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Adele Hampton for the 1 in 3 CampaignBring 1 in 3 to your campus! Download the 1 in 3 Toolkit!The 1 in 3 book, 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories available now!

As one who was always pro-choice, I always viewed abortion as a necessary evil. It was not something I would want to do, but would have to do if faced with a pregnancy I didn't want (at least that's how my line of thinking went when I was younger and not ready to be a mother). I remember accompanying my best friend in college to a clinic when she was pregnant, the result of a casual relationship and an oops moment. Being her only support through the ordeal, it made my resolve that much stronger that anyone should have the right to a safe and legal abortion. Cut to 17 years later, when I was married and wanting to start a family. My first pregnancy, a time of guarded optimism, was also a time of sadness, when my husband and I learned that the baby we were carrying had a chromosonal abnormality that was not readily compatible with a healthy life. We always said we would be in favor of releasing any baby from pain, but when the actual did happen to us, it took us for a loop. I hated to be the one to make the decision (as opposed to just having a miscarriage) but we knew, after speaking with our doctor and also a genetics counselor, and doing a lot of reading on the internet, that it was the choice we had to make, what others in our situation have called "a heartbreaking choice." In time, we did go on to have a healthy baby girl. However, the memories of what we went through will never leave us, and if we had to do it again, we would. Seeing abortion rights being challenged everywhere only makes me angry that women are being second-guessed and not treated with any respect for making responsible life decisions.

Anonymous

On January 27, I spoke at an event commemorating the 41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I spoke about the tragedy of losing our son, who was due to be born today, March 15, and why sharing stories is critical in our fight for reproductive rights. I’m posting this today in our son’s memory and in the hope that you will be brave and share your story, so that the people in your life can find greater understanding of what’s at stake when we talk about reproductive rights. … read more >

Lindsay

When I was 18, I was a freshman in college. I had been dating someone casually for over a year, who, was not interested in an exclusive, committed relationship with me. He used marijuana and LSD regularly, and was not especially motivated to pursue his future. He was enjoying life. … read more >

Tara

Constrained by a legal system and a bad lawyer, I got pregnant in 2002 accidentally with my current husband, prior to being officially divorced from my last one. In Texas, that meant that my ex could fight for custody of my yet to be born 5 week old fetus. … read more >

Karen

Anyone who knows me will not be too surprised to learn that I had an abortion -- I worked at the National Abortion Rights Action League for nine years and almost all of that time was as the Executive Director. I self-induced an abortion when I was in college. … read more >

Karen

Every so often I think about it. I've had 2 abortions: my first in 1994 when I was 14 years old & the second when I was 17 years old. … read more >

Annette

I had an abortion when I was 18, about 7 years ago. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew immediately that I was not ready to be a mother, and my ex-boyfriend was not ready to be a father. … read more >

Hesi

In 1970, at the age of 21, the most traumatic event of my life was learning that I was pregnant. I was living alone in Nashville to be close to a boyfriend whom I seldom saw. … read more >

Jeannie

18 years old, middle of my senior year, I found out that I was pregnant. My boyfriend and I had used a condom and it broke. I immediately went and took the plan B. Unfortunately, it failed. I had no job, no money, living with my sick grandma, and my military boyfriend was 4,000 miles away. … read more >

Anonymous

I thought the guy was nice at first, but to cut to the chase, after moving in for a few months with him he had become so increasingly jealous and possessive that I was at the point where I was pretty much a prisoner in my own home in a domestic violence situation. … read more >

S

I don't have unusual or circumstances that would 'excuse' an abortion. I was 20. I was in a stable relationship. (In fact we eventually married and had children together.) … read more >

Rhonda

I was 31 years old and I had just found out that my husband and father of my only child was a criminal and a fraud. When I saw the positive pregnancy test, my first reaction was fear. … read more >

Anonymous

I was 19 years old and my partner was 22. I was a week late on my period and my breasts were very swollen and sore, so I had my friend who works at a medical clinic bring home a test for me. I was almost positive before taking the test that I was pregnant so when the results came back positive I was not in as much shock. … read more >

Anonymous

I think my story is a fairly common story. I was 17 years old and thought I was invincible. I do readily admit that getting pregnant was mine and my partner's fault. I thought I was safe because I had "calculated" when I was ovulating. … read more >

Nicole

I'm one in three. I got married at 25 and had two planned children by the age of 31. At 33, I had a surprise pregnancy. We chose to abort because we knew that a third child would dilute the attention that our two kids needed and damage an already stressed marriage. … read more >

