Lisa's Story

This afternoon, I had an abortion. I guess I'm one of those women who did it for selfish reasons. When I read other stories here afterward, I noticed mine was different.

I'm 32 years old, with an 8 and 10 year old. When I had my first child, I got married, and decided to stay home, trying to be the kind of mother my mother was. I gave up everything to do this. I mean all the dreams I had about what I wanted to do with my life. I was so in denial about that first pregnancy that I didn't see a doctor until I began my second trimester. I think I was more afraid of abortion than birth at age 21.

I have done my best raising my two kids; stayed home all the while (the first 5 years with painfully little money and a lot of help from family), joined the PTA, taxied them to activities, baked cookies, etc. I have enjoyed it, but I won't deny the personal sacrifice has been great. I feel a loss for the person I thought I'd become when I was younger and dreamt of what I wanted my life to be about.

When I found out I was pregnant a few days ago, I felt much like I did when I took that first pregnancy test 10 years ago -- scared and filled with dread. This year I'd begun working part time when the kids were in school and I love it. This is the first time since my first child was born that I felt like even a piece of my life was about what I wanted to do, what I enjoyed.

I knew right away I didn't want another baby. I'd looked so forward to being in my early 40's and being young enough to enjoy a life without kids at home. My husband felt the same way. I did not want to go back to caring for another infant all over again. Emotionally, I didn't feel I had it in me. I feel like I've emptied myself on the two I have, giving it all I have.

I had my abortion today at a clinic. I was terrified, but the procedure was relatively easy and I'm having just mild cramps and light bleeding now. The worst part was when the woman in the room next to mine screamed during her abortion; I still don't know what kept me from bolting from the door when I heard her. I found out later that she'd asked one of the women working in the clinic to check on me and let me know she hoped she didn't scare me (she did!).

I think the abortion was a lot like labor, but over in a few minutes, not hours. When it was done, I felt relieved. I feel odd, because my family and friends would not understand this decision, I know, and so I only have my husband to talk to.

I had the abortion for me. I have a supportive husband and the financial resources to have more children, but not the emotional commitment that I know I'd need. My heart isn't in it. I feel awful saying that, but it's the truth.

After it was over, I felt relieved. I also felt so thankful to the women who fought so that abortion would be safe and legal.

August 1999

more stories -- share your story

Birth Control Comparison - alll methods Abortion Info from Feminist Women's Health CenterShare your story
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Feminist Abortion Clinics Real Life Abortion Stories from teens Questions and Answers


"Having a choice is both a wonderful thing and an inalienable right."
-Alexander Sanger, President of Planned Parenthood of New York City (New York Post, 10/9/99)