I have had two abortions.

The first one was when I was twenty-seven. I was playing professional beach volleyball. I was playing volleyball eight hours a day and I spent two hours a day at the gym. I noticed that I was getting tired more easily, but I thought it meant I needed to train harder.

Then one weekend, a doctor friend on a visit saw me drop a plate one day, and a vase the next. I told her my hands just gave out because they were so tired.

She said I was anemic. Then she said, “Maybe you're pregnant.”

“I'm not,” I said. “I have a regular period.”

It turns out, though, that you can have a regular period and still be pregnant.

And I was. Fourteen weeks.

My friend said, “Schedule the abortion now. You're already late for it.”

I didn't do anything. I was in shock. My boyfriend was in shock. Neither of us had ever had a pregnancy. I couldn't believe the whole process actually worked, to be honest.

I told my mom I was pregnant. She said, “Get an abortion.”

I didn't say anything. I wasn't really thinking I had any choices. I didn't have a job that could support a child. And I wasn't sure if I was planning to marry my boyfriend, although we were living together. I knew that I had big ideas for my life and I hadn't figured things out yet.

My mom got militant. “You'll destroy your career possibilities.”

She riffed on this theme for a week, calling me every night. Her passion is understandable. My mom took a job when I was young because she hated being home with kids. She endured interview questions like, “Does your husband want you away from home working?” She was one of the first women to become an executive at her Fortune 500 company. She blazed trails so I could have career goals that required an abortion to preserve.

Here's what else happened: Other women called. It turned out that many, many women I knew had had an abortion. This is not something women talk about. I mean, I had no idea how ubiquitous the procedure was, at least in my big-city, liberal, Jewish world.

Each of those women told me that I should get an abortion so that I could keep my options open. “You're a smart girl. You can do anything with your life right now. Don't ruin it.”

My boyfriend was laying low. He was no slouch when it came to pro-choice politics and he knew it was, ultimately, my decision.

But the minute I said I would get an abortion, he was driving me to Planned Parenthood.

You had to go once to set up the appointment, and then go back.

When I went back, I had a panic attack. I was on the table, in a hospital gown, screaming.

The nurse asked me if I was a religious Christian.

The boyfriend asked me if I was aware that my abortion would be basically illegal in seven more days.

I couldn't stop screaming. I was too scared. I felt absolutely sick that I was going to kill a baby. And, now that I know more about being a mother, I understand that hormones had already kicked in to make me want to keep the baby. We left. No abortion.

My boyfriend started panicking by suddenly staying really late at work and going out with friends a lot. I stopped playing volleyball because I got tired so quickly.

People kept calling me: They said, “Think about how you'll support the child. Think about what you'll do if your boyfriend leaves you. You're all alone in LA with no family. How will you take care of yourself?”

People gave me advice: Get a job. Once you have established yourself in a career, you'll feel much better about having kids. Figure out where you fit in the world. Get a job, then get married, and then have kids.

I scheduled another abortion. But it was past the time when Planned Parenthood will do an abortion. Now it was a very expensive one at a clinic that seemed to cater to women coming from Christian countries in South America. I knew that if I did not go through with it this time, no one would do the abortion. I was too far along.

So I did it.

I went to sleep with a baby and woke up without one. Groggy. Unsure about everything. Everything in the whole world.

People think abortion is such an easy choice–they say, “Don't use abortion as birth control.” Any woman who has had one will tell you how that is such crazy talk. Because an abortion is terrible. You never stop thinking about the baby you killed. You never stop thinking about the guy you were with when you killed the baby you made with him. You never stop wondering.

So the second time I got pregnant, I thought of killing myself. My career was soaring. I was 30 and I felt like I had everything going for me — great job, great boyfriend, and finally, for the first time ever, I had enough money to support myself. I hated that I put myself in the position of either losing all that or killing a baby.

I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant. I knew what they'd say.

So I completely checked out emotionally. I scheduled the abortion like I was on autopilot. I told my boyfriend at the last minute and told him not to come with me.

He said forget it. He's coming with me.

I remember staring at the wall. Telling myself to stop thinking of anything.

The doctor asked me, “Do you understand what's going to happen?”

I said yes. That's all I remember.

