I had an abortion and the personal is political.
The personal is political and I can’t be quiet anymore.
Just last year, I had consensual sex and the condom broke. My partner and I went to the drug store and spent $50 on Plan B. Four weeks later, after missing my period and vomiting over the smell of champagne (basically my favorite thing in the entire world), I peed on a stick and that little line popped up and read: Pregnant.
I peed on six more sticks wondering if this was some kind of joke, a mistake. I wondered how doctor-prescribed birth control pill could fail me. How the back-up to the back-up didn’t work. How I could be so fucking unlucky. Confirmed seven times over that I was pregnant, I knew I had to make a decision.
I made the best decision for myself and called the Feminist Women’s Health Center here in Atlanta and said, “I need to schedule an abortion.”
My sister took me a few weeks later. We drove through a crowd of protesters holding signs of fetuses and giant crosses. “You don’t have to do this, there’s another way,” they screamed through a megaphone as a volunteer guided me into the building — a building coated in bulletproof glass. My sister, so sweetly, gave the protestors the middle finger when they started chanting “Whore.” After paying $535 out of pocket, I sat in the waiting room for five hours before being called back. A League of Their Own was playing on loop. Ever so often, a girl would get up and leave without coming back.
There was not one point while I sat in that waiting room where I had doubts or wavered in my decision. The procedure was quick and over before I knew it. My doctor, a beautiful young OBGYN from Emory, with long blonde hair held my hand. I cried, not because of the procedure or how society portrays that an abortion is a life-altering moment for a woman, but because kind people were there to validate my choice and walk me through my decision.
I cried a lot the next day — not because I felt guilty or sad or was in any pain. In fact, all I felt was relief. I’ve never thought twice about the choice I made because it was the right choice for me. But I cried because the power of having that choice is so critical but it is continuously threatened. 1 in 3 women will have an abortion, but the stigma and fight to end our rights as women is never ending.
We vote in November and the stakes are high. Donald Trump has already said women who get abortions should be punished. Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence has said that Roe v. Wade will be overturned if Trump becomes President. Many of my friends are saying they will not vote because they can’t stand Trump or Clinton. Many of my friends are saying they will vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. What will my friends say when they throw away their vote and then the condom breaks and the Plan B doesn’t come through and they need to get an abortion under a Trump presidency?
Criminalizing women and our bodies and the choices we make for them is unacceptable. Why should any woman be punished for making the best decision for herself?
I can wholeheartedly say that I made one of the most responsible, important choices of my life. My abortion didn’t change my life or define me. My abortion was my choice and I will fight to make sure other women will have that right, just as I did. I hope you’ll do the same too.