In 1997 my husband and I were going through a lengthy custody battle for his daughter from a previous relationship. We were spending time in court, buying our first home, and I was working at a job for a supervisor that no doubt is the head of a tea-party organization today.
I had just started receiving the depo-prevera shot, but I had lapsed for about a month due to a severe bout of the flue and strep-throat that left me bed-ridden for over two weeks. I knew the minute I conceived.
Although my husband said he would support my decision either way, I knew deep down it wasn’t his first choice to have another child. I was 36 at the time, raising his daughter and dealing with the stresses of life. I had never wanted children and this feeling did not change even after finding myself pregnant. My husband called the clinic and took care of everything that needed to be done to terminate the pregnancy.
Probably the hardest part was telling my supervisor because I needed the time off, who first tried to talk me into having the child, then whispered behind my back to key clients about what I had done. I must have been naïve about how I was judged; for god’s sake this is California and it was my legal right to have an abortion. I never felt there should be shame in my decision to terminate a pregnancy, and assumed that another woman would understand and be supportive. I was wrong.
My husband took me to the clinic, and there was the same group of protestors who had been there on a daily basis. The same people my husband and I took pleasure in throwing water balloons as we slowly drove by (and continued to do after I had my abortion).
To this day, I am still angered by the public shaming that still goes on about abortion. This was my decision, and even though I knew having a child was not an option for me, it was still a hard and emotional decision to make. I had always been so careful not to put myself in the position to make that choice, and yet I found myself having to do just that.
To be treated like I had no feelings about my decision is just another form of objectification; a heartless cold bitch, who only cares about herself and not her “unborn child”. I had my tubes tied 2 months after my abortion so I would never be put in the position to make that decision again, although I would make the same decision again.
Needless to say I left my position at work soon after my abortion and started my own business. My husband and I eventually split up, and my daughter is now 25, living in Los Angeles with a wonderful woman. We are extremely close, and if the subject ever came up about my abortion, I would have no problem discussing it. But being gay, it isn’t a subject that weighs on her mind.
I continue to tell people about my abortion if the subject comes up. It’s interesting to see the looks upon their faces as I tell my story, but I talk about it because I refuse to allow others define who I am and the decisions I have made in my life. No one defines me except me.
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