My Abortion Changed The Trajectory of My Life

by Callista

January 16, 2020

Summer of 2000 I had an abortion. I was 20 and it wasn’t a hard decision:  I had grown up knowing I didn’t want kids and had been responsible about birth control. I  felt a little awkward telling my then-boyfriend as he was from the South and I was from Seattle, so I didn’t know how he’d respond when I told him I was getting an abortion and that he needed to take me. I realized belatedly that I should’ve brought this up earlier, but sometimes we learn in hindsight.

We were in California at the time and it was thankfully easy schedule and have performed.

What I didn’t feel the full impact of at the time I feel now, 22 years later, as I sit and write this story to share. I’m 42, I own my own home in Seattle, I have a job I love with people I adore and I get to problem solve and build solutions all day. I’m financially independent and have raised, largely without the support of a coparent, a daughter who is now 17 and lighting off to realize her own dreams….and there is no shortage of them. She needs all the time she can get – the girl is ambitious and multifaceted.

When I consider a change in my life trajectory I see how everything could have been very different for me and the people around me. As a direct result of my abortion I was able to finish my four year stint in the Navy and then use up my GI Bill and Navy College Fund, which almost completely paid for my degree. Earning that degree was my way to become financially independent and have full freedom to make choices I actually desired, rather than ones forced by things like lack of money, time, or other factors. It was the sole reason I joined the military.

As a result of getting my bachelor’s with a double major I have since:

  • been financially able to leave a marriage that was not serving me or our daughter as soon as I realized I needed to
  • bought my own home
  • built a 15 year career

I’ve also been able to expose my daughter to a multitude of experiences and people:

  • I’ve been home with her daily after the divorce, thanks to a flexible work schedule that also coincided with school schedules
  • traveled with her to southeast Asia and Mexico
  • met and fostered relationships with a community of independent and adventurous women always accomplishing things and helping each other. I’d never have met these women myself if I hadn’t had the ability to finish school, have a decent paying job that allowed me weekends and time off. Some of these women have become like family to us and aunties to her, and have supported me in my single parenting challenges.
  • I was able to pay for my girl to chase her own outdoor adventure bug via the teenage Mountaineers club
  • furthered my own education and career over the years.

There’s more, but I feel like those are amazing things and I am so grateful to have these opportunities myself and to be able to provide them for my daughter.

Conversely, had I not been able to have an abortion I’d have been stuck raising a child with someone who wasn’t ready for a child, and been financially dependent on that person. This would have changed the trajectory of my life completely, and it’s pretty statistically unlikely I’d have been able to do similar things for that child as I have been able to do for my daughter.

I made a choice to have an abortion when I was 20 and I don’t regret it.

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