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1 in 3: These Are Our Stories

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Written Stories


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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.


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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.


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 >


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.


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


I had an abortion at 16 which I paid for with my own money. Then at 23 my parents paid for my second abortion. Without this option I would never have gone on to college or maybe even finished high school.


I always thought I would have trouble getting pregnant. Both my mother and my grandmother had to see specialists and start fertility treatments in order to get pregnant. When I was 15, I started the pill to treat ovarian cysts and acne. I've been on the pill ever since so I've never worried about getting pregnant. My boyfriend and I didn't use condoms because we figured that with my family history and being on the pill, there was no chance I could get pregnant. … read more >


I am 53, and the proud mother of 3 children, who were planned and born when I was ready to become a parent. At 17 in my senior year of high school, and after I found out I was accepted to a college, I became pregnant. … read more >


After eight months of long-distance relationship I saw my partner, whom I had been on and off for the previous three years. … read more >


I'm 52, childless and single. I terminated my only 2 pregnancies and only now know for sure that I did the right thing. I love children and I very much wanted my own children. It has taken me many years to know I made the right choice not to bring my pregnancies to term. … read more >


I was raised in the Mormon church, and had been told to always be a good girl, and learned how to be codependent at a very early age. Although I left Mormonism at the age of 17, my self esteem had suffered my entire life. This became crystal clear to me, when at the age of 35 I started dating a man who was verbally and emotionally abusive. … read more >


I was 22. I already had a 2 year old son whose biological father had abandoned us when he was 2 weeks old. I had just ended a one-year abusive relationship. A few weeks after it ended, I found out I was pregnant. I was on birth control but my anti-depressants lowered the effectiveness of them, something my doctor had failed to mention to me and I only learned about 6 years later. … read more >


I find comforting the statistic that 61% of abortions obtained are women who have 1 or more children. It makes me feel less alone. My story is that I have always been Pro-Choice, but figured that I personally would never use that choice to terminate a pregnancy. Somehow never thought I'd be in that position. … read more >


I had my abortion in 1971, pre Roe v. Wade, in NYC. I had never been outside my Southern state by myself before and I was terrified. I was a very immature 20 y.o. from a very proper family that did not abide "bad girls" and was so lacking in sex education that I was 4 months along before I even guessed I was pregnant. … read more >


Back in the late 50's I was pregnant and got the German measles. My Dr. recommended an abortion. Back then it went to a panel of 5 Drs and they all recommended an abortion. I then had the abortion which turned out to be the right thing. The legs looked like a piece of liver. My point is mostly because this happened around 1959 and now today I might not have been allowed to have an abortion no matter what. At the time abortion wasn't allowed after 3 mo.


I wanted to become a mom since I was a teenager, but I knew that I needed to wait until I was financially stable and in a healthy relationship. I started volunteering at Planned Parenthood when I was 16, because they provided me with the education and resources I needed - including birth control and annual exams. I became a campus coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon when I was in my early 20's, and actively worked for reproductive rights for all women. Although I have been pro-choice for as long as I can remember, I never thought I would get an abortion myself. Several years ago, I learned that my mom and sister both had abortions, and was grateful I never had to make that decision. … read more >


I was 15 when an uncle by marriage took interest in me. He taught me to drive, bought me what ever I wanted, even the alcohol I asked for. Then he introduced me to marijuana. My mother was recently divorced and too busy enjoying her new found freedom to be concerned about my uncle's attention to me; it gave her more free time when I was with him. … read more >


I was 15, my boyfriend and I had been dating since I was 14 (which is when I lost my virginity). My parents were going through a divorce and I felt I had no one so I felt like HE understood me. I believed him when he said I couldn't get pregnant if he pulled out before ejaculation. He was wrong. … read more >


I have had 2 abortions, one when I was in my mid twenties, unmarried and living with my boyfriend. We were career minded and wanted to be married before we had our first child. I had no guilt, no remorse. I always felt like it was the right thing to do. My 2nd one, was after I got divorced in my 30's, a guy I was dating and we were stupid and had unprotected sex, just ONCE! Guess that's all it took! So I had an abortion then as well. Again, no regrets and no remorse. It was the right thing to do at the time. And thankfully, my insurance paid for it both times!


I saved the ultrasound picture in a dated envelope, stuck it in a drawer and just as I closed the drawer - I closed out that moment in my life. They asked if I planned to continue with the pregnancy, at the tender, scared and reckless age of 18, in a low whisper, I said, “No.” … read more >


Before I had my abortion I scoured the internet for stories about the procedure: how long, how painful, etc. Aside from a video of a young woman who calmly undergoes an abortion, making it seem like no big deal, the pain and procedure information was hard to find. Certainly part of this is the subjective nature of the experience and the differences in pain thresholds as well as the emotional pain we may or may not feel. I just want to share my experience for the anxious woman, like myself, who wants to know what may happen. … read more >


I am 21 years old, I just got my two year degree. I take care of an elder family member and took a year off to do so. I am engaged and I found out I was pregnant about a month or so in to the pregnancy. … read more >