I got two abortions to preserve my career. To keep my options open. To keep my aspirations within reach.

I bought into the idea that kids undermine your ability to build an amazing career.

And here I am, with the amazing career.

But also, here I am with two kids. So I know a bit about having kids and a career. And I want to tell you something: You don't need to get an abortion to have a big career. Women who want big careers want them because something deep inside you drives you to change the world, lead a revolution, break new barriers.

It doesn't matter whether you have kids now or later, because they will always make your career more difficult. There is no time in your life when you are so stable in your work that kids won't create an earthquake underneath that confidence.

I think about the men I was with when I had the abortions. They were not bad men. One is my ex-husband. So much of life is a gamble, and I think I might have had as good a chance of staying together with the first guy as I did with my ex-husband. And I am not sure that my life would have turned out worse if I had had kids early. I am not sure it would have turned out better. I'm not even sure it would have been that different.

You never know, not really. There is little certainty. But there are some certain truths: It's very hard to have an abortion. And, there is not a perfect time to have kids.

And I wonder, are there other women out there who had abortions in the name of their career and their potential? What do those women think now?

633 replies
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  1. Barb
    Barb says:

    I too was alone and pregnant at 22 having just finished college and starting a great job so I can relate. I had my life planned out: Great job, marriage, 2 kids after 30. This pregnancy did not fit in to my Perfect Dream Life I had all planned out. I was in complete shock and cried many times. The father put some cash on the table telling me to “get rid of it”. His mom told me several times that she was too young to be a grandmother (she was 46) and I had to finally tell her, “If your son is old enough to get someone pregnant, you’re old enough to be a Grandma.” More than a few times the father told me he didn’t believe it was his. I wondered throughout the pregnancy how I would manage. Fortunately, I had been taught as a child that two wrongs never make a right.

    There was much less support and a bigger stigma associated with being unwed and pregnant than there is now. Anyway, everything did turn out for the best — I just needed to change my way of thinking and realize this little person was a wonderful addition to my Perfect Reality Life. You will find what you look for.

    That wonderful baby is now a young man who is now helping take care of the man who pushed me to abort him.

  2. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    As a post-abortive woman, I also felt I had no CHOICE. So much for what society calls being “pro-choice….” My well-formed conscience told me I was doing something very, very wrong, but I was coerced into it by others. I shut down emotionally for many years. It was a spiritual conversion which brought me to receive God’s forgiveness and the beginning of healing. I now work with Silent No More Awareness to bring a message of hope and healing to others.

    Make no mistake: almost all women (and I talk to many) will eventually suffer physically, emotionally or spiritually….probably all three. There is scientific documentation for this.

    When you realize that this was indeed a human life, not just a “glob of tissue,” you will want to convince other women that abortion is not good for them and that it hurts them for life.

    • Will (pro-choice)
      Will (pro-choice) says:

      And so you want to take the choice away from all women because of your poor planning and decision making skills? We all make mistakes, but the true hypocrite doesn’t take responsibilities for their actions (“I had no CHOICE”).

      Take responsibility for your actions whatever side of this debate you are on.

  3. Crossed the line
    Crossed the line says:

    I used to be pro-choice, had abortions, deeply regret it and am prolife now. There was a time when everyone understood that what was important in life was family, relationships, community, love and selflessness, and that was what gave self-fulfillment. Work was for the purpose of enabling family, relationships, community, NOT self-fulfillment. Sexual activity outside of marriage was disapproved of because of how it destablizied family, relationshbips, community – not to mention spread disease and led to out of wedlock births and increased poverty. Sexual self-control was valued, because it contributed to personal and societal health.

    Mainstream feminism mistook sexual freedom and career for self-fulfillment – and now families and babies are being destroyed and our culture has turned decadent and cold. It’s all about me, me, me, I, I, I, what do I want? Not: how can I best love and serve others? Now divorce is big, almost half of children are being born out of wedlock, and kids born out of wedlock suffer far more from poverty, lack of education, gangs, drugs, poor job performance, etc. How do you think that will affect society when they grow up?

    We don’t live in vacuums, and if everyone is doing it, the whole society is affected. The answer is NOT more abortion, that has just enabled sex outside of marriage and selfishness. That’s the real problem, and we’re sacrificing our babies on the altar of “me” and “self-fulfillment.” What a bloody cold way to live your life.

