Summertime on the Jersey shore, where I was working at Brigantine Castle, a small amusement park with a haunted castle, carnival games and an arcade. I was a carnie. When the castle shut down for the night, we took to the bars. That’s where I first took to the gin and tonics — and a gorgeous man. I was 19, earning money to return to college in the fall, and staying out every night. It was a fabulous summer.
Come September, I didn’t need a pregnancy test to know I was pregnant. I just knew. I also knew there was no way I was going to have a baby. That just wasn’t in my plans. Thankfully, it was 1981 and I was living in the free U.S. of A., so I also knew that the answer to my predicament was in that Trenton, NJ, clinic not many miles away from my college.
I made an appointment — still never having taken that pregnancy test — and my boyfriend drove me to the clinic on an early autumn Saturday morning. We paid the $200-odd fee at the reception desk. He sat down in the waiting room, and I went into the back, where a doctor performed an abortion. When it was done and I had waited the obligatory 45 minutes in the recovery room, my boyfriend drove me back to my dorm. Within a couple of days, I was back on my feet and back in class.
I have three kids, all in their 20s, two sons and a daughter. I adore them. My life has been remarkably blessed. I’d not thought about that long-ago abortion for decades. But, I’ve thought about it fairly frequently since the leak of the Supreme Court Dobbs decision in early May. I’ve spoken about it frequently as well. I brought my homemade sign to the rally for abortion rights. It is the truth.
I have never regretted my abortion. Not way back when and not now. My reasons for having an abortion had nothing to do with any trauma I had experienced. I was in no medical quandary. Itwasn’t the right time for me to have a child, so I didn’t have one.
I am furious that so many people no longer can choose when — if — to have a child. I will do everything in my power to change that. And I won’t regret working toward ensuring every person has the same ability to choose what is right for their bodies, their lives. No matter the reason.
Featured image by Julie Frontera
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