My boyfriend and I have been together for a good amount of time now. A few weeks ago I found out I was pregnant. Neither of us are in a position to actually have a child but I also know we would be able to take care of it if that would be our choice. Unfortunately, July 4th, 2013, my boyfriend went through one of the most horrible things a person could. His 7 year old son was struck by a stray bullet and was pronounced dead the following morning. … read more >


I found out when I was 21... I had stopped taking birth control because for so many days in a row I would forget to take my pill and didn't bother starting taking it again. I was busy with working, starting school soon and stressed about a lot of things. For two months I couldn't believe that the reason I wasn't getting my period was because I was pregnant. I didn't want to believe it or listen to my body. I kept telling myself 'no way this can't be me, it can't be happening to me'. … read more >


I am 39 years old, a wife of 19 years, and a mother of 3 healthy beautiful children whom I love dearly. I am one of those oh so lucky people who cannot take birth control because it causes me to have blood clots in my legs so my husband and I use several different methods for birth control; condoms, abstinence during fertile times, counting days in my cycle, etc. Two months ago our methods failed, as they did about 7 years ago. … read more >


I got mine in a sterile, hospital environment and the physician performing was funny and kind. He knew that I didn’t much want a man doing the operation because I didn’t want a strange male seeing my female parts, but I got over it because hey, he’s a doctor. … read more >


Sometimes I question my decision, I have thoughts about the twins I never gave birth to. I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant it was the weekend I was at new student orientation getting ready to start my first year of college. … read more >


My story is not the norm. It happened in December, 2013. I was thirty, engaged to be married, had a well-paying job and a lovely house with plenty of privacy in a nice neighborhood. For all intents and purposes, this time in my life should be when I have children. But that life is not what I want. … read more >


I lost track of the abortions I had — at least five — but thank the Goddess I could get safe, legal and affordable abortions when I needed them. I realize in retrospect that while I thought of myself as a strong woman in my 20s and early 30s, I was really a puppet to men who didn't value me as a person but just someone to get them laid. Now I am 60 years old and I never had children and realized that I never wanted them. But I wanted to be loved and seeking that love got me pregnant. … read more >


There was a drugstore on The Drag that my roommate and I used for everything, but no way I was getting a pregnancy test there. What if I saw a sorority sister or classmate? In fact, all of west Campus was out. Hyde park was close, but even though we weren't grad students, we know some, and ditto on the freakout what-if-someone-see- us bit. We drive to far North Austin to get the test, and just to be sure, we buy 2. … read more >


I was a 19-year-old sophomore dating another 19-year-old sophomore. I had a birth-control pill prescription but screwed up using it and got pregnant. It was 1983, and we were in school in Atlanta, GA. Telling him I had failed at using my birth-control method and was pregnant was the hardest thing I've ever had to tell anyone. … read more >


I was 17 and blinded by love. I had always thought I would remain a virgin until marriage but I fell in love my senior year of high school and all my plans and principles flew out the window. I had a scare just before graduation and told my mother, but she did nothing to get me on birth control. Three months later I was just about to leave for college across the country and my period was late. … read more >


When I was 21 I had my first abortion. I was madly in love with the guy, but he wasn't reliable and already had two kids he didn't support. I was unemployed and partying my nights away in my first apartment. His mother and he talked me into an abortion and it only made the decision easier. It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day 1992. We were $50.00 short when we arrived at the clinic. … read more >


I am 64. I got pregnant the first time I had sex at 18 when I was a freshman in college in 1968. I thought I would have the baby, but my parents talked me into having an abortion. My mother, who had an illegal back alley abortion, paid for me to have a hospital abortion, which was also illegal...but nothing like what she went through. There were only 2 reasons to go to a hospital in those days..a miscarriage or because you were crazy. … read more >


Whenever someone would bring up abortion, my canned response would always be, "I support a woman's right to choose, but I could never personally make that choice." Of course, I never dreamed I'd be in a position where I was faced with that choice, so it was an easy thing to say. I'd only ever had a few sexual partners and I was psychotic about taking my birth control every day and on time. Unplanned pregnancy would never happen to me. … read more >


I was 18 when I had my abortion. I had been dating the guy for nearly two years and for most of that time, I had been on the pill, but out of nowhere, my insurance stopped covering it and I had to see my OBGYN to get a different prescription. … read more >


It wasn't hard for me to make my decision. If anything, I was more worried about what my husband would think. We're recently married, still very much in the newlywed stage. We had been through pregnancy before. … read more >


I had two teen pregnancies with two different boys before abortion was legal. I had those babies - they remain the light of my life. Both 'fathers' fled. At 22 I moved in with a man who seemed the right choice. I made it very clear that I would not have another child. "That's great. I have no interest in having kids of my own," he said. Eight years later I became pregnant when my IUD failed. … read more >


I had two abortions in my early twenties. One pregnancy resulted from a long-term relationship and birth control fail; one resulted from a fling and a lack of birth control. In both cases, the decision was right for me. I was a single mother, barely making ends meet, and I needed all of my energy and all of my income just to support the son I already had. … read more >


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