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1 in 3: These Are Our Stories

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Written Stories


My dad told me and my sisters that if any one of us got pregnant, don't bother coming home. I got pregnant at 18 years old, in college while using an diaphragm. … read more >


In 1980 I had an abortion when I was 19 years old and in college. My boyfriend and I had sex once, and I got pregnant. … read more >


I was 22, in a serious relationship with someone who is now my fiance, and we just weren't ready. We supported each other through the whole process and it made us stronger. I know my story is rare, but I think it's important for women to know that it doesn't always have to be a traumatic experience.


I was 18 when I gave birth to our first child. My boyfriend and I gave her up for adoption, under duress because we had moved to another state, our families didn't know and we felt pressure from an agency that didn't care about our well being. … read more >


I was in my mid-thirties, married, and child-free. I was completely focused on my career in IT and loving every minute of my life. … read more >


I was 22, just graduated from college. Dating a man who would become my husband. Got pregnant and had an abortion. It was not a hard decision. We never looked back. Have 3 beautiful children, live in the suburbs, and know that women around me have the same story but no one will admit it.


Both my husband and I do not want children. Having conceived at forty was an unhappy surprise. We both agreed to the termination (although it ultimately was my decision). Because I was only nine weeks pregnant, I qualified for a medical abortion. One takes pills to induce a miscarriage. The procedure takes place at home. … read more >


In April 2014 I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend of 4 years and I were both still in College, living at home, and working part time. Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic and was sent to a private school. Sex was never talked about and abortion was never an option. … read more >


I remember one morning reaching to take out my cervical cap (it was the late 80s) and realizing it was not properly lodged. Sure enough, I was pregnant. … read more >


I was 19 when I was pregnant. It was the second guy Ive ever had sex with in my life.. I though he was the one. When I found out I was pregnant I was terrified. Terrifield of what people would think. … read more >


I didn't exactly have an abortion. I did have to have an abortion procedure that saved my life. If that procedure had been illegal or otherwise unavailable, I would have died 2 days after turning 17 for nothing. … read more >


I was in college and had one crazy weekend with a guy leaving for the army. Found out I was pregnant and had a "no guilt" abortion. … read more >


My husband and I found out that we were having our second baby in January 2013. Extremely unexpected, but we were over the moon. In June 2013 we found out we were having a boy. Then the nurse from the doctor's office called. The question, "Are you in a place you can talk?" is seared into my brain. … read more >


At 20 years old I got pregnant. My boyfriend has a 4 year old son already and he is a terrific dad. I didnt know I was pregnant until going to my family doctor. … read more >


I have pretty much been the epitome of rule-follower my entire life. I didn't believe in the sexist "virginity = worth" myth even at a young age, but I did understand that when it came to sex, safe was the only option for me. … read more >


17 years ago I was a Junior in college. I struggled with low self esteem and had reunited with a man I had dated in high school. It was a poor choice for a relationship. Of course, I got pregnant. I had never believed that I had the capacity to be a good mother. Through a lot of thought and prayer I figured out that I couldn't go through with carrying to term. The father was indifferent to my decision. I followed through with getting an abortion with the help of a local Pro Choice Network. Living in Idaho, I had to travel to Washington State to get the procedure done. My only regret is not having the self esteem to stay away from that man after I'd already had a bad experience with him. I believe I made the right choices with regard to my child and am on good terms with my Creator. I am very thankful that I had access to safe and legal abortion. My mother had made the decision once when it was not legal. She used a knitting needle. It got the job done but not without long term damage physically and mentally. My only advice to women considering abortion is to be sure you can live with your decision. The hardest part for my mother was that it went against her personal beliefs. This is a personal medical decision that is ultimately no one else's business. LOVE & LIGHT TO ALL


I applied to boarding school in the spring. Throughout the summer I was excited for this amazing opportunity. I had a boyfriend. We were having unprotected sex. … read more >


at age 17 i became pregnant because i thought i was smart and knew my fertile days. Hah, no way to play. i gambled and lost. my bf was just graduating from college and going on to grad school and i was in my last year of college. i had no one to ask for help and knew i had to handle this myself. being a biology major i had access to some sterile instruments and knowing my body and its anatomy, i dd it myself. foolhardy, yes, but it needed to be done., and it worked. i was scared shitless and wondered whether i had injured myself and could i ever bear children. fact is i married the bf, treated myself to another abortion because he was in grad school and we were definitely not ready for a child. but fortune smiled on me. i had done a good job on myself twice and several years later into our marriage i gave birth to a son and followed with two more. it was the scariest and most stressful time of my life and i wish that NO woman has ever to go thru that ordeal. please keep it legal and safe for all future women.


