I’m a Happily Married Mom—and I Recently Had an Abortion

I am a mother by choice. I am also not a mother by choice. And I am so grateful I had the right to choose, and I am confident that it was the right decision for myself and my family.
abortion rights

I had a night alone in a cozy hotel room for the first time since having my children. No kids, no chores—just peace and quiet. But I wasn’t here for work or vacation. I was miles away from home and planning to wake up early the next morning to receive an elective abortion. 

I have always believed that what a woman does with her body is her decision. I was fortunate to have access to birth control from a young age and chose to have children once I was ready. I could never have imagined that I would be seeking an abortion as a married mother of two young children.

When I thought about abortion, I was always resolute in my feelings that it’s a healthcare decision that should be left up to the individual woman. But then, as someone facing that decision, I quickly realized that it was far from black and white. It was a decision that my husband and I debated extensively, and one that he ultimately left up to me to decide.

It wasn’t easy for us to conceive our two children, and it has never been lost on me that we are lucky to have them. But did we really want a third? 

It was something we would sometimes discuss, but never seriously considered. Our family felt complete, and motherhood was already a challenge with two children. Would our happy marriage survive a third child? Would our two children feel forgotten with another baby in the house? What would the additional cost of raising a third child do to our retirement plans? What about how I felt as a mother? As a human? How would my identity shift with a third?

So many questions and one big decision. I chose abortion, but it wasn’t easy—and it wasn’t easy to access.

I naively went to my OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy with the expectation that I could receive an abortion on the premises during the visit if I chose to terminate the pregnancy. I explained my situation to the scheduler on the phone, but it never occurred to me to confirm the details of the process going forward, and she didn’t provide any additional details outside of the general appointment process.

I live in a state where abortion is legal; surely my seemingly-liberal OB/GYN practice, with midwives on staff, could and would perform abortions, right? 

The appointment was the usual bloodwork and ultrasound, followed by a consultation with my doctor. I was prepared for the ultrasound, thanks to some reading I did online beforehand. As I hopped up on the table, I politely requested that the technician turn off the screen and sound, explaining that I was unsure as to whether I would proceed with the pregnancy. She looked surprised—but obliged. I felt a pang of embarrassment from the look on her face and closed my eyes while I willed the minutes to go by as quickly as possible. I thought the hard part of the appointment was over, but I was wrong.

I was lucky to have been squeezed into the schedule of my preferred OB/GYN at the practice. She had delivered my second child, and I felt safe with her. When she joined me in the consultation room, I could immediately feel her empathy. 

She confirmed I was indeed pregnant, and about 5 weeks along based on fetal measurements. I hadn’t yet made a final decision, but was very much leaning towards termination. When she told me that I would have to call Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion, if that was the path I chose, I knew my decision immediately. It flowed up from the depths of core: I didn’t want to go through another pregnancy—and I didn’t want another child. 

I re-joined my husband in the parking lot outside, in shock at the fact that my OB/GYN wouldn’t perform elective abortions due to the potential liability in the current political climate. In shock that they wouldn’t even prescribe me abortion pills; an option that is safe and effective, I immediately called Planned Parenthood and learned that our local center was scheduling nearly 11 weeks out. 

ELEVEN WEEKS? I would be nearly halfway through the pregnancy at that point. 

I then proceeded to cry—not only for myself, but for the other women in my position. I knew I had resources at my disposal to fly wherever necessary to receive the medical care I desired, and yet this news hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been following the state of women’s healthcare since the reversal of Roe in 2022, but I had no idea it was this bad—and right in my own backyard. 

Another frantic hour on the phone with Planned Parenthood, and I was able to secure an appointment in another state, at a location four hours away. The appointment was for two days later and, to this day, I don’t know how I managed to find an opening so soon. All of the clinics in nearby states were scheduling at least a couple weeks out. There is demand for abortion, and the available clinics are struggling to meet the need.

The next evening, after a long day of work, I tucked my two children in bed, kissed my husband goodbye, and drove the four hours out of state. I had to stay at a hotel overnight in the city where I would receive my abortion. It was lonely.

Early the next morning, I got up, ate breakfast at the hotel and drove over to the Planned Parenthood facility where I had one of the first appointments of the day. It was several hours and many different steps before I received the abortion. 

I was thoroughly impressed by the care I received and the kindness I was shown by the Planned Parenthood staff. It wasn’t all easy; I vomited and nearly fainted immediately after the procedure in the post-op room. I was given only a high-dose of Advil before the procedure, and the pain and adrenaline got to me. Once I had recovered, I got back in my car, with a cramping stomach and giant pad in my underwear soaking up blood, and drove the four hours straight back home to my family. 

All-in I spent nearly $1,000 out of pocket for the procedure, hotel room and gas. There wasn’t enough time to run it through my insurance, so I paid for the surgical abortion up-front, knowing they’d run it through my insurance later and I might get reimbursed. I did eventually get reimbursed about $460. I was lucky to have good health insurance coverage. 

I felt very alone during this process. Personally I didn’t know anyone who had had an abortion, or who had at least spoken openly about it. I found myself struggling to even say the word “abortion” to my husband, opting instead for “termination.” But the truth is that I had an abortion. I have told some friends and family members, but it still feels like a deeply personal healthcare decision that I’m not yet ready to speak about more broadly. I need time.

What has helped me, though, is knowing the facts about abortion. They’re quite different from the stories I am accustomed to reading in the news. One in four women who receive an abortion are in their 30s; nearly 60 percent of them are mothers; nearly half are married or living with a partner. They are you and me. They are us. 

I know that my abortion made me a better mother to my two children. There’s too much focus in this country on what could be, and not enough on what already is. I am not ashamed of prioritizing my two living, healthy children. I am not ashamed of prioritizing my own mental health and my marriage. A cluster of cells that have the potential to form life are not more important than the four people in my nuclear family.

So no, I don’t regret having an abortion. But I do regret not asking my liberal healthcare provider ahead of time what protocol would be in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. 

I do regret not getting involved earlier in volunteer work with Planned Parenthood. But I do not regret my abortion.

I do regret not getting an IUD placed sooner. But not, I do not regret my abortion… I am grateful for it. 

Author

  • Anonymom

    Anonymom is an anonymous mother who thoughtfully shares her story while choosing to keep her identity private. It is our mission to honor the experience of all mothers during each chapter of their mothering journey. If you're interested in sharing your story as an "anonymom," reach out to us at

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