My Abortion Story Doesn’t Matter

My Great-Grandmother’s Work as an Abortionist Doesn’t Either

4 min readJun 24, 2022


Illustration 246919759 / Abortion © M-sur |

In March of this year, I led a group of female writers through a 10-week program to write a personal story that was a “revelation’ to them. We performed our stories for an audience of other women. At that time, I chose to share my very private experience with abortion. Today (as Roe v. Wade falls), I feel compelled to share it with a larger audience even though it may be too late to matter.

I’m in a doctor’s office filling out a new patient form. The question stares at me, as if taunting me with its accusation. But I dutifully fill it out.

FOUR pregnancies, THREE children. It’s not the only time I think of him.Sometimes around August, I wonder who he might have become. That baby of mine.

He’d be 34 years old now. I imagine he’d have brown hair and hazel eyes. Taller than his father. Maybe with a cleft in his chin, like my husband’s grandfather or a twinkle in his eye like my beloved grandmother.

But no — he’s just a number on a form — my shadow child — the baby I didn’t have.

The one I CHOSE not to have. The one I don’t regret.

But I still remember.

It’s 1987. I’m 23 years old — moving from Los Angeles to New York for graduate school. My summer fling was confused between loving me and his long-distance girlfriend. We weren’t ready.

And, being ready to become a parent, to accept that responsibility, to support another person was part of the promise between me and what was growing inside me.

These are the things I thought about when I called the man I’d been dating to tell him. These are the things I thought about as I dialed Planned Parenthood.

And these are the things I thought about as I reflected on my two previous pregnancy scares. One with each serious boyfriend. Both ended up as late periods. I had been lucky.




Former movie popcorn server, singing telegram, celebrity publicist, marketing maven and event producer. Finally adding writer.