Something has come over me. Something I didn't see coming.
Congress is talking about defunding Planned Parenthood. I've never been inside a Planned Parenthood office or clinic and yet I am a staunch supporter of PP in large measure because of something I have rarely discussed. I've had an abortion, and for the first time in my life I feel compelled to say so out loud and in public.
I'm almost 70 years old so it is within my lifetime that abortion and the pill became legal realities, miracles for women everywhere. I never dreamed that, once achieved, anyone would want those miracles to disappear as though those gains had never happened.
I am tempted to explain the circumstances in which I found myself to justify my decision to terminate a confirmed pregnancy, but to do so would merely feed the notion that my reasons are better than her reasons. The truth is that the circumstances are none of your business; they are my business. I have had an abortion, and I have never once regretted it. It was very likely one of the most pro-life decisions I've ever made.
I am not speaking up because I believe by doing so I can change minds. I do suspect, however, that if more of us who have had abortions, if thousands of us, millions of us, simply said so it might change the conversation. The gay rights movement gained acceptance more rapidly than anyone foresaw once normal, healthy intelligent people decided to come out of hiding in droves. They are our neighbors, our relatives, our co-workers, our co-worshipers, as are women who have chosen abortion. All of you know women who have had an abortion whether you are aware of it or not.
For those of us who made the decision to terminate a pregnancy this is not a hypothetical or theoretical discussion. It is personal and real. When I was confronted with the responsibility of deciding what I should do, the last thing I needed was for a senator, congressman, or presidential contender to advise me.
I cannot express adequately how grateful I was and still am that I could discuss my options with my personal physician, choose a course of action, walk into a reputable hospital with no one picketing or yelling at me, end a pregnancy and resume my life.
In all the swirling debate folks are talking about me, and women like me. It's personal, not political.