    • Will (pro-choice)
      Will (pro-choice) says:

      “There was a time when everyone understood that what was important in life was family, relationships, community, love and selflessness, and that was what gave self-fulfillment.”

      I love the world through rose colored glasses. Perhaps you could tell me when and where that time was? Was it in the ’50s/60s when school children in the south were being fire-bombed by KKK members?

      Shed the scales from your eyes. The idolized ‘past’ you refer to always had problems. But it’s always easy to compare “my day” to curse the present.

  4. John Wilder
    John Wilder says:

    I say kudos to Catherine and crossed the line for your change of heart and your unswerivng support of right to life issues. There are much better solutions to unwanted pregnancies. Giving the baby up for adoption is a great one. It solves teh problme of the unwanted prgnancy in a positive manner. Feminists in their misandry want to kill the children of the men. You have safe and effective reliable birth control in the form of IUD’s. If you are going to be sexual then take responsibility for it.

  5. Mars
    Mars says:

    Greetings,

    I’m a male, 45 years old. Just over 10 years ago, the woman I was seeing got pregnant. She decided to have an abortion, though I wanted to keep the child. When she told me of her plans, the world got very cold. I begged with her, pleaded, that she not abort the baby – but she was adamant, and said that she would take care of “this problem”. I even prayed to God (though I was not in the habit) that He take me, and not the child. But on Friday, March 26, 1999, the baby was aborted. It was the darkest day of my life. I died a thousand deaths that day. I still don’t understand. Something in my heart told me that the child was a girl. She would have been born sometime in November 1999. She would be ten years old now. It’s not something I like to think about it. Sometimes it’s more than I can bear. I know that some people think that a fetus is not really human. I don’t understand that either. Even now when I think about it, I get numb. I do know that I and my immediate family would have welcomed the child, even if it would have turned our world upside down. Maybe when I leave this world, I will see her.

    Kind regards,

    Mars

    • Will (pro-choice)
      Will (pro-choice) says:

      Mars – understand this, it was not your decision to make. It was her’s. Instead of punishing yourself (and her) for the rest of your life, why don’t you take Jesus’ advice and “forgive yourself”. Then maybe you can forgive others.

      Or you could adopt, or be a big-brother, or help homeless kids. Do you do any of that? I wish my ‘gut’ said you were, but I would bet you are not.

      Also, answer me this. If your daughter was up in heaven, and you should happen to meet her when you die, do you think that she would say “thanks for making your life a miserable existence” or say “we all make mistakes, I wish you hadn’t punished yourself but had lived a happy life – I will always forgive you”?

      I am guessing that she would have wanted you to be happy.

    • M
      M says:

      Yours is the seldom told side of abortion the failure to recognise the father in the situation.
      It is a terrible loss for a sensitive man. I hope you find peace and consolation.

  6. Pete Holter
    Pete Holter says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCmLmZDpB4I

    I don’t know if this video will touch you, Penelope. You might think it is corny. But I hope that Jesus will touch you nonetheless and that you will feel excitement at His offer of new life, being forgiven of your past sins, and of a burden lifted forever! May the grace of God comfort you today and bring you from darkness and emptiness, to Jesus the Lord, Who gave Himself for YOU. :)

    In Christ,
    Pete
    rjoyholter@gmail.com

  7. John Wilder
    John Wilder says:

    In our country riddled with rampant misandry, women paint men as uncaring and not nurturing. There are millions of guys like Mars out there who never get heard. Thanks Mars for telling your story. The Roe vs Wade enabled women to get aboriton on demand. The Roe vs Doe decision one year later stripped men of all rights to their unborn children and parents from dealing with a minor daughers’ decison to abort her child.

    • barb
      barb says:

      John,

      Please add the word ‘some’ before the word women because some women know that most men are caring and nurturing. Both genders are responsible for Roe vs Wade and its negative effects on humanity.

      Mars,

      Thanks so much for speaking out and please continue to do so. Abortion is not just a women’s issue and men’s voices have not been heard or listened to.

