#IMadeTheChoice: 4 Black Women Share Their Abortion Stories

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Name: Blue

Age: 33

“We deserve the right to choose our how, our why, our when. We deserve the right to choose ourselves.”

I wanted Junior with everything in me. I spoke to him, and often cried to him. Anxiety, worry and hope pushed and pulled on me. I was a 20-something college student with limited resources and an abusive boyfriend miles away. Thinking back, the stress took its toll, and my son was born at a premature 5-months. Stillborn, they said. I share this because I still mourn Junior but I know that he wasn’t meant to be here. I still have trouble speaking about it, and although my family knows, very few have discussed it with me. The trauma and shame was overwhelming; it took years for me to trust my body again.

Years later, I get pregnant again, still in my twenties. I hope and pray my baby will make it. I see my gynecologist and tell her I’m having pain, she gives me a follow-up appointment. I’m taking extra precautions, I want my baby. However this time they said my baby is ectopic. I had never heard the word ectopic before but knew from the doctor’s tone of voice that it wasn’t good. I immediately started crying. The pregnancy was not viable and posed a threat to me, they said. A pill was prescribed that would remove the life growing inside of me and save mine. I followed the doctor’s orders, but it all felt very cold and matter-of-fact. It felt as if I was being told, “Take this or die.”

It’s strange how life can be so deadly, how us women are given few tools to deal with all the intricacies of reproduction. [We], the trauma survivors are then told to hush up about the experience or expose our pain so the world is forced to see. Why should others have a say in what’s mine? Why should I be open about matters the world would rather hide? Why choose life in this cold harsh world? We should be given all the tools and guidance to protect one of our most precious gifts, our souls. Healthy knowledge about sex, our bodies and reproduction is powerful. We deserve the right to choose our how, our why, our when. We deserve the right to choose ourselves. I decided to give myself more life, a decision that was mine in the beginning.

Women bear the weight of carrying life. We feel life growing from within. We also feel death. We make the hard decisions, and we live (and sometimes die) from those decisions. There’s no room for judgment in my womb. However some people try to shove judgment down our throats, as if the pain and shame isn’t enough. We must do better to support our women, remove the judgment and get out of her womb. The shame and guilt belongs to more than just women, our entire society should feel ashamed and guilty.

Abortion is not easy on anyone, but it has been around since the start of time. Women have found ways to make hard choices, often hurting themselves in the process. With the advancement of medicine, safer options are provided. Better choices can be made. There’s really no way to ban abortions, this is beyond man’s power. We’ll only be banning the facilities—taking us backwards to procedures and options we’d rather forget. Again I ask, “Why choose life, in this cold harsh world?” Give us choice, give us options, give us support; give us back our wombs or else.

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