Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and I’m proud to support it. Without its passage, my life would be very different, because about three years ago, I had an abortion. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I could not have a child at that time, and I thankfully had access to a relatively convenient and safe alternative. I found out early enough, so all I needed was a pill set prescription from Planned Parenthood, a day off from work, and a box of maxi pads. It was uncomfortable, but not heinous. I had no real connection with the man, and truly did not feel that sad. I was unsure about job security, had only been back in the country for a year, didn’t have a car and was still living in a tiny studio apartment. It wasn’t time for that clump of cells to grow into a little person. In fact, I felt a sense of relief as I thought “well, at least I know I can have kids when I want to one day”.
I don’t think my abortion should be a secret. Too many people judge comprehensive family planning because they mistakenly believe that it’s shameful, or that only poor people, or non-white people, or un-educated people get abortions. It’s for those who have “messed up”. I think we would all be less quick to judge if we were more open about these experiences. Terminating pregnancies wouldn’t be something that “those women” do, but something that women that you know do. I want to personalize it.
Eventually, it will be time for that little person to come into my life. I’ll have the support, the headspace and more importantly, the desire, to welcome him or her into my body. In the meantime, I am forever grateful to the campaigning women of the 60’s and 70’s who made my family planning possible. Thank you.