  8. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    Mars, you touched my heart. A fetus is indeed a human being. Life begins at conception: science reveals that. I’ve heard men’s stories such as yours, and there is hope and healing for you also. Rest assured that your daughter is in the loving arms of her Creator. There are retreats available for you (check out Rachel’s Vineyard), so that you may find peace in this life. My prayers are with you….

  9. Will
    Will says:

    Pretty disgusting really. Narcissism and Relativism have been mastered by you. How far this country has fallen. Killed a life for Volleyball?? Frikin Vollyball?!?!? May Almighty God have Mercy on you. One day you will have to face the lives you took for your own selfishness –

    I told my mom I was pregnant. She said, "Get an abortion." Nice Mother. Good thing she didn't take her own advice and let you live –

  10. Will
    Will says:

    Do me a favor, go look at your children that you let live. Were not they in developing stages in your womb just like the children you had destroyed? They are HUMAN BEINGS!!!!! Hopefully someday you will replace the stone in your chest for a heart and when that day comes, I pray that you turn to God and his Mercy –

    http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/index.htm

  11. M
    M says:

    Penelope,
    I felt such sadness for you when I read your blog.To have a mother who would pressure to end the life of the baby is so awful. You must have felt so alone.
    The innocent little life that ended loves you and forgives you for denying them the chance to live.
    Your first mistake was allowing yourself to fall for the lie that it is all right to have sexual intimacy before marriage.Babies deserve a fully committed mum and dad and above all babies deserve the right to live. A right that you mother and you and I had respected.
    I hope and pray that you will come to realise that abortion is an evil act and know that a merciful and loving God is waiting to heal you. He knows how pressured, frightened and alone you felt. Shalom

  12. amba (Annie Gottlieb)
    amba (Annie Gottlieb) says:

    Whoever recently said females never kill their young in nature is wrong. Females of quite a few species do kill and sometimes eat their young, when they are stressed or frightened — not in cold blood, but in confusion and panic, possibly even in a misguided attempt to protect the young by taking them back inside her body. Female animals also tebd to favor the strong among their brood and will reject any weak or deformed ones and allow them to die.

    I’m not saying humans should seize this as justification to act like other animals. We have a choice not to; we can master panic with reason and compassion; we can cherish something more subtle than physical strength and perfection. But your argument will be stronger if you get your facts straight.

      • Will (pro-choice)
        Will (pro-choice) says:

        At least wolves are true to their nature, while you are a hypocrite.

        “Free will” is what you are trying to take away from all women (right?). I mean ‘free will’ for only those who believe what you believe? And it is OK to force woman to have babies because you have adopted how many children? Or maybe it is simply because your God told you it was “wrong” and you believe that you can inflict your religious beliefs on everyone?

        Rape – well of course since it was conceived then you can’t abort it, so the rape victim must be forced to be a mother.
        incest – ditto
        health of the monther at risk – ditto

        It must be very comforting to live in a world that is black and white.

        God gave you a brain to think, to make your own decisions (free will?), not to be a slave to hypocrites.

      • John Wilder
        John Wilder says:

        Will you come across as very angry man as you vomit your anger and disdain all over this column. By your logic, I should be able to sexually abuse my daughter because it is none of anyone’s business.
        You suggest that women should be able to abort babies conceived in rape or incest. On the surface the emotional reaction should be of course. If you look at the logic, you are punishing an innocent child with the ultimate punishment for the crime of the father.

        The bible says; “The fathers shall not be put to death for the sins of the children, nor shall the children but put do death for the sins of the father. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deut 24:16

        You said that God gave us a brain to think. By that logic you should embrace NAMBLA the North American Man Boy Love Assn.

        The bible says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

        Our laws are based upon English Common law which is based upon biblical laws.

        You need to get in touch with your rage. I suspect someone has abused you very badly.

      • John Wilder
        John Wilder says:

        By the way, an abortion does not make a girl unraped. It does nothing to erase the trauma. It only contribues another assault on an already tramuatized woman.

  13. barb
    barb says:

    Hi Will,

    I have been raped twice in my life. If I had conceived either time I would have had the child since I believe life begins at conception and any other choice would have been murder (not saying this would not be extremely hard and do not know if I would have gone the adoption route). The effects of rape last a lifetime but positives can even come from that.

