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Abortion Saved My Life

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One mom says her decision to terminate her pregnancy years ago made her a better parent today.

Abortion rights supporters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court
momlogic's Momstrosity: Today marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The landmark Supreme Court decision legalized abortion back in 1973. But back in 1985, as a 19-year-old college student, I wasn't really aware of the historic legal battle that allowed me to visit a Planned Parenthood and terminate my unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. All I knew at that time was that I was in no way prepared to be a parent.

Back then, I was living with my boyfriend and five other roommates in giant Victorian in San Francisco. The relationship with the boy was barely stable -- he had cheated on me a couple times -- and my sense of self was barely developed. I hadn't even declared a major at my college. I certainly wasn't using birth control. I was by all intents and purposes still a child. Even the responsibility of properly caring for a baby growing in my womb would've been too much for me. Adoption wouldn't have been an option, either. At that point in my life, I was more interested in going to parties, ditching class, and doing plenty of drinking and smoking. Not the best way nurture a pregnancy or a child. Then, many, many years later, I grew up. 

I waited until I was almost 40 to finally become a mother. And even with all the age and wisdom that comes with living four decades, parenting is still a huge challenge. I can't imagine how a mere teenager would be equipped to handle motherhood.

I often wonder what my life would've been like for me and that child who would be twenty-four years old by now. I am quite sure life would have been hard for both of us. Would that guy who was cheating on me have stuck around to help out? Doubtful. Would a 19-year-old with no marketable skills been able to support herself and baby alone? Probably not. I suppose I might've moved back home ... but, at the time, my parents and I weren't really on the best of terms. I certainly wouldn't have been able to complete my college education. Because I didn't have a child in my teens, I was able to graduate college, follow my dreams and travel the world. These are all life experiences I can pass on to my daughter today. For that, I am so grateful to have had the choice.

My previous abortion isn't something I am proud of, exactly, but I wouldn't change it for the world. If it wouldn't have happened, I wouldn't be married to my husband and I wouldn't be living the life I am now. Most importantly, I wouldn't have my beautiful 3-year-old daughter. Choosing to terminate a pregnancy over twenty years ago has made me treasure motherhood even more so today.

next: Parents, Your Stress is Making Your Kids Fat!
42 comments so far | Post a comment now
brandy January 23, 2009, 1:27 PM

abortion is not an easy choice even when someone is desperate.It is something that lives with that person the rest of there life.It doesnt matter if they feel they made the right choice or not.My sister was on birth control when she concived her 4th child.Recently divorced and struggling to raise 3 kids alone she aggonised over what to do.She finally choose to abort it is something she has carried with her ever sience even knowing it was the best thing for her to do.We are our own worst crittics….. One day she may look back and feel that her choice saved her that doesnt mean she didnt also suffer as a result of that choice.
I do beleve there are gray areas and everyone situation is unique….and while i personally dont think id be able to have an abortion no matter my situation that doesnt give me a right to judge anyone else only God has thet right.

Susanna January 23, 2009, 1:38 PM

I guess we shouldn’t judge people who murder, rape, and steal either. After all it’s between them and God. It’s none of our business, right? And of course, on the flip side, we’re as omnicient as God and we know for sure that the unborn baby isn’t life, until it pops out of its mother’s body. We humans are so good at justifying ourselves and our actions. When I saw my unborn baby on the ultrasound screen there was no doubt in my mind that she was ALIVE! I can’t imagine anyone who has a child not being pro-life. If being unwanted is a crime worthy of death I guess we ought to start culling out those children’s homes.

C. January 23, 2009, 1:38 PM

Abortion isn’t birth control. No one enjoys going through it, no one takes it as lightly as the self-righteous commenters think.

If abortion wasn’t legal, I wouldn’t have been able to have one. Mine wasn’t because my pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted. I love that baby with all my heart. But she had a fatal disease. If abortion wasn’t available to me, she would have had to suffer through hours, days, who knows how long before her inevitable death. As her mother, I wouldn’t choose to put her through that. As an American, I consistently support candidates who promise to uphold the rights of women to make choices.

RWK January 23, 2009, 2:50 PM

Too bad that the innocent child that you murdered probably would not feel the same way that you do. It is a shame that we will never get to ask him/her. What can we expect from an ignorant piece of murdering trash like you. God will take care of you once you are room temperature. Enjoy your trip to hell you filthy rat.

