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Nobody ever told me that it was okay, and that it was normal.

by Anonymous

May 5, 2017

I work in abortion care. I work at Planned Parenthood, and every day that I walk into work I do so wanting to ensure that women everywhere have the resources, knowledge, and ability to seek abortion should they need the option.

 

I had an abortion when I was 17. I had an abortion because I wasn’t using contraceptives effectively. I had an abortion because I was 17. I had an abortion because I wanted to go to college and I wanted to start a career. I had an abortion because I didn’t want to be a teen mom, and because I wasn’t ready to be a mom.

Every day, I walk into the building that I got my abortion in. I walk past the clinic doors, into the elevator, and up to my desk. I look across the street at the Mexican restaurant that other women go to post-abortion. Sometimes I eat lunch there. I talk with Planned Parenthood’s medical staff, have conference calls with them, eat lunch with them. Before SYA, I never told anyone about my abortion. Even though I live in Seattle, and at the age of 17 it was easy enough for me to navigate a system to procure an abortion- nobody ever told me that it was okay, and that it was normal.
My abortion was uncomfortable. I held the MA’s hand and then sat in a recovery room until they said I was fine to go. I went home, and the next week played out like the forms the clinic gave me said it would. I wore giant pads, had some cramping, and it was over. I felt extreme relief.

I went to college, started using the pill more responsibly (on time), and my life went on.

 

I’m a better mother now, I’m a more educated, more compassionate, more ready to deal with the challenges of the world than I was when I was 17. Not only did my abortion keep the doors of opportunity open to me-  it also gave me agency within my own healthcare decisions. Getting an abortion was the best thing I’ve ever done in regards to my mental health, long-term life plans, ability to parent, ability to foster healthy relationships, and live a life that I actively want to lead.

 

I will continue to show up to work every day, in this uncertain political climate, and do all that I can to ensure access to those that need it. But, I also want to ensure that people understand that having an abortion is okay. It isn’t something that is shameful- it is something that many people go through. Your life will go on, and it doesn’t have to be a pivotal moment of your life, unless you genuinely feel that it is.

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