I had an abortion when I was 21 years old. I got pregnant from unprotected sex, and I wish I could say the condom broke or some form of contraception I was using didn’t work – but I’d be lying. I was simply having unprotected sex.
I was in an Uber about a week ago with a few friends, and somehow during our conversation with the driver, we ended up on the topic of abortion. I always get a little tense on this subject because I am so passionately involved with feminism and female empowerment, and I will make the moment awkward if I have to – in order to stand up for free choice. The driver proceeded to say he would never personally have an abortion (he’s a male… so it wouldn’t happen anyway), but if a woman got raped he thinks they should be able to access an abortion.
I am now 25, and when I look back at one of the most painful times in my life, I realized the pain laid in not the actions I took but the shame society put upon me. I was shamed by the doctor who asked me If I wanted to keep the baby or not, and when I said no – she became hostile and left the room quickly. I felt so lost and confused, and it really felt like no one understood what I was going through. I recall people close to me saying the wrong thing and overthinking it constantly. I remember the distance I felt between everyone I knew, and how much it hurt to even try to explain the way I felt.
During that Uber drive, I told him that women should be able to take control of their bodies no matter what. If they’ve been raped, not raped or any other circumstance where they’ve ended up pregnant – it’s their choice to have an abortion – no shame, no stigma, and no question. We need to stop giving rules and exceptions for when women can exercise their rights.