My abortion was the first empowering choice that I had made for myself in a very long time.

by Miki

November 28, 2018

It’s been 14 years since my abortion. I was 27 years old, and it was a difficult time, to say the least. I’d spent the last year taking care of my mother as she battled cancer, and she died in my arms six days before I found out I was pregnant. I was doing drugs regularly, and the person who’d gotten me pregnant was my dealer. In the year leading up to my abortion, I’d spent my days taking care of my mother, taking her to the hospital for chemo, to all sorts of doctors’ appointments, everything else that goes along with being a caretaker. I spent my nights bartending and trying to hide my habit.

I called my doctor the day after I found out I was pregnant. e very sweet nurse congratulated me, not knowing about the dread and panic I was feeling. My doctor referred me to my local abortion clinic and I had the procedure.

I honestly never really thought about my abortion much afterward because I knew that it was the best decision, but it did affect me. It was not an easy road. Ultimately the loss of my mother, along with my abortion, made me aware of my actions on a day-to-day basis in a way I hadn’t been before. I can honestly say that without those two occurrences I don’t think I’d be alive today. e path I was on was one of drugs and destruction. Instead, I chose to get healthy, and today I own two businesses in Seattle and am drug-free.

My abortion was the first empowering choice that I had made for myself in a very long time. I was drowning. I believe that my abortion was a major catalyst for me to get my life together.

I felt no remorse or guilt and had no second thoughts. I was lucky to be able to schedule my abortion easily and lucky that the majority of the cost was covered because I didn’t make a lot of money. I was lucky that my father and sister picked me up and showed me nothing but love and support. The clinic and the staff were wonderful and the protesters outside were minimal. Many women are not as lucky. Our basic human reproductive rights are under attack, which is why I feel that it’s necessary for us to be vocal and loud. We have all bene ted from the work of previous generations of women, and I know the next generation will be able to say the same about ours.

In 2015, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw my buddy Amelia’s #ShoutYourAbortion post. I was proud of her for posting something so private in order to help other women realize they were not alone, and I decided to write a post of my own. By the next morning #ShoutYourAbortion had gone viral. My story had hundreds of shares, and many other women had joined by adding their own stories and supporting the movement.

Soon afterward, a friend of mine came up to me at my bar and thanked me. She told me about her own abortion, telling me that she’d never spoken about it with anyone except the father. I realized at that moment that my shouting had helped her reach her own point of catharsis. In talking about this stuff, I’ve done a lot of healing—around my abortion and that entire period of my life.

photo by Elizabeth Rudge

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