I’m That Woman : Who Deserves Choice?

5 Jul

I want to start by making a note that there were a few times shortly after my abortion that I lied about having used birth control and having it fail. I did this to try to avoid the stigma of being “that woman.” However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that I was doing a disservice to both the cause and to other women with my circumstances. So I’ve decided that it’s time to tell the truth and admit that I made a mistake. But that mistake doesn’t mean that I deserve less of a choice than any other woman.

I’m that woman. I’m the woman who many think shouldn’t have had access to my abortion. I avoided pregnancy until I was 31 as I had always used some sort of birth control in the past and had been lucky enough for it to always work. However, during some really hard monetary times, my husband and I had unprotected sex a few times. We both knew that it was stupid and risky but we did it and I ended up getting pregnant.

So, I’m that woman. I’m the woman who “uses abortion as birth control” even though that’s technically what abortion is, a form of birth control. I’m the woman who was stupid and irresponsible and should have had to take responsibility for my actions. However, even “those women” like me have their reasons for the choice they make.

I’ve known my entire life that I never wanted children and my husband and I had agreed from the beginning of our relationship that I would terminate a pregnancy if it were to happen. I chose the option of abortion for a few different reasons.

First, I didn’t want to be pregnant. I’ve had to deal with too many health problems in my life on top of a chronic illness and I didn’t feel the need to put my body through 9 months of stress and risk further complications by carrying the pregnancy. Call it selfish, call it abortion for convenience, call it what you want but I feel no regret or shame that I put my own health and well being before that of a non-sentient being.

Second, I’ve had a fairly traumatic past which makes me terrified of giving up control of my body as well as going through vaginal child birth. I can fully attest that not having access to a safe and legal abortion wouldn’t have prevented me from doing everything I could to terminate the pregnancy. I can think of few things worse than being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy. The thought of being forced to give birth is actually triggering to me from my history of sexual abuse. I fully believe forced pregnancy to be a form of rape.

Do I feel like I “killed my child”? Not at all. I highly value life. I’m an abolitionist vegan so I don’t believe in using or killing any sentient being without consent. The embryo that I terminated wasn’t a sentient being.


8 Responses to “I’m That Woman : Who Deserves Choice?”

  1. thiswoman July 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    You say that you were “that woman” who “should have had to take responsibility for [your] actions.” And as far as I can tell, you DID take responsibility. All women, no matter how they became pregnant, deserve choice. To suggest that they don’t deserve choice is like suggesting that you’re only entitled to medical treatment if you contract HIV in certain ways. Life doesn’t work that way.

  2. Persephone July 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    That’s exactly the way I see it too and it pisses me off that I allowed myself to be shamed into lying for the first little while.

  3. Juliewashere88 July 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    You did what was best for you.

    Thanks for speaking up. I sincerely wish more women would.

  4. Arlene Chase July 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Well said. You and your husband made a commitment when you got married and stuck to it

  5. Not Guilty July 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I always use women like you as an exampled to people who try and give me that stupid-ass argument. What is the difference between the fetus you are carrying and the one a “responsible” woman is carrying? How can you differentiate? Answer: you can’t! Argh! Just like I am sure anti’s may be less anti if they knew they knew somebody who had an abortion, people might be less judgmental if they heard the story of women like you. Everybody has a story. Who’s to say I have the right to judge?

  6. Jeannette July 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    thank you for your honesty and your courage. no woman, even those with a perfect family and plenty of resources, should have to keep a pregnancy they don’t want.

  7. Shayna July 6, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Well said. I agree – We all have our reasons for the choices we make (to have a baby or not, what kind of birth control we use…etc.) — What makes Pro-Choice’rs different from Anti-Choice’rs is that we acknowledge that it’s not up to us to judge each other for them.

  8. Persephone July 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks so much for the replies and support everyone. You have no idea how much it means to me 🙂

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