Roxanne January 23, 2009, 3:18 PM

I wish some of these women’s mothers had had abortions with them, because they do not deserve to be on this earth! And yes, God will take care of every selfish woman who has killed an innocent fetus! Breathing or not, its still alive. Its murder. Whats a person charged with if they kill a pregnant woman? Double murder! Think you stupid, selfish people. I am a very young mother! I made the mistake of having unprotected sex, and I am still not married to the man I had my baby with. But I chose to have her and because of her I want to finish college and better myself. I chose to fight for a good life for my daughter instead of just saying “oh this will be too hard”. I stopped going to parties, I quit smoking cigarettes, and I focused on my life and how to make her’s wonderful. And I’ll do anything to make sure her life is perfect and she has everything she needs. Becoming a mother is when you throw out the idea of being selfish because its not an option anymore. If anything she saved my life!

Dionne January 23, 2009, 5:01 PM

I agree the choice is a woman’s personal choice. We have no right to choose for her.

Tameka January 23, 2009, 8:08 PM

Someone said something in a previous post about these women on here telling someone to put their babies up for adoption and yet they haven’t adopted any children. How do you know that? I’m planning to adopt children myself. I know many women who are raising children that are not biologically their own and they seem to love those children just as much as they would or do their own biological children and those children seem so happy. They are taken care of. At least they were given the chance to live their life just like all of us!

Tracy May 19, 2009, 8:43 AM

Nice story….I guess you have to convience yourself that it was for the best. Whatever lets you sleep at night huh?

Anonymous May 20, 2009, 12:04 AM

Good job on being able to talk outloud about your experiences.

What I don’t like about a lot of these posts so far is that they’re all just criticizing her for “killing a life”. It’s a fetus, not a baby. It’s not killing yet.

Plus, she was a college student. Obviously she’s going to be more consumed with the freedom and being able to do whatever she wants rather than wanting to care for a mistake. Yes, I just called that fetus a mistake.

If she was in that “partying/drinking” state of mind, do you really think she’ll just suddenly drop everything and turn into a completely different person overnight? No!

I think the abortion was a good idea because even if it was born, the mother would not be in the ideal state she should be to care for a child. You wouldn’t want a drinking/smoking mom to care for a newborn, would you now?

And certainly for adoption, if you’re going to get rid of it then why bother with going through the trouble of having it? Orphanages are overflowing, and there’s no guarantee a kid even gets adopted.

Anonymous May 20, 2009, 12:15 AM

A lot of people here seem to keep using “God” as a reference as to why she’s a “sinner” or whatever. From my understanding, life begins at first breath. So technically for all you God-obsessed people, it’s not killing. So please, tone it down a notch or two. And calling her a “filthy rat” for eliminating a problem before it got worse? Yeah, a problem. It is a problem. Most college students typically are unfit to be mothers, you know. Especially the youngin’s. And then you act like “What are you talking about? Quitting smoking and not going to parties is so easy, anyone can do it!” Hello darling, not everybody is in the same state of mind as you. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s something called diversity. You know, that crazy thing where people are different than you.

anonymous May 20, 2009, 1:11 PM

wow, people amaze me. First of all, if you get pregnant it’s cause it was meant to be. I can understand abortion in the case of insestual rape, a birth defect that will kill the baby or if having the baby would actually kill the mother but it’s not a form of birth control. If you are stupid or immature enough to have unprotected sex, especially with all the options available today, and you get pregnant then you need to step up and do what’s right. I got pregnant using birth control and a condom, which tells me that my daughter was meant to be. I was 22 at the time. I was drinking, smoking and partying all the time. The father and I were talking about getting married. But when I was about 5 months pregnant, I found out that he cheated on me and got 3 other women pregnant while I was still carrying our child. Obviously, I’m a single mom now. I don’t party, I don’t drink, I am responsible and do what’s right and yeah, it’s hard. Even 2 parent households struggle. It’s not easy being a parent. Not just financially but in general. It’s hard. But what would life be like for me right now if I didn’t have her? I’d probably be hooked on drugs, drinking everyday, not taking care of myself, still living with my drug addicted mom. But I’m not. Because of my beautiful daughter, I have my own place, I work hard, everything I have is mine. She gets everything she wants and needs. So yeah, I believe a woman has a choice, but as soon as the sperm penetrates the egg, you have a baby. And if you can’t emotionally or finacially take care of a child right now, there’s so many different types of birth control out there, not to mention condoms. We have those for a reason. Use them or practice abstinence. Like someone mentioned before, there’s too many women out there that can’t have children. They are not hard to find and as soon as you find out you have an unwanted pregnancy, start looking. Don’t murder an innocent life because you want to keep partying.

xoxo May 30, 2009, 10:06 AM

if it can’t live outside the womb, it ain’t a child & when did we let children have a choice?
we make them wear seat belts, parents don’t let them outside to get exercise because they “might” get kidnapped & something that can’t even speak has a voice? ur kidding right?

