Kellie's Story

I am so glad I found this site this morning! I am married, the mother of a six-year-old, and I've just found out I'm pregnant again. Two years ago I was unexpectedly pregnant, and I got an abortion. I was surprised that it was so easy, both physically and emotionally. I had grown up hearing and believing the rhetoric of the opponents of abortion, so I was terribly misinformed about what would really happen. When I saw first-hand that abortion is NOTHING like they portray it, I became so angry. Why are the women who really know not voicing the truth as loudly as the opponents are voicing these ridiculous lies? Reading Amy's story made me decide to write mine out here (thank you, Amy).

Anyway, I've just found out I'm pregnant again, and this time it's more difficult for me. I think I might want another child someday, but I know this isn't the time; I just hear that biological clock ticking and I think, "What if this is my last chance?" And this time, it's more complicated.

I think I've always held this notion that one abortion is acceptable; a slip-up one time is fine. But more than once -- I feel that others, maybe the people in the doctor's office, even, might think, gee, what's wrong with this woman? Two abortions? After reading these stories here, I am relieved to see that there shouldn't be some automatic cut-off point at which yet another abortion becomes unacceptable. I'm a sexual creature, and I am fertile. It happens.

This time, though, something has come up to make the abortion more difficult. I've always had terrific medical coverage, so the first abortion just required a normal copayment. I guess I've always just blithely assumed that I would always be allowed abortions both legally and financially. This time, I made the appointment, and the next day my counselor called me back to say that there seems to be a problem with the insurance. I switched insurance to my husband's coverage awhile ago, and he works for the Catholic Church. Guess what? Even though I have the same insurance I had before, there's one little difference, one tiny thing: they don't allow their employees' insurance to cover abortion procedures.

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but it did take me back. I honestly hadn't thought about it. I just assumed that my excellent health care would continue when I switched insurance. Okay, so they're sticking to their moral principles; I can accept that...but the more I think about it, the angrier I get. It's a way of pricing abortion out of my reach so that I'll make the choice that the Catholic church wants me to make: carry this pregnancy to term. Do what I'm "supposed" to do as a woman. Fulfill the role the church thinks I ought to fill. Do the "moral" thing like my good Catholic mother did and have 12 kids (like that's any more ethical in an overpopulated world).

I have to vent here...because I'm so angry...I feel like my arm is being twisted by the Pope himself. I have never before had this much sympathy for women before Roe vs. Wade...or for women who do not have medical insurance at all and find themselves pregnant and, like me, unable to afford the full cost of abortion. I can't tell anyone about this, it seems. I have chosen, like I did last time I got an abortion, not to tell my husband. I have one friend in whom I can confide, and yesterday when I told her how angry and frustrated I am, she said, "Well, what did you expect? It's the Catholic church. Did you think they would allow abortion to be covered by their insurance?"

It's not really the money...I can probably scrape it together somehow before this pregnancy gets too far along to allow for a comfortable's the principle of the thing, the old stuff I was taught in my youth, all those half-truths and patronizing roles pushed upon me. I feel like nobody understands. It's not just the abortion. It's the feeling that somehow I must be less than a perfect woman if I don't want to have another child now. It's the knowledge that no matter what I do, somehow, it all comes back to the power of the religious ones to make me feel I'm doing the wrong, immoral thing. 

I wish we'd all make our stories known publicly more...I am soooo glad for this forum...I always suspected other women were out there, but we all hide, and that makes other women believe the wrong thing about abortion, the shame and the secrecy. I hope every woman can find this site, ones who choose an abortion and ones who choose not to have one.

Thanks for listening...I feel soooo much better...

September 1998

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58% of women who had an abortion had been using a contraceptive during the month they became pregnant.
- Alan Guttmacher Institute