    If you do not believe life begins at conception, you, not me, are left with the moral obligation of pinpointing the exact moment Life does begin.

    During on e of my pregnancies, a tumor was found during an early ultrasound, It was near the baby and the heartbeat was hard to find. I was told an abortion was the only way to check the tumor for cancer. I refused the abortion and this child is my wonderful 13 year old.

    Just another way to look at Life.

  14. Will
    Will says:

    The Child Growing in your womb did not rape you and you will answer one horrible crime with another worse crime, the taking of an innocent life… Warped modernistic views…

  15. Will
    Will says:

    The old rape statement. You know darn well 99 % of abortions are done for selfish reasons, ie VOLLYBALL, not health reasons. Most of the abortions are at the insistance of weak cowardly men who insist that their girlfriends or wives destroy the life so they can go on with their worldly pathetic lives…50,000,000 DEAD!!!

    • barb
      barb says:

      Thanks Will, you’re AWESOME too! God has already blessed me in so many ways — all I had to do was use my Free Will and ask. God has especially Blessed me with Discernment.

      Please don’t get so angry, it makes me think you may not be truly pro-life. :) Peace

  16. Will
    Will says:

    Weak cowardly men, John, who insist that their girlfriends or wives destroy the life so they can go on with their worldly pathetic lives – 50,000,000 DEAD!!!

    • M
      M says:

      Will your anger is the natural response of a manly person to an act of violence against the vulnerable. Jesus showed anger when he drove the sellers out of the temple and His words “Woe to those who scandalise my little ones” show deep feeling. As long as we never lose control of our deep feelings but harness the energy they produce to do some active good eg volunteer to be a driver for a pregnancy support centre or help out in other practical ways there is nothing wrong with feeling so strongly.
      God Bless you

  17. honey Lim
    honey Lim says:

    My husband (then bf) and I met when I was 22. At that time I thought we were too young to have kids and really worried that I would get pregnant. After we got married we tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for about a year. today, we have two kids. And they are wonderful! My first kid caused havoc with my first job I took after maternity leave but I learned quickly how to cope with my boss’ expectations and still maintain some work life balance. today the only thing I regret is not having had kids while I was younger. Having kids while working full time is hard. having kids when you’re higher in the career ladder is SUPER HARD. Your job is so demanding and you really need to juggle. I wish I had them earlier in my career when I wasn’t paid so much and the opportunity cost of being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t so high. You’re right. It’s never a wrong time to have kids.

  18. Crossed the Line
    Crossed the Line says:

    I love how people play the rape card when they start losing the argument about the humanity of the unborn, even though 99% of abortions have nothing to do with rape.

    I had a friend years ago who was date raped, and got pregnant. Everyone, her whole family and all her friends, tried to talk her into getting an abortion. She refused, and had a little boy. Being a single mom wasn’t easy for her – but she said she couldn’t see having the baby killed because of what had happened to her.

    Many women who’ve been raped and had abortions testify that they feel like they were raped twice, and regret the abortion.

    Many children born of rape are grown up now, and are glad to be alive. One of them, a woman named Rebecca Kiessling, is now a prolife attorney.

    Ironies of abortion: in sexist cultures, man have often had the right to kill their wives, such as if they were unfaithful. Slaveowners had the right to kill their slaves. Women in the west have worked hard to throw off such sexism – and our country fought a war to do away with the evil of slavery. But now women claim the right to kill their own babies, for any reason at all. That makes women a new oppressor class, in my book.

    Women worked hard to make abortion illegal at the beginning of the 20th century, understanding that abortion kills a living baby and leads to increased sexualization and objectification of women. Now abortion is legal again, and women and girls are more sexually objectified than ever before in history.

    Getting rid of infanticide and abortion has always been considered a sign of growing civilization. Yet now infanticide – killing infants in the womb, including fully developed babies – is legal. Does that make us more civilized, or less?

    I read the pro-choice comments here, and it’s all “me, me, me, I, I, I, what do I want, how do I want to live.” The first commenter on this board said the writer would get lots of immature comments. She did – from the pro-choicers, who show incredible immaturity, selfishness, and narcissism, if you ask me. It’s all about me, me, me – who cares if my baby has to die?