Lisa

Like many, I always said, "I support a Woman's Right to Choose, but I would NEVER have an abortion myself." Until I got pregnant in my early 20s. … read more >

Rebecca

I got pregnant my freshman year of college. I was the smart, religious kid, and I definitely knew better... Or so I thought. What I did know for sure was that there was no way I was going to keep a baby. … read more >

Anonymous

In high school I was in an abusive relationship. It didn't start out that way of course, things were great for a while. But a few months in the mental abuse started, then later it progressed to physical abuse. … read more >

Kelly

Thank you for giving me a place to tell this story. 25 years ago, when my oldest daughter was 8 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. I was slowly recovering from what had been a medically difficult pregnancy and dangerous postpartum depression. … read more >

Anonymous

I am 60 years old and have had 4 abortions. Each experience was different and for different reasons, which were deeply personal. Yes, it was sad and emotional but I'm happy I was able to have them. … read more >

Nancy

I was 21 years old, living in New York City on my own, and dating a guy named Nathan how was a few years older than I was. Nathan was a very sick alcoholic but I never had any exposure to alcoholism growing up so I honestly believed I could save him and help him get sober. … read more >

Lauren

The woman who held my hand while the procedure was happening was the first person to be nice to me since I'd found out I was pregnant. I wasn't supposed to be pregnant. … read more >

Anonymous

When I was in my mid-30s, I got pregnant unexpectedly. I was unmarried and wasn’t in a long-term relationship. I was working full-time but wasn’t earning a great deal of money. Basically, my life still felt pretty unsettled. And I wasn’t at all attracted to the idea of being a single mother. … read more >

Cathy

I had been married only a few months, but between my precarious mental health due to being a survivor of incest (I thought about suicide almost daily) and my husband's childhood of physical abuse our relationship was intermittently violent. … read more >

Anonymous

I had an abortion when I was 20 years old. I was in my sophomore year of college and my boyfriend had just broken up with me. This was a time of deep depression and a lot of turmoil in my life. I was in no state to be pregnant-let alone bring a child into the world. … read more >

Anonymous

I was 23 and in a new relationship with a man that I already thought I would marry, but we had been together only two months when we had a condom failure, and a few weeks later I took a positive pregnancy test. I called my mom right away, sobbing. … read more >

Harmony

I've been a single mother of two (no support) since 1997. In 2005, I finally made it to college working full-time days and schooling at night. … read more >

K

I was in an abusive marriage with one child already. I can never speak of this as married women are not supposed to get abortions. … read more >

Anonymous

I had one abortion when I was 21. I am now 68. I am a rape survivor. … read more >

Jane

I grew up in suburban Texas, where "sex education" consisted of little more than a Mean Girls-esque "if you have sex, you will get pregnant, and die". We were told in Health class that condoms "didn't work at all", so it's no great surprise that many of girls I went to school with became pregnant at a very young age. Myself included. … read more >

Chloe

i had one kid already, he was maybe 14 months old. i was living with my mother in law, and i refer to it as "when i lived in hell". she hated me, and i hated her right back. it was a horrible time to be pregnant. … read more >

Cheryl

I am a 25 year old British Pakistani Muslim living in the outskirts of London with my parent and 5 siblings. My mother and older sisters cover up, in the name of Hijab, for Islam. I used to and don't anymore. … read more >

Summer

Six weeks before my daughter's first birthday, I learned that I was again pregnant. She had been a surprise, that happened as I was preparing to leave my then boyfriend. We were packing the car to go work in Alaska for the summer, and I had already decided that this would be the last time, and that I would possibly leave him there with his brother. On the drive there, I got the positive test result that changed my life. … read more >

Anonymous

jessica

Jessica Valenti

When I was a junior in high school, my boyfriend, at the time, and I were having protected sex when the condom broke. When he first realized this I hadn't been hit with any emotions yet. … read more >

Katie

I have been pregnant a total of eight times. I have three children at home, ages 17, 15 and 6. I am raising them in a loving, supportive and financially stable home. Now. I had my first abortion when I was 15. … read more >

Anonymous

I was 24 and just starting my first serious relationship. My boyfriend was the best thing that had ever happened to me in my personal life. I was shy and seemed to come off as angry or upset when in fact I was just nervous of social interaction. He saw through my apparent front and won me over with the attention that I was craving. It wasn't long before the relationship turned sexual. I, never having such a consistent partner, had never been on birth control and relied on condoms. … read more >

