a prochoice, secular feminist with a passion for science and biology. I understood this was a collection of cells that at this point represented only the potential of growing into a human. It was not yet a living baby with personhood.


Because I lived in NC, there were waiting periods and ultrasound requirements when I went through the process with the local Planned Parenthood. There were protestors outside but luckily I arrived earlier than they did and didn’t have to deal with their lack of compassion for the women in the situation.


The staff was wonderful. They treated me with dignity and respect. During the ultrasound, the doctor asked if I would like to hear the heartbeat and I declined. She didn’t question or pressure me. The procedure wasn’t fun or easy but didn’t feel traumatic to me in any way. I felt some tinges of sadness afterwards which is probably normal. I still knew deep down that it was the right choice.


I know I was supposed to feel guilty. Nobody in our family knows we terminated a pregnancy. The reality is we have two kids and having a third would not only drain us financially, but emotionally and energetically as well. Having access to safe abortion meant we had more to offer our two, living, breathing actual children. Not to mention the physical toll on my body of two back to back pregnancy, births, and breastfeeding.


Since then I’ve gotten an IUD. If we change our mind about wanting more, I can always adopt or try for another baby. I am happy I had access to options and could exercise my right to choose. I am proud that I was able to prioritize my family and what’s best for us over the societal guilt pushed on us for rejecting the role of woman as a baby factory.


Thanks for reading my story.

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