My name is Angie, I’m a Texan, I’ve had an abortion. It sometimes feels hard to remember what life pre-pandemic was like, but back in 2017 I was going through my own set of challenges. At the time, I was in the middle of a divorce from my high school sweetheart of 16 years, which was made all the more difficult because of our two beautiful children.
Disaster struck that year in the form of Hurricane Harvey. The chaos and uncertainty of the storm urged us to evacuate together, as a family. The divorce was already overwhelming, so we tried to find comfort in each other. In those few days, that forced us together, we tried to salvage our marriage.
It was all short lived, things again began to spin out of control. The arguments and toxic habits were back with a vengeance. On a morning of more arguing, while I was brushing my teeth, I felt incredibly nauseous. I had a sinking feeling, because that nausea had happened to me two times before in my life.
I made an appointment with an OBGYN and discovered that I was six weeks pregnant. I was truly shocked and terrified. A million thoughts consumed my mind. I realized that staying in my relationship was incredibly toxic for both me and my children. Over the past year, their trauma had taken on the form of failing grades at school and many therapy sessions. I decided then that I could not restart another toxic cycle with my husband. I wouldn’t do that to myself or to my children.
This was all happening while I had just begun my career. I had been a stay at home mom since my son was born, and after 16 years, I was finally learning how to be independent, without the help of my husband. Having another child was not the right thing for me or my family at the time, it would have caused me to continue to be dependent on others. It was this sense of independence that inspired me to call and make an appointment with my local Planned Parenthood.
After being given all the options, I made the decision to proceed with an abortion.
After my abortion, I felt one single feeling: relief. While having my abortion was not an easy decision, it was the right decision for me and for my family. I considered my financial stability, my children’s mental health, and my personal independence. Talking about this shouldn’t be taboo. It should be something that we are all able to do together. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I knew I was going to be okay.
Having my abortion was the first decision I made independently from my ex-husband. I was the only one who knew my full situation, and no one should have the right to question someone as to why they make this decision.
I was lucky to obtain a safe and legal abortion when I did. If Texas’ ban had been law at the time, the entire trajectory of my life would have been completely different than what it is now. Robbing me of my right to have an abortion would have robbed me of my economic independence and my ability to control my future.
As we head to the polls for this mid-term election, for me and many other voters, abortion access is just as much an economic consideration as gas prices, food, and rent. Is there more of a kitchen table issue than how many mouths you are able to feed at that table? The reality is that being denied an abortion can have devastating consequences on someone’s economic status – someone who is denied an abortion is more likely to be pushed deeper into poverty. In my case, if I would have been denied an abortion, I could easily still be financially dependent on my abuser and putting my children in harms way.
Everyone deserves the right to decide when to become a parent. And I will be voting for the people who support that right.