Staci

Conversations about abortion were always something that I avoided. I didn't want to have the conversation. People can be harsh and hateful when it came to talking about it. I finally got to the point where I could talk openly about it after having an abortion myself. … read more >

Anonymous

I got pregnant at twenty seven. I was in a stereotypical affair with my married best friend, and after years of being as careful as we could be with my inconvenient allergic reactions to almost every form of medication I'd been prescribed for birth control, we opted to simply use condoms and the rhythm method as described by the mayo clinic. It worked for several years, but one not so special night, a condom broke and even though we replaced it before proceeding, the damage had been done. … read more >

Anonymous

I had just mustered up the strength to leave a really bad relationship via restraining order and found out I was pregnant. I had been with my ex for six years, but it wasn't until after we got married that he became verbally and physically abusive. I hid my struggles from everyone I knew and managed to work multiple jobs and take classes for a master's degree, but inside I was a mess. … read more >

Anonymous

I was a teenager when I met my first boyfriend. He was new in town, and was hoping on a fresh start from moving between family members since a child. I was unaware at the time, but he didn't have any role models nor parents. Addictions were found at every home he lived in, and it was almost bound to happen to him as well. But before it did, I fell deeply in love with him. Every morning before school, I'd go over to his house to wake him up, and every night he'd safely take me home. We experienced so many firsts together! He was there with me through it all. A year with him had quickly flown by. We had gotten each other promise rings to be married. I really loved him dearly! … read more >

Anonymous

After 5 years of taking birth control pills, I had an IUD inserted when I was about 25 years old. I was very pleased with this choice and had no issues with it until I became pregnant a year later. At a Planned Parenthood clinic where I went to terminate the unwanted pregnancy, I was told that 3 women in 100 get pregnant with the IUD in place. This was in 1975. At the time I was living with my boyfriend (who is now my husband of 34 years) and we were both career driven not ready to add a child to the mix. It was an emotionally difficult decision, but I was glad we made the right choice. After we married 4 years later, we were blessed with two healthy, wonderful children. Having a family when we chose to made all the difference in our future lives, and to this day I am grateful there was a Planned Parenthood clinic to help us through a difficult decision.

Elizabeth

I was 17 in the autumn of 1993. I lived in the quintessential “Small Town USA,” and even though my parents knew I was (or had been) sexually active, they were very much against oral contraceptives. I had been dating my boyfriend for several months and, even though we used condoms every time we had sex, I got pregnant. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would have an abortion – I was a Freshman in college, unemployed, still living with my parents, and knew that my entire family would be publicly shamed if I were to be pregnant and unmarried. I knew I didn’t want a baby then, maybe even ever, and certainly not under the current circumstances. … read more >

Anonymous

I grew up in a home with a violent, alcoholic father who began to molest me when I was three and frequently, violently raped my mother within my hearing. Over the years, I was raped by a male babysitter and endured various degrees of sexual assault from a variety of other men because I never learned to protect myself. In some ways I was lucky. I didn't become an addict or a street kid. But I didn't know how to value myself and I didn't know how to read men. … read more >

Susan

I entered Planned Parenthood. Was patted down by the security guard. Admitted to the waiting room. Called into the clinic. Put on a flimsy pastel hospital smock. Treated by very professional and compassionate female-bodied doctors. Blood work done. Cold lubed up ultrasound. Asked if I was sure this was the right choice for me. … read more >

Emma

I thought I got pregnant with my boyfriend, and we agreed that neither of us could take care of a child. He was about to go to prison anyway. As selfish as it seemed, I decided to get an abortion because I could not handle giving away my first-born child at 19. … read more >

Anonymous

The summer of my 17th birthday, I became pregnant. My best friend and first feminist sister, Katie, sifted through the ads in the back of the “Rolling Stone” and quickly found an abortion clinic in New York City that would do an abortion on an out-of-state 17 year old with no parental involvement. It was October 1972, just a few months away from the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. … read more >

Karon

Not long after I was divorced, a friend introduced me to a man, also recently divorced, and we became lovers. I was very vulnerable at the time. I got pregnant by him because we had unprotected sex. … read more >

Anonymous

I was barely 18, and toward the end of completing military training cycle at Fort Sam Houston, TX when I found out I was pregnant. Training can affect a woman's menstrual cycle so I thought nothing of it when I missed my period. Plus, I was using protection when sexually active, which left me no reason to suspect pregnancy. … read more >

