Your Abortions. Your Voices. Your Stories. | American Civil Liberties Union

People who have had abortions share how abortion access changed their lives for the better.

Everyone deserves the right to decide when and whether to start a family, no matter where they live. But across half the states, 36 million people are in danger of losing that right after the Supreme Court’s shameful decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

To demonstrate what’s at stake, we called for stories from people who have had abortions — people of all genders, ages, faiths, and socioeconomic backgrounds — to tell us why abortion should be a fundamental right.

Abortion is Essential

Forcing women and other people to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, and derailing their education and career plans. These are just some of the factors that may impact a person’s decision to seek an abortion, and why abortion access is essential.

“When I found out I was pregnant I was so scared, I was too immature and would have no support to raise a child. So I got an abortion. I have absolutely no regrets.” – Anonymous, Ohio
“I was in an abusive relationship, severely depressed, and in my first semester of law school. My abortion saved my life.” – Anonymous, Michigan
“Why? Because I didn’t want to be pregnant. That’s a good enough reason.” – Anonymous, Oklahoma
“I couldn't cope with disappointing my parents and knew if I had this child with this guy, I would be doing it all on my own.” – Anonymous, California
“I knew what it was like to have a parent that ‘didn’t want you’ and another parent that was absent/estranged. It wasn’t the life I wanted for my child.” – Courtney, Michigan
“It was 1971. I had just graduated from college. My only income came from making and selling paper mâché puppets in Harvard Square.” – Jane, New York
“It was the right choice for me and MY health. Physically, mentally, and financially.” – Anonymous, California
“I was unequipped to handle that sort of personal crisis on my own, uninformed about my body or how to protect myself, what to do if the worst thing I could possibly imagine happened (because that was the very worst thing I could imagine).” – Dee Dee,
It was the right decision for me and the children that I has already brought into this world that needed me to take the time to heal and figure out how to adequately care for them as a single mom.” — Elizabeth, Georgia
I was in college, I was very dedicated to my career, I knew I was not going to marry this guy, and quite frankly, I was just not ready to be a mom.” — Rachel, Florida

Abortion is Liberating

Abortion access allows us to make decisions about our own health, decide if and when to have a child, and pursue the education and career of our dreams. For many, abortion is liberation, allowing for bodily autonomy and the ability to determine our own futures.

“Hearing I wasn’t pregnant anymore made me feel like I got MY life back, I got a second chance to plan how I want to be a mother in the future and not be forced into it. And for that I’m so grateful!” – Anonymous, Florida
“This is what abortion looks like. A 21 year old trans man who was given a choice between living or dying. And it was rather obvious what the preferred choice there was. I’m still breathing because I was lucky enough to be able to access such an option.” – Kris, Florida
My abortion made it so that I was able to get back into college, complete my engineering degree, and address mental health issues stemming from my abusive childhood. Without that, I fear the cycle of poverty & abuse of my single parent upbringing would have persisted.” – Cara, New Jersey
“I was able to graduate college, travel and continue my life plan that never involved being a mother.” – Anonymous, California
“I didn’t experience guilt or trauma, I experienced relief. Relief that I had a second chance to straighten my life out which I did. no-one and I mean no-one should have made that decision for me.” – Carolyn, Arizona
“I get to live the life I want, and live it at my own pace. I want to have a baby one day, but I’m not ready yet.” – Katherine, Washington
“I get to live the life I want, and live it at my own pace. I want to have a baby one day, but I’m not ready yet.” – Katherine, Washington
“An abortion gave me a path out of my bad marriage.” – Anonymous, California
"I was able to serve in the Peace Corps, teach young women about repro health, go to grad school, and now I work at the global level towards achieving equitable access to repro health."
“I made a deal with myself — having the abortion meant I would finish my college degree. [It] took me 9 years of “paying as I went” but [I] completed my college education.” – Courtney, Michigan
“Getting an abortion allowed me to go to college that fall which eventually led to being the first person in my family with a PhD. I have no regrets, and I know that I wouldn’t have the family I have now without it.” – Amanda, Oregon
“Having an abortion was the single most important thing I did to secure my future and gain my life back.” – Angela, California
“The abortion was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was a college student and would have never finished. I now have a masters degree. More importantly, I would have been forever tied to that horrible man.” – Sarah, California
“I ended up graduating college twice, and am now a Registered Nurse. I can’t help but think sometimes that I would have never accomplished all that I have if I had decided not to terminate the pregnancy.” – Amanda, Iowa

Abortion is Healthcare

Pregnancy and childbirth can pose serious health risks that can last a lifetime. For many, abortion access is a matter of life or death. Abortion is essential health care.

I took control and had an uninvasive medical procedure to keep my body and life healthy. The end.” – Sarah, Michigan
“It’s my body. I should come before any clump of cells.” – Anonymous, Michigan
“After my second child my health declined incredibly rapidly […] No one should be forced to sacrifice their body and potential well-being for another person. Period.” – Sarah, Michigan
“I have an autoimmune disease that they told me in my 20's would make me a high-risk pregnancy. I definitely wasn't willing to risk my life for an unplanned pregnancy.” – Anonymous, California
“They are signing death warrants for many women with a stroke of their pen.” - Carolyn, Arizona
“My abortion saved my life. I had an ectopic pregnancy which put my life at risk. I couldn’t leave my two children motherless.” – Anonymous, California
“Pregnancy changes our bodies and our hormones, and some of those changes are permanent. My body has never been the same since having my 2 kids, and I can’t imagine putting my body through that when I wasn’t ready or willing.” – Virginia, California
“When someone needs their appendix out, we don’t ask if they have a right to. It’s medically necessary to that person the same way a woman thinks it’s medically or mentally necessary to have an abortion.” – Anonymous, Ohio
“The right to abortion is not shameful, it’s a necessary medical option that is allowed in a free country.” – Carolyn, Arizona

Abortion is Our Right

The ability to decide when and whether to have a child is a fundamental right. No matter where we live, how much money we make, or who we are, we should all be able to control our own bodies, and make the best medical decisions for our lives and families.

“An abortion isn’t a want, it’s a need.” – Anonymous, Ohio
“I believe abortions save lives and that we all deserve that right to decide if and when we want to carry a child. I couldn’t imagine being forced to carry a child I did not want to have over a mistake me and a partner made. That would be an attack on human rights. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where that is forced upon us.” – Anonymous, Oregon
“There are many things in life that are beyond our control. Pregnancy should not be one of them.” – Jane, New York
“It’s a very personal decision, & no one should be forced to carry a baby to term just because there is lack of access, or some person who just happens to have more saying power in the matter says it shouldn’t be so.” – Marney, New York
“I was just an embarrassed 18-year-old when people would bring up abortion, but now I will shout my abortion because it saved MY life and it was the BEST choice for ME. I have no regrets.” – Amanda, Iowa
“I’ll keep. Telling. My. Story. Until we are all fully free to make our own reproductive choices in America — and why I encourage every other person who has had an abortion to share their story, too. Because everyone should have the right to make the best choices they can for their body, their health, and their family. Period. End of story.” – Anonymous, Michigan