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Women need to be able to make the choice

My husband didn’t want to have kids, and I thought I was okay with that. I had a lot of things to fill my life, and I loved him. Then one night, switching between birth control options, we weren’t quite as careful as we should have been. Just one night. And then I was late. I doubted I was pregnant, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I left work, drove to Ulmer’s, brought a pregnancy test back to the office and sat in the bathroom, just waiting the 60 seconds to ease my mind. It came back positive. And I knew in that moment that I wanted the baby. I have always believed in the right to choose, but I knew what I was going to choose. Life went on, I had a beautiful baby girl, her dad stepped up to the challenge, but things change, relationships fracture, and now, years later, I find myself going through a divorce as Roe v. Wade is overturned. As I navigated through the separation I had another brief romantic entanglement. It was nice, but didn’t last. We were safe, and I had no reason for concern, until I was 10 days late. I weighed all the variables and thought it was incredibly unlikely I was pregnant, but after 10 days my mind was spiraling down a worrisome path. Again, I left work, drove to Ulmer’s to buy a pregnancy test, and sat in the bathroom at my office, waiting for lines to appear on a little white stick. This time it was different. I was going through a divorce, and already had one child I was worried about ruining. I didn’t want to start all over again. And the man I’d slept with had moved onto a different phase in his life, the reason we didn’t last, and I couldn’t imagine telling him I was pregnant. I never thought I would get an abortion, but as I sat in that bathroom, the day after Roe was overturned, I thought I was lucky that I probably could still get one, if I needed to, for a little while anyway. And I would have. The test was negative. My period came the next day. Everything back to status quo. But I will never presume to know what I could, or would, or will do. Life is hard, and complicated, and this has reaffirmed what I already knew. Women need to be able to make the choice, to have access to healthcare, to direct the course of their own life.

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