I was 22. I had just graduated from college and recently accepted into a teaching credential program. My ex-boyfriend and I just moved in together, everything was going in the direction it was supposed to. … read more >


My abortion was fairly recent. It was in August. My Nuvaring failed and I ended up pregnant. My boyfriend and I had discussed what we would do in the event of a pregnancy and knew that abortion was the right choice for us. But when it happened we were shocked. I foolishly thought it could never happen to me. … read more >


I traveled to Mexico when I was 17. I went to study pottery and Spanish. I started seeing a man 10 years older than I was- I got pregnant. He begged me to keep it. He asked me to stay in Mexico and he would take care of us or he would raise our child and I could return home to the U.S.. I was young and hardly knew myself but I knew that I didn't love myself enough to love a child. … read more >


In early 2010 I woke up in bed at my boyfriend's house with a pain in my abdomen. The pain persisted and became unbearable over the course of an hour and he decided to take me to the hospital. … read more >


I always thought I'd have a child at 27. That's the age my mother had me, the age my grandmother was when she had my mother. But when I became pregnant at 27, it wasn't the way I had seen it. My husband at the time had begun an affair a few months prior, which at this point I was still unaware of. What I did know what that he was unhappy, I was unhappy. I had been using a nuva ring, but I had been late to put the new one in. In so many years I never considered I'd end up pregnant without having planned it. I was (am) OCD. I plan everything. I was terrified to tell my husband of the pregnancy, more so because I was scared he'd want me to continue the pregnancy than anything else. But I needn't be worried about that. After some awkward talk-around the issue I finally spat it out-I wasn't ready for this. We weren't ready for this. He agreed. In fact, he wanted to leave for Florida for a month to "figure things out." He made his arrangements, I made my arrangements and appointments. On the morning I took the series of pills at home, he left for Florida. Left me to do it on my own. I had no regrets. And I made the right choice. It is no surprise to me that our marriage ended. That day, I took control back over my life from a child posing as a man. A man who didn't work while I worked 40+ hours a week while disabled. A man who left for Florida that day to meet up with his girlfriend. I am so grateful I had that choice to make.


I grew up catholic in the Chicago suburbs. There was a lot of emphasis placed on the 10 commandments and morality. I remember when I was young and thinking that having an abortion was absolute: you killed, and therefore you are forever a bad person. … read more >


13 years ago I became pregnant while on the pill. My boyfriend at the time accused me of getting pregnant on purpose because we had been going through a rough patch and he even had the nerve to ask me if the baby was definitely his. … read more >


I had an abortion at barely 16 years old. It wasn't my first idea, but I wasn't in a relationship and had been abusing drugs regularly. … read more >


I was 25 when I found out I was pregnant. I had been married for six months to my husband. We weren't financially stable. We didn't even have a home, yet, only a one bedroom apartment. … read more >


I'm 67 years and never regretted having my four abortions. They all had a reason, that being I didn't want my partner's to be a father to my child. All abortions were from 3 different partners. First was performed in Switzerland while it was still illegal in the states. Second was in a NY hospital when it was already legal and the third and fourth were also in NY through Planned Parenthood. My parents knew about all of them, my mother told me she had several herself in Europe before I was born. She gave me her full support and even accompanied me to the hospital in NY. My life didn't change, I had no nightmares and am a healthy human being. I think women can think for themselves and if they decide to have an abortion a woman should be the one who decides and not the government or some religeous leader. If men were the ones getting pregnant we would not have this conversation. So women, girls do what feels right to you and no one else!


In 1971, a year before Roe v Wade, I was a 22 year old, married nursing student in Denton, Texas. I contracted tuberculosis and was placed on a regimen of multiple medications in an effort to control the disease. While on a new, experimental medication, I learned I was pregnant. … read more >


In 2006, my husband and I were pregnant with our first child. ALL of our early screenings and tests were going fine with no signs of complications. It was at the 20 week level II ultrasound that instead of finding out the sex of my baby, my life changed forever. … read more >


Hello, my name is Barbara. I am 64 years old. About 35 years ago our son was born. The Copper 7 IUD I had been using when he was conceived was removed at his birth. … read more >


I found out I was pregnant in September of 2014--the second week of my first semester in grad school. I was on birth control pills, and had been for years; somehow, some way, it failed. … read more >


I became pregnant when I was 22 - shortly after I lost my health insurance and could no longer afford to fill my prescription for BC. I was a junior in college, and I was terrified. … read more >


I vividly remember my experience having an abortion, even though it took place nearly twenty years ago. My boyfriend and I were on the rocks and hadn't spoken in days when I discovered I was pregnant. We had been arguing constantly; it felt like we were on the verge of a permanent rupture. I was broke and without health insurance. After two weeks of wrenching discussions we decided to terminate the pregnancy. I wanted to keep it, but with the frank understanding that the odds were we wouldn't be raising this child has a couple. He adamantly refused to support that decision unless we got married. But the idea of doubling down on our anger-fueled relationship frightened me. What kind of home would we be raising a child in? What kind of relationship would I be consigning myself to? Termination began to seem like the only path forward. We withdrew cash from the ATM together and then sat by the curb and wept before I headed into the clinic, alone. I was in a fragile state as I headed for the doors of an office tower in Midtown when a woman ran up to me and screamed, just inches from my face, "You're killing your baby!" This was around the time that Operation Rescue was in full swing, forcing volunteers to escort women seeking abortions past phalanxes of protesters who yelled that they were murderers and would go to hell. There were no escorts here. Just me and her. I had always wanted a child. I knew I was killing that possibility. Did she think I didn't know that? I screamed back, without thinking. A hail of curses. And I went inside, barely able to wobble on my legs.