    Unborn babies today have the same status as bugs on the sidewalk, and you can squish them, chemically burn them to death, hack off their head and arms and legs, kill ’em any way you want, just so long as they’re still in their mother’s womb.

    I am not proud that my own babies were crushed and vacuumed out from inside my own body – and I am not happy that information about those babies was withheld from me at the clinics I want to. I was kept in ignorance, and money was taken and abortion administered without any discussion of what was actually happening in my body – unlike every other medical procedure I’ve gone through, where I was given detailed descriptions, diagrams, and alternatives, so I could make the best decision possible.

    It was only years later I found out my babies had tiny bodies, heartbeats, faces and eyes and tiny little hands, that even at six weeks they were alive and active and vigorous in my womb, anything but the “blob of tissue” I visualized back when I was having the abortions. It broke my heart. It was a crime against me, not just my babies. And I have to live with that for the rest of my life.

    If you were shown a tiny little baby, alive and kicking around (which they do from even a few weeks on), with a tiny little face and hands, heart beating like crazy, told it was yours – and then told to step on it, crush it, could you do it? But that is what is happening every day inside abortion clinics, inside our own bodies – only the evidence is being withheld from us, so we don’t see, don’t have to deal with it. And then we defend it. What does that make us?

    Pro-choice feminists want to withhold information about the babies from women facing abortion – though insisting women are intelligent and capable of handling anything from being a CEO to a fighter pilot. It’s “too upsetting,” they say (playing into the sexist idea that women are too emotional), and she “might not get an abortion” (showing that what they really want is abortion, not “choice”). Hypocrites. D*mn right it’s too upsetting – and that just proves our argument. It is a baby, and when shown the evidence, we know it. Wouldn’t be upsetting if it wasn’t. So don’t insult our intelligence and manipulate our emotions by withholding it.

    God d*mn abortion, I say – and grant us all the conscience, the heart, the eyes, to realize what abortion really is, and do away with it forever.

    • M
      M says:

      What a wonderful summing up of the whole issue-thank you and I share your hope that one day sanity will return to our society which is literally “mad” at the moment.

  19. John Wilder
    John Wilder says:

    Hey Crossed the line:

    Thank you for telling your story. Women have to dehumanize their unborn child in order to kill it.

    You should not go to Planned Parenthood for abortion counselling since they make a major portion of their income by selling abortions. If we define life as having a heartbeat and brain wave acitivity for pronouncing someone dead, why not for pronouncing someone alive? We have a detectable heartbeat 18 days from conception. We have detectable brain wave activity 42 days from conception.

    • Juliana
      Juliana says:

      Dear John,
      Of course there is a heartbeat and brain wave activity. How else would this organism grow and develop?

      Funny thing is, it doesn’t feel anything, just like the pretty flower that grows out in your yard. And in order to be alive, it needs to be inside a womb. And that womb is someone else’s body part – a woman with a life and a brain of her own who gets to decide if she’s going to keep the little bean inside her womb that she didn’t want to begin with.

      If you don’t like the thought of abortion, don’t get one.

      • M
        M says:

        “someone else’s body part” is a very curious description of the womb.No other body part is the protective sanctuary of a new life?
        When you get a pregnancy tester kit from the chemist and the reading is positive do you think I have a bean growing indide me?
        Your mother did not destroy the bean inside her when you once sheltered in her womb.
        Abortion has wounded your heart and soul and denying this reality will prevent you becoming whole.Trying to rationalise will not help it only drives your pain deeper into your subconscious You need to grieve and mourn for the part of yourself that you destroyed.
        I am not judging you at all. Bearing a child can be a frightening prospect for a woman particularly if she feels unsupported or is threatened by the thought of losing control over her life.Fear and anxiety can overwhelm us at times.
        I would encourage you to visit Rachel’s Vineyard.
        In the meantime remember that the bearded man you mocked Jen for believing in (though for all you knoe she might be a prolife aetheist!) loves you.

  20. Hope
    Hope says:

    I am so sorry for your losses and I am sorry that no one around you knew the truth to tell you about how evil and damaging abortion is. You can always find healing if you want it, there are many resources out there. This is something that truly hurts the babies and emotionally scars the mom and dad once they “check back in”. You checked out because your conscience was probbing you. We have become a sad world indeed to put our selfish goals before a person. I’ll be praying for you and all the victims of this holocaust.

