Three abortions. Zero regrets. Shouting!

by Lyn

July 15, 2022

Content Warning: rape

Stolen shot (apologies) that perfectly captures my sentiments.

I was a very very good girl who became a mess and then found her way out. In the messy years, I had three abortions before the age of 20. I don’t regret anything, I only feel gratitude that I first became pregnant a few months after Roe.

I knew before I was ten that I didn’t want children. When I was 12, life took a bad turn. By 13, I was pretty heavily into drugs and by 15, hooked up with a crazy man. He was my first serious boyfriend; insisted that pulling out was safe. I didn’t think so but his jealousy and violence — sure that my being on the pill meant I’d turn full on slut — ensured I went along with it.

That first pregnancy at 17 saved me. It woke me up. What would my life be like with that man? A horror for sure. His rage over my “killing his baby” was finally enough for him to end things (my efforts to get away had failed repeatedly). I was free at last.

My addiction, though. It was raging. At 18, I left that tiny town, abandoned drugs for drinking every day, thinking I’d accomplished something. In my first blackout beginning New Year’s Eve of 1975, I became pregnant. There are flashes of memory, two bars, two men, but I really I came to awareness driving on the expressway January 3, 1976 not knowing, of course, that I was pregnant. Not even able to recall having sex. Ugly, I know.

And then a phone call from one of the men I had a flash of, the DJ in a club I frequented. Apparently I had a new beau. He filled in some blanks for me without knowing I remembered virtually nothing. We dated. The pregnancy became known. No way I was going to have a child. We fought, broke up over it. I scheduled the procedure.

A month later he turned up at my apartment, forced his way in, raped me. Pregnant again.

And here endeth this sad tale because being able to terminate my pregnancies was the greatest gift of this lifetime.  I was a raving drug addict with #1, a true alcoholic with #2 and #3. And EVEN IF NOT, I never wanted children.

At the age of 65 now, I think about how different my life would have been with a child or two or three. I think of the damage those children might have experienced with me as their mother in the years of addiction, and with me as a mother who never wanted children.

I have two sisters. One never wanted kids but grew up in an era when women just did that because it was expected. Her kids are messes even into their 50s. The other wanted nothing more than to be a mother and her two are thriving.

I know being wanted isn’t a guarantee of a child’s happiness or success, but after I got sober at 25, I went back to school and got a degree in social work. I worked in child abuse investigations for 20 years, and I can’t count the number of children I saw who had been targeted, scapegoated, tortured, and vilified because they were unwanted.

What does that bring to society as a whole? Hurt people too often hurt people. Prisons are full of people who have not experienced love in their lives. The most basic gift we can give children is to be wanted and loved. Every child should have that starting out.

My life has become a joy. After getting sober, I ultimately got happy. I found a beautiful relationship with a wonderful man. I have never regretted not having children. I have never regretted terminating those pregnancies. I have always been profoundly grateful for having access to affordable and safe abortion.

I remember the days before Roe, when friends in junior high were doing crazy things like jumping off of roofs, drinking iodine, punching themselves in the stomach, and even one who died, literally, from attempting to induce abortion with a coat hanger.

Other girls were flown off to England or Mexico, because their families had funds.

While I am enormously thankful not to have a working reproductive system, I remember the agonies of waiting for that monthly period, even while on the pill. What if it didn’t work? I seemed to be as fertile as a rabbit. I lived in terror of yet another pregnancy. I don’t wish that on any young woman.

My rage over what the supreme court appears likely to do is simmering. I do not believe women will take this massive step backward quietly. Allowing this outrageous intrusion into our bodies will not stand.

It will not be tolerated. I will learn to do abortions myself and revive the Chicago Janes in Georgia. No. We will not go back. Hell no.

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