An Interview With A Woman Who Had An Abortion

Elizabeth* is 35. She grew up in the South, currently lives in Brooklyn, and has been married for two years. After a previous miscarriage at 10 weeks, she was overjoyed to find herself pregnant for a second time. At 31 weeks, she found out that the baby boy she was carrying wouldn’t be able to breathe outside the womb and would not survive. And at 32 weeks, she flew to Colorado to get a shot that would start the process of a third-trimester abortion; she then flew back to New York to finish the delivery. We talked on the phone two weeks into her recovery.


Have you always been pro-choice?


Yes. I grew up in a pretty liberal family, or at least, my mom’s side of the family is liberal. My dad’s side is more conservative. They’re divorced now, and my dad’s family doesn’t know this part. I’ve had to tell the abridged version of the story to a lot of people.


The abridged version being—


That we lost the baby at 32 weeks. Which is true.


How many people know that you got the abortion?


My mom and our very closest friends. Probably 10 people, if you don’t include the people at work that my boss told, which is a bad little side note. I have really amazing insurance through one of my day jobs, in a small department of an investment bank. When this all started to happen, I told my boss, because I didn’t know how long I would be gone from work. He took it upon himself to tell our department.


Oh, no.


Yeah. I’m a very private person—Facebook didn’t even know I was pregnant—and I feel humiliated. It’s a blatant HIPAA violation. In retrospect I shouldn’t have told him anything, but either way, everyone knows now, and I feel like I really can’t go back.


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