  21. Jen
    Jen says:

    Penelope, you seem to be concerned only with how this has affected you. In your own words, you killed your babies, but you don't waste a sentence questioning what you took from those babies. Who were they meant to be? What career paths would they have chosen? Who would have been their soulmates? You took all of that from them, so that you could have more for yourself.

    Do you ever think how this unapologetically utilitarian stance on children could affect the two children you decided to raise? Have they ever wondered if you had been up for a big promotion while they were in utero, that they might have died too? This is exactly the message you're sending them.

    Is there anyone else whose life you would sacrifice to preserve or advance your career? A supervisor who hates you? A co-worker up for the same promotion? No, that honor is reserved for your own precious babies.

    You could use this: rachelsvineyard.org. Learn what it is to truly accept what you've done, and feel God's forgiveness.

    • Juliana
      Juliana says:

      Dear Jen,

      I posted on my blog about my two abortions. Thank you for reassuring me that I made the right decisions – the embryos growing inside me could’ve turned out to be like you: totally nuts, living in a fantasy world where a dude with a beard created the universe in seven days.

      Was that harsh? So was your ridiculous comment. God should strike me right now for being a naughty girl.

      • M
        M says:

        Your response to Jen lacks charity.It is up to Penelope to give Jen a response not you.
        If you are allowed to express your views so is Jen

  22. Jonha Revesencio @ Happiness
    Jonha Revesencio @ Happiness says:

    Penelope,

    I always wondered what women who have gone through an abortion thinks and once again, you gave me an insight that I do not completely agree but understand. I understand that you were a little immature then and that you felt there’s no other options.

    Maybe your kids now should feel really lucky because you choose to let them live. I just wish you knew you have other choices and that not circumstances should rule our lives but us.

    Jonha

  23. John Wilder
    John Wilder says:

    Hey Juliana:

    You are right. I have come to my senses. Let’s throw out all of those pseky laws based upon the bible. It is not fair for me to try and force my morality down your throat.
    So thoses laws about murder, rape, incest and pedophipia just be tossed out. Let the NAMBLA North American Man Boy Love Assn have their way with young boys. Let me sexually abuse my daughter and for all of those parents who lost their jobs, had to declare bankruptcy should be able to kill their kids. If you dont agree with these things do9n’t do it but foer everyone else it is okay. By the way those vehicular manslaughter laws for killing un unborn child should be immediately dropped from the books.

    The problem with that society is that someone whill kill you for your viewss.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  24. Homushoo
    Homushoo says:

    For sure, we can never go forward without an open discourse, without engaging the subject until it is robbed of outrage and ‘unspeakability’ or ‘untouchability.’

  25. HJ
    HJ says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Everything has already been said by other commenters, but just wanted to share my support.

  26. tips to getting pregnant
    tips to getting pregnant says:

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  27. Layne
    Layne says:

    I found your blog rather randomly…as I imagine so many of your readers have…and have been reading it all day. I watched “10 Things I Hate About You” and a comment in the movie about doing what you want to do and not what everyone else expects of you made me start thinking. I don’t know what I want to do, so I googled “How to find out what you want to do” and found your blog. I can’t say I’ve agreed with everything you’ve had to say…for example, I’d have voted “keep the baby”…but I really appreciate your openness and honesty about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. A number of your posts have made me start questioning things and how I perceive things…and I just wanted to let you know that. And to thank you.

  28. Buckles
    Buckles says:

    What’s most interesting to me is the contrast between the first and second experience. I have had one abortion, and read the symptoms of pregnancy immediately, so I was about 6 weeks by the time it happened. I cried for about 5 minutes in the parking lot of PP with my boyfriend, then said, “what should we make for dinner?” and we went to the grocery store, as if nothing happened.

    I don’t really see it as having bought into an idea of kids hamper your career, because I grew up in a house where career always came before family. At the same time though I think that financially, given that I was on food stamps and working low paying jobs, the thought of another financial expense seemed unbearable. Not to mention the stigma in my family about having children out of wed lock.

