I'm a Married Mom & I'm Getting an Abortion

woman waiting doctors office
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When people think about what kind of woman decides to have an abortion, I suspect many picture a frightened teenage girl or maybe a college student. The truth is, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of women who get an abortion are over the age of 25. What may be even more surprising for some people is that the majority of women who have abortions are already mothers. Amanda Jones* is one of them. Amanda is a married mother of two who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She agreed to be interviewed just days after terminating her pregnancy at eight weeks.

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Tell us a little bit about your situation.

My name is Amanda and I've been married for eight years now. My husband Kevin* and I have two kids, Lily* (4 years old) and Henry* (18 months). Kevin is a junior high teacher and I'm a nurse. We found out that I was pregnant about a month ago and decided to have an abortion about a week later.

Why did you make the choice to have an abortion?

A whole host of reasons, really. The first and foremost is that I feel really certain that our family is complete. We've been planning on my husband getting a vasectomy this summer, once he is out for the school year, and I've been on a breastfeeding-friendly version of the pill until then. I just weaned Henry and switched pills and I think that is when we got pregnant. 

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The other factor is that I had a HORRIBLE pregnancy with Henry. I had hyperemesis gravidarum with both pregnancies but it was really severe with Henry. I ended up in the hospital with dehydration several times, and I actually weighed less at the end of my pregnancy than I did at the beginning. Then I had a complicated delivery and a hemorrhage. I remember telling Kevin when we left the hospital with Henry that I was NEVER going through that again. It was physically and financially hard -- I missed a lot of work.

When I looked at the pee stick with the positive sign, I didn't feel any joy. I just felt dread at the thought of going through it all again. I love and adore my kids SO much. But I knew I couldn't do it again.

Was your husband on board right away?

You know, he was. I don't think he would have brought it [abortion] up as an option, even though he knows we are both pro-choice. I don't think he would have felt like he could suggest it. But as soon as I admitted out loud that I didn't want to do it [have another baby], he was in agreement. He's been a rock star and with me every step of the way.

Did you tell friends or family you were having an abortion?

So, that is the hard part, really. I've shared it with a few friends but we can't tell our families. We both come from super religious and conservative families, and I know they'd probably call us murderers. Hard to have a good Thanksgiving dinner when half the people there think you are going to hell.

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I also feel like I can't tell some of my friends, even the ones who are pro-choice, because maybe they won't think we had a "good enough" reason. Like, we're married, we have a house, we're good parents, we could technically afford another baby. But I think not wanting one is reason enough.

Was adoption ever on the table for discussion?

No. Adoption doesn't solve the problem of having to survive being pregnant when you don't want to be and are likely to be sick as a dog the whole time. It also would have been really confusing for the kids, I think, and, honestly, awkward as hell to explain to people.

What was the day of your abortion like?

Calm, mostly. Kevin and I each took the day off of work. A friend came to watch the kids for us so we could get on the road early. We opted to go to a clinic about two hours away, so we wouldn't risk running into someone we knew (my mother is a clinic protester, and Kevin's dad is a pastor at a church that is very "right to life").

There were protesters at the clinic we went to and the graphic signs they held up were disgusting. I flipped them off when we went in. The women working at the clinic were all incredibly kind to me. The procedure wasn't too bad -- far less painful than childbirth, for sure. I mostly slept on the car ride home and then the rest of the day. We told my daughter, Lily, I had a tummy ache and that she had to be gentle with me.

How are you feeling about your choice now?

Relieved! I 100 percent feel sure we made the right decision. I'm glad I was able to get it done safely and legally.

Why did you want to share your story with CafeMom?

Because I want to normalize abortion, if that makes sense. When I was researching it, I found out how incredibly common it is but nobody really talks about it. In this political climate, I think we have to be more honest about who gets abortions and why. I'm not a 15-year-old or a broke single mom. I'm an educated woman who made the best choice for her family. I should be the face of it [abortion] -- though, ironically, I still want my identity protected.

Will you tell your daughter about your abortion someday?

Yes! I want her to know that she has choices and that nobody should have to have a baby when they aren't ready or don't want to. I don't plan to keep it a secret but I will wait until she is old enough to understand. I want her to know that good moms make this choice too.

 

*Names have been changed by request

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