After facing a 9-year grueling, exhausting, expensive repeating cycle of hope and devastation due to unexplained infertility, I found myself pregnant, the old-fashioned way. What an exciting surprise! My son, who was 3 at the time would finally have a much-loved sibling. My dream of a family was finally coming true. My dream turned into my absolute worst nightmare. After irregular blood tests revealed dramatically abnormal levels, which either meant twins, or multiples, or that the test was wrong and needed to be repeated, I was sent in for a Level II ultrasound the next day. He was diagnosed with Complete AVSD, and other congenital abnormalities and they recommended we do an Amnio to confirm a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Then they got really quiet, and suggested I do my own research, and gave me nothing else. I blithely thought to myself, so my son will be mentally retarded? So what? We will love him and give him a great life. He will be my 'forever' son, as I realized he would probably stay dependent on me and my husband for the rest of our lives. I had experienced caregiving first-hand, caring for my mother with a life-long illness, doing everything for her, as her condition declined into blindness and organ shutdowns toward the end of her life. I knew I could do it. When I called my mother-in-law to share the news, it hit me. HARD. What about the life of my firstborn? His childhood will become shared, yes, by a new baby, but moreso with multiple hospital visits and surgeries--required by the congential abnormalities. What of my marriage? Many marriages don't make it when the realities of caring for a child with special needs has to take precedent. When I began doing my 'research'--I learned astonishing things about Down Syndrome. It is way more than intellectual impairment. I can be a cluster of chronic illnesses, some quite serious: Leukemia, early-onset Alzheimer's, joint and muscle issues that can cause weakness and paralysis. Chronic constipation, requiring other surgeries, abnormalities that require feeding tubes, because trying to eat normally results in throwing up, every time. The worst was learning about the surgeries required to fix his Complete AVSD. No one could tell us if we would be the lucky ones, and he would have 'one-and-done' or whether his would have complications, and he would require intubation, life-support and he would live a short-life, never coming home from the NICU. The idea of not being able to HOLD my baby, and explain that all of the pain and interventions was to help him, not torture him in continuous pain, alone in his bed, was more than I could bear. I could not consent to the life he was facing, on his behalf. The statistics of children who had died before reaching age 1 with all of his conditions made me feel as though all our effort would have been better spent in a gentle hospice-type comfort-care scenario, instead of superhero modern medicine. I also could not consent to the life my firstborn would have, caring for a chronically-ill sibling, possibly taking over his affairs when he was just starting his adult life, trying to establish his career and family. Even if our special needs child was in a care facility, our firstborn would have responsibility. I know first hand how hard that was for me, because of my mother's condition and my role early in life as her caregiver. As much as it ripped out my heart to terminate my dear dear sweet baby's life, a decision that will kill me forever, for me, it was the compassionate and ethical decision. I could not consent to going forward, on behalf of both of my sons, who would live with that decision. One, bearing the burden, of a life of chronic illness, the other, a helpless witness, who's life will forever be intertwined. The decision was made for me, when, after investigating an adoptive scenario, I learned how much the pregnancy itself was endangering my life. Those abnormal proteins correlated very strongly with life-threatening placental conditions that would more than likely develop as the pregnancy progressed. Leaving my son motherless, and my husband a grieving widow and single dad was not an option I was willing to entertain. I felt strongly my obligations to people already living and breathing trumped the rights of a very ill fetus. I know intimately the continuous grief that accompanies intellectual impairments and chronic illnesses from caring for my mother. That grief ripples through families and generations. I could not continue the cycle in good conscience. And for that, I will forever be stigmatized by people, some of whom have no personal experience, who feel birth at any cost should be the law of the land. I have lost friends, I have had people call me a murderer, and because of the blessings of on-line support groups, I have been endlessly trolled by women who made the choices to continue their pregnancies when their children received identical diagnosis. I have been horrified by the likes of Rick & Karen Santorum and the other pro-birth activists who seek to deprive women and families of these sacred, PERSONAL, family, medical, spiritual decisions. I can not imagine my horror being any worse. Every family deserves to make the best decision for their family.


It's probably hyperbolic to say that my abortion saved my life when I have every reason to believe I would have had a healthy pregnancy. But I would not have had *my* life. I got pregnant during my senior year of college and knew instantly that I did not want to be a mother. … read more >


I would like to share a more normal story about the ability and right to have an abortion. It is one that for most women would be harder to tell. To be on the record, I have had more than one abortion. Not because I was careless or because I used abortion as a method of birth control but because products fail and as well as humans. … read more >


I had a baby before I was 18. I was unmarried and just could not face having an abortion, even though my close friend had one less than a year before I found out I was pregnant. When my baby was 9 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. … read more >


In 2000, I was a 32 year old, single mother of 12 year old and found out I was pregnant. I was scared and had little financial security. My parents were strict, fundamental, evangelical christians so there was NO support from them and I had placed a baby for adoption the year prior. … read more >


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.


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >


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