Shelby

I was 20 when I ended my first pregnancy, my partner 19. We had been together almost three years and were very much in love. Since nothing had happened in the previous years, I guess I assumed it would be ok to have unprotected sex. I always thought it would never happen to me, I thought I had a hormone imbalance and wouldn't be physically able to fall pregnant. … read more >

Caris

When I was 18 I went through a bit of a rough patch, and did not have access to my birth control. I ended up becoming pregnant for the first time. As soon as I told my older then-boyfriend, he skipped town and I never saw him again. However, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to continue the pregnancy. The pregnancy that followed was one of the worst experiences of my life. Also, my body was ruined in ways that I didn’t even know was possible. I thought about suicide. I was still living with my parents, but they could not physically or financially take care of a baby. I also wanted to go to college, and wished that my child have a full family with both parents, and maybe even a sibling or two. Eventually, I gave birth through c-section to a (thankfully healthy) baby girl, whom I gave to a loving and well-off family in an open adoption. We still keep in touch, and my daughter knows who I am. But after that experience I decided, if I ever got pregnant again before I was ready for a child, that I would get an abortion. I did not think I would ever want children, but my doctor still refused to even give me an intrauterine device due to my age. I had my first, and so far only, abortion when I was 27. (I am now 30.) I had just moved to a new city and could not get to the doctor in time to procure my annual birth control prescription, and so was only a couple of days late taking it. However, my live-in boyfriend at the time “forgot” to use protection, and surprisingly, I became pregnant. I decided to get an abortion, and he did not protest. I did not have much money, so I went to Planned Parenthood for the procedure. Luckily I had discovered my pregnancy fairly quickly. Sitting in the very full waiting room for hours before the procedure, some of the women got to talking. One was a mother of four who could not afford, nor wanted, another child. Another woman was there for her young teenage daughter. We waited and waited, not knowing what to expect. Before the procedure, I was taken into a room and told to take off my clothes, and someone I assume was a nurse performed an internal sonogram. Having the surgical abortion was the single most painful experience of my life (and I’ve had abdominal surgery). I was awake, bawling and in severe pain the entire time, while trying to remain still, with my legs wide open. Hopefully I will never need an abortion again, but if I do, I will approach it differently. After the procedure they sent me, along with others, into a room for a few minutes to try to recover. It took a long time for the abdominal pain to subside. In the days immediately following the procedure, I did think about what may have been, and whether there was any difference between embryos and other non-conscious masses of cells. I do not believe there is. But safe and legal abortions are important for keeping actual living babies out of garbage cans. I was just glad to have discovered the pregnancy before it was too late. I know that having the abortion was the right choice for me, and I’m so glad that I did have the option to make my own decision. It was the best decision for me, and for my unsupportive and irresponsible ex. Also, the world is already overpopulated. People are terrible for the environment, and I believe that every child should have a loving home with a family that really wants a baby. I would not want to put any further strain on America’s already underfunded social programs. There are already so many children out there in need of good homes. In the past few years since the abortion, I have earned my master’s degree, and found a wonderful man whom I intend to marry. We may decide to have a child in a few years, since he would love to be a father. If we do eventually have a kid, I intend to pursue more permanent birth control options afterward. Family planning is of the utmost importance for women to be able to have power over their own lives. Controlling births is the responsible thing to do.

Anonymous

I am a 37-year-old divorced mother of two young girls. I live in Ireland, where abortion is illegal. Several years ago I got pregnant unexpectedly by an emotionally abusive and manipulative boyfriend. I was afraid that if I had his baby, he would feel he owned me and I would never be free of him. I felt that a secret abortion was the only way to avoid his anger and escape the relationship. … read more >

