Tiny Strings and A Bad Decision

by Mary V. Marsh

July 15, 2022

I became pregnant when my IUD had slipped out of place, I had not been checking the tiny strings. I was 22 and living in Seattle. I was with a steady boyfriend, and it was a good relationship, but I knew I was not ready to make a lifetime commitment to anyone. I had never had a desire to have a family. I still had a lot of adventuring to do. The procedure at Planned Parenthood was straightforward, compassionate, and affordable. I felt fortunate that it was so easy. I had a friend in High School in Oregon before Roe, who had to take a bus to Washington State to get an abortion. She cut school and went by herself, her boyfriend giving her a rose before she left. That felt sad.

Many years later, I was living in San Francisco, and made a very bad one-night-stand decision with a guy at a party. We used the pull-out method. After I met up with him a second time at Vesuvio’s (before I knew I was pregnant) it was clear that I never needed to see him again. On a student budget, going to art school, I was able to get an abortion through Medi-Cal. The worst part of the experience was all of the waiting and the paperwork at the dismal Social Services office on Otis Street. It was a relief to be able to get on with my life and not have to put goals and dreams aside. I never intended to have a family, and felt good about my decisions to have abortions, with no regrets, just gratitude for the health services I had.

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