    In any case….thanks for sharing. Your blog has really got me going on this idea that career shouldn’t dictate your personal life, and I love your writing!

    <3

  29. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    Wow. I am a prolife single mom… It is only by grace that I had the strength and conviction to not have an abortion when I got pregnant at 18. I cry whenever I think about the unChristian unforgiveness my mother heaped on my during my pregnancy. For a pro choice culture, I’m afraid there is little cultural support for women to keep unexpected pregnancies to term. My heart breaks for the women (and men) I’ve met who have aborted their babies and didn’t want to. But it is so understandable in the face of the pressures people put on them. I actually considered suicide more than abortion, because I knew I didn’t want to live with myself if I chose the abortion.

    I feel fortunate that once my mother looked into the eyes of her newborn grandson, she let go of her bitterness toward me. From that point on, she has been my greatest support as I go on to achieve my master’s degree. However, you could say that I have some trust issues with our relationship.

    I am simply amazed to think how much my son has changed my life. Before I got pregnant, I was too afraid to choose a major or a school in case I made the wrong choice. After I had a child, I learned that I had to do whatever it meant to become successful and survive.

    So, maybe I am rambling, and I apologize. But there is so much courage required to make either one of the choices to keep or to abort. I would like to thank you, Penelope, for validating the feelings that many women feel after having an abortion, because I am afraid they do not get spoken of very often.

  30. A
    A says:

    I had a similar experience. I was hyper fertile in my early 20s, and despite regular contraception fell pregnant twice. In both situations, my partner was way too young (21) to feel he could take the responsibility of being a father. I still regret it in some ways, and it did benefit my career. I am also convinced the relationship would not survive the pressure of a baby (or two) so early on – I would have had two kids with a non-present father.

  31. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    I just came across this and I realise it was a few years ago that you posted but I felt compelled to comment. I have had an abortion, at 21, because I was at university and I felt there was no way I could possibly have a baby before I had even embarked upon my career. Now, I am not saying I regret it. I have finished university and am currently looking to start my career. I’ve had a great time over the last few years and done so much that I could not have done with a child. However, your words about never forgetting the guy you were with certainly rang true. Although I have no desire to be with the father of my baby, I think about him all the time because I think about that baby all the time. I will always feel a connection whereas he is well and truly over it.
    I think that you made the right decision for you at the time and that is the main thing. You will always wonder but you went through with it for a reason and I think that is a brave decision. As you said, it is far too common to hear people say that abortion is used as a form of birth control, but as we know, that is the most ridiculous statement. No abortion is easy and nobody wants to make that decision, but if you can’t support a baby, are you really going to offer it the life it deserve anyway? I am sure you are a great mother now and you have learnt from this time in your life and you should be commended for that.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  32. Kate
    Kate says:

    I don’t use birth control because I don’t want those hormones in my body.  I’m wondering- do you not use birth control?  If you choose not to, may I ask what your reasons are?

  33. Anon
    Anon says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for an hour now and don’t really feel like I know you any better than when I started. But I will tell you that I had an abortion, while married, without telling anyone, and for the most part have forgotten about it. It was a big mistake to get pregnant in the first place as having a baby with my husband would have tied me to him permanently, and that’s not a good thing in my opinion. Why tell you this? Don’t know, just felt like sharing a bit with you.

  34. Tony Roberts
    Tony Roberts says:

    I have been looking for almost two articles all over Google for a story about abortion that tells the personal story without lapsing into rhetoric on either side. Thank you for opening up.

  35. Annie
    Annie says:

    I have had an abortion too, i was 15 and my parents gave me a huge ultimatum. and you are right when you say you never stop thinking about that, or the men you made that baby with. i know i never will. its been about 2 years and i still think about it most days. it hurts. and there is never the perfect time for a baby, but its usually better when you atleast are not a teenager without a career. thank you for posting this, its nice to know that im not alone in the way i feel.

  36. SagittariusMich
    SagittariusMich says:

    Thanks for the honest approach to blogging. I know this is an old post, it’s no less interesting and refreshing for me.

    I chose abortion even after having my first child. Being a single parent made me realize my own limitations and think of the life I could offer my 2 year old, at the time.

    Never an easy choice and needs to be a personal choice, emphasis on the personal.

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