Hjeokxqt June 25, 2009, 6:27 AM

oRCUre comment4 ,

ben November 12, 2009, 9:10 PM

Abortion occurs spontaneously in nature.
Religious factions kill to preserve their

At what point does life begin?
When the zygote becomes a fetus? When
the egg is fertilized?
When the sperm forms in the father’s balls?

The bible does not openly condemn abortion, and the definition of life
itself is a very hazy one.

Life is not sacred. No matter what you may say.

Gigohead  February 3, 2010, 7:33 AM

I understand what the author is saying. I would however, rephrase the title of “Abortion saved my life” to more like “Abortion redirected my life”. I’m not saying it to please “right-to-lifers” but to appease pro-choicer (like me) who believe women have the right to choice what to do with their bodies and decided when is the right time for them to have children. Kudos to the author for being so honest. It takes a lot of guts to say I messed up but I’ve made better choices now.

Patti February 14, 2010, 8:37 PM

I absolutely believe a woman has a right to choose. And the moment she “chooses” to have consensual sex, she has made her choice, with the knowledge of the potential consequences down the road. She may get an STD, she may get pregnant, she may end up having a great night!

I don’t argue that the path of a woman facing the reality of an unwanted pregnancy is hard, heart wrenching and can have a huge impact on that woman’s life. BUT that is the consequence of your actions.

You just can’t say that a woman is young, in a lousy relationship, has no money and has a whole life ahead of her and therefore she is absolved of the consequences of her actions.

What if instead of having unprotected sex with her cheating boyfriend at the end of a night of partying, drinking and smoking, she had instead gotten into a car and had driven drunk, resulting in a crash that killed someone. Would she be equally absolved of responsibility just because she was young, stupid and clearly not making good decisions? Both actions are equally reckless in my view.

Shaniqua February 14, 2010, 8:43 PM

I wish aborting stupid comments was legal.

Casey February 14, 2010, 9:53 PM

I believe the pregnancy becomes a child the moment the mother chooses to keep the baby. Having a child is hard in a loving, happy, married situation. I wanted an abortion well into the 4th month of my pregnancy because I had severe depression at the time, I didn’t know how I would love a baby the way they deserved, I was dealing with the loss of my best friend from a murder, I felt my state of mind couldn’t support much more. I chose at 21 to stay with it bc my husband and I could more than make it on his income, and it would give me and my friend a new life so to speak. It’s a personal choice and everyone has their own reason and it is not our job to judge only our job to to make our own choices, no one else’s.

Patti February 14, 2010, 10:12 PM

Wow Casey, I don`t even know what to say about that. “I believe the pregnancy becomes a child the moment the mother chooses to keep the baby“?

So that being (or future being as you would consider it I guess) isn’t real until someone else deems it so? No one person’s existence should depend on anyone else “allowing” them to exist.

Look, if you want to choose to have an abortion, that is your right and choice (assuming it’s legal where you live). Just don’t try to sugar coat it and say that it’s not a real living thing, or it’s ok because the zygote/fetus/lump of cells (or whatever term you choose to use because it’s easier to say than baby) can’t feel anything.

The reality is it is a living entity. If you feel comfortable with ending the life of that entity for whatever reason (it’s not a convenient time, it would be hard, it would mean you would have to stop drinking!) then you have that right. But admit that you are being selfish and admit fully what you are doing. And deal with THOSE consequences.

tia February 15, 2010, 10:33 PM

People really are too judgmental and self-righteous pretending to know someone else and to have walked in their shoes. I never thought that I would have had an abortion either but after being raped by someone who was supposed to be there for me and being in college, that is the CHOICE that I made. Having the child and even putting it up for adoption would have done nothing to heal all of the other scars that I had to deal with and would have been a constant reminder of what I wanted healed in myself. No child deserves less than half a mother either- to all you know it alls!

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