A Texas law that bans abortions at 6 weeks of pregnancy went into effect on Wednesday, Sept. 1, after the US Supreme Court failed to block it following an emergency appeal.
"I had an abortion a couple years ago. I have a wonderful, supportive husband and two children (11 and 9 years old). I knew I was pregnant before I took the test and knew instantly what I needed to do. I can't financially support another child. We both work full time and depend on grandparents for childcare. Another baby would mean I'd have to give up work to look after them, and we'd have to move houses to fit an extra person. We barely make ends meet now, so another child just wouldn't be fair on the other two. I'm not saying I didn't want the baby, because in a way I did, but I felt it unfair to bring that child into the world."
"I was 15 and had an abusive, cheating, drug-addicted boyfriend. I was able to escape him by going to live with my dad. As soon as I got there, I learned I was pregnant. My boyfriend was ready to drive across two states to pick me up so we could 'live happily ever after,' but I couldn't let toxicity back into my life, so I went to a clinic 25 miles away the very next day. I went through the whole thing alone. I was in bed for five days after hurting both physically and emotionally, lying to my dad by saying I had the flu. Twelve years later, I had my first child with my amazing husband, and I mourned that loss again. I still think about what could have been, but I have NEVER regretted the choice I made."
"Shortly after I turned 21, I met up with a guy and ended up having sex. About seven to eight weeks later, I realized my period was late. My pregnancy test came back positive, and my heart sank. I was in no space mentally, physically, or financially to care for a child. I was also in the beginning of my alcohol abuse, and I knew that was no environment for a child.
The clinic did an ultrasound to make sure I was really pregnant, and the tech asked if I wanted to keep the pictures. I said no. Not knowing anything helped me distance myself. Because I was early enough on, I was able to use abortion pills. They gave me a prescription for some pain pills, and I was sent on my way, out the door, through the crowd of pro-life protestors calling me a monster. I took the pill the next day and had to wear the giant dipper pads for a day or so. The whole experience was so hard to go through, but I can't imagine not having access to it or even having the option."
"I was a senior in high school. My boyfriend at the time sensed that I wanted to break up with him, so he purposely tried to get me pregnant without me realizing it. Well, I got pregnant. It still hurts me to this day, but I would not have been able to go to college if I didn't make the choice to get an abortion."
"I had an abortion because I didn't want to be pregnant. I can think of nothing more horrifying and immobilizing. Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. I honestly wish my body was not capable of being pregnant, and I hate that it is. I live in a patriarchal Middle Eastern country where women are viewed as having no greater purpose than birthing babies, but I have US citizenship, so I emptied my bank account and got on a plane to the US and paid for the procedure out of pocket. I lost my job while I was pregnant because it was literally killing me, and I was too sick to leave the house. It was the worst thing I'd ever been subjected to, but I was so thankful to have the privilege to go to a country where women can have autonomy over their own bodies. I regret nothing and was extremely relieved and thankful after the procedure."
"I had been told by doctors that I was infertile, as a byproduct of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). I had never been on birth control, never had a pregnancy scare, and had a lot of unprotected sex with the same partner, so finding out I was pregnant was a shock. After discussing all of my options, doing an absurd amount of research, and looking into the finances of raising a baby, the only real choice was having an abortion. I wasn't financially, emotionally, or physically ready to bring a baby into this world.
The people at the clinic I went to were so kind and understanding. They had me speak to a therapist before going through the procedure, and they were very accommodating in a scary and emotional place. The actual procedure was a breeze — I was given a mild sedative, laid back on the table, and it was over in less than five minutes. I sat back in a chair for a while, had some cookies and juice, and was out the door. It was my choice, and I stand by it, and I'm better off for it now."
"My very much-wanted pregnancy ended in a second-term abortion after we found out my son had a degenerative brain disorder that would have caused severe issues. My husband and I made the hardest decision we've ever had to make in our lives, and we terminated the pregnancy. I'm thankful that I had the choice and was able to take what little control I had in the situation. People should always have the right to choose."
"I was 24 and newly unemployed. I had been dating my boyfriend for five months. He had a low-paying job and still lived with his mom. Neither of our parents were supportive. At first I wanted to keep the baby, but I eventually decided it wouldn't be a smart idea to do so in my circumstances. I went in and had the abortion at 11 weeks. I don't regret it. I'm still not even sure I'll ever be a good mom, but I know it was for the best."
"I'm on disability for my anxiety and depression. It's very severe. I thought about killing myself after I found out I was pregnant. 'I can't leave the house — how can I have a baby?' was what ran through my head. Then I found out I had access to an abortion. It's been four years since the abortion, and I haven't been happier in my entire life. I was so lucky. Thinking about these abortion laws makes me cry for all of the people who will think they're in a situation with no way out."
"I had just started my BA and got pregnant (my IUD shifted). I was living with my parents, didn’t have a job, was in a tough financial situation, and my husband was 900 miles away. We decided it was best for me to have an abortion, as we couldn’t support a child at that moment. Four years later, I graduated law school. I know I wouldn’t have been able to finish school with a baby. I can’t say I’m happy to have had an abortion, but it definitely gave me the chance to start my career. I'm now looking into having a child because I am financially stable. This is why I support abortion."
"I had an abortion at 19. I simply wasn’t ready to be a mother. I feel no shame or regret in my decision. I know I made the correct one for both of our sakes. Now, at 27, I’m a kickass mom to an 18-month-old."
"I was in my early 20s when I had my first abortion. Later on, after years of having fibroids removed from uterus and cysts from my ovaries, I was told that my uterus was not healthy enough for pregnancy (I was too young to have it removed). I ultimately fell in love, and despite three surgeries and an 'expert' opinion, I ended up getting pregnant. I was in my mid-30s when I got that second abortion. I cried. Heck, I’m crying as I type this.
I had never wanted kids and still feel that way. I am so sick of people governing my own body. As a Black woman, there have been so many reasons throughout history when we've felt our bodies are not our own — and so many reasons all women have been made to feel vulnerable or that they can’t protect themselves. People should be able to choose what is right for them. These laws devastate me. My body, my f*cking choice."
"I was 30. I had been recently diagnosed with lupus, had a demanding career, and the father wasn’t dependable. Still, everyone told me I should keep it because 'What if this is your only chance?' With no maternal instincts or yearning to have a child, I knew termination was the only option. I have no regrets."
"I had just broken up with boyfriend of 10 years. I moved three states away, started a new job, and learned I was pregnant. I made the mistake of telling my ex, and I was suddenly subject to an onslaught of verbal and emotional abuse. Getting an abortion was the best choice at the time for me. I couldn't afford to take care of a kid then. I ultimately met someone, and now my husband and I have two lovely daughters."
"As a married woman, I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone in my life about my abortion. Who would understand?, I thought. My husband and I didn't want to have children, and on top of that the pregnancy was just the worst possible timing. It was one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever gone through, and no one knows about it. It even caused distance between my husband and I because he just didn’t understand the weird physiological trauma it caused. But I don’t regret it at all. I may still feel the shame of having a married abortion, but I will never regret the choice I made for my family, nor do I feel I owe anyone an explanation for my decision. Everyone should always have the right to choose their future."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.