Alissa

It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I was 17-years-old at the time. A year prior my mother died of cancer, my father lost his job for taking 1 week to grieve and at 17 I was motherless, my father had moved to New Mexico to live with his mother and find work, and I had to take care of myself. I was in love. My partner and his family were my family. I was taken care of. Then it happened. It was 1 month before we would have to go our separate ways to two different colleges in two different states. It was the classic teenage love story. We were scared that I might have gotten pregnant because the condom we were using fell out during sex. Literally just fell off. So, we went down to planned parenthood to ask some questions and get advice. I peed in a cup. We sat in the room and waited, joking about the possibility of being pregnant. The doctor came in and handed me three pamphlets and said with a somber tone "the test came back positive. You're pregnant." I looked at my partner with disbelief. No--not me. Not us. This isn't happening. I'LL have to skip the college life and maybe one day take courses at a junior college. I'LL have to take care of a child without any help. My mother is dead. My father is drinking himself numb on my granny's couch. No. No. NO!!!! It was awful. I ran out of the room, leaving the pamphlets behind. My partner followed. We sat in his car while I caught my breath. We went to a movie. We were silent. No room for discussion at this point. He knew it was up to me and was waiting for me to speak. I cried all night. Didn't sleep. There were 3 options that kept me awake and thinking every night. 1.I can throw away everything I've worked so fucking hard for despite being on my own and have this baby. Wave goodbye in a month to my boyfriend as he makes his way off to college and stay with his parents, only seeing him on weekends. 2. I can set myself back a year. Be pregnant, give birth, be attached, fall deeply in love the precious life growing inside of me, then have someone else come and take my baby away. 3. I could have an abortion. I could wait to have a child when I have a home, money and a stable partner to help me raise it. I chose the third option. For weeks after I was empty. I felt the hole that the abortion left inside of me. The picture of the ultrasound that the clinician MADE me look at before making my final decision was a bad horror movie playing over and over in my brain. I was fucking angry! But here I am 8 years later. I've finished my undergraduate degree. I've traveled. I'm doing work that I love to do and I've been able to do this because of the choice I've made. No, I wasn't raped or coerced. I loved my partner at the time and we had an accident. I do not regret my choice and I believe that it should be there for every young woman so that they can experience their own life, struggle with themselves and the world before they have to help a child through that process. Women deserve choices. Women deserve to plan their own lives.

Melissa

When I was 16 I cheated on my boyfriend and got pregnant. I had no idea as I was just a kid and didn't really keep track of my periods. I went to a clinic with a girlfriend who thought she was pregnant and decided to get one in solidarity with her - and to my horror it came back positive. At this point I was about three months along. I was mortified to say the least. … read more >

Joanna

It is a few days away from being a year since I made the choice to have an abortion, I remember how confusing and scary that time in my life was and I hope my story will bring comfort or clarity to whoever reads this. I was nineteen years old when I found out I was pregnant, I was home for the summer after just finishing my freshman year of college. I finished my freshman year with a 3.5 GPA, I made the Dean's List and more importantly, I made everyone in my life proud of me including myself. I had been feeling weird the past few days and my period was officially a week late so my boyfriend and I went and purchased a pregnancy test. … read more >

Anonymous

On Wednesday, July the 23rd, my SO (22) went with me (21) to Women's Med in Indianapolis for a small blood test, Ultrasound and to 'explore' our options. There were no protesters outside and you had to press a call button and state your name to be buzzed in. I gave them our ID's, received forms to fill, and sat down. … read more >

Olivia

my mother got pregnant at 15, became a mom at 16 through bad choices, at 16 i became pregnant too. i knew i didn't want to keep this baby, i was just a baby myself! , and wasn't able to be a good mom at that age, though she did keep and raise my brother. but we both knew that this was not to be encouraged. through bad choices, at 16 i became pregnant too. i knew i didn't want to keep this baby, i was just a baby myself! i had plans of college and a bright future, and knew this wasn't the right time to start a family. … read more >

Anonymous

I am 27. I had no idea I was pregnant. I was still getting a period. Then all of a sudden, I didn't for a month. I took 5 pregnancy tests and they all came back positive. I told my boyfriend, who I live with later that day. He was scared but happy because he didn't know what we were going to do. … read more >

Anonymous

I could not believe how ignorant I had acted in thinking "it will never happen to me." At 20 years old and a junior in college, I found out I was pregnant. It did not hit me until I went to my university's health center where it was confirmed. Shaking and on the verge of tears, I made a decision- I was not ready to have a child. At night I would lie in bed rubbing my stomach, wishing there could be a different outcome; however, I knew that in order to have a successful life for myself and a possible future child or children, I needed to make this decision. I feel so grateful for the extreme amounts of support I have gotten from all of my friends around me. … read more >

Anonymous

I learned I was pregnant in November of 2013. At the time I was a full-time student at Reed College in Portland, studying Latin and Greek as a Classics major. My partner and I had been using oral contraceptives, but by user error or pure chance, something went wrong. … read more >

Anonymous

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