Women's Issues: Abortion, After the Decision: ABORTION_ALLISONJOYCE__101-copy

Lisa, a 45-year-old writer, poses for a portrait in her home in, Massachusetts. Lisa says she became pregnant and had two abortions when she was in her 30′s. “His immediate response was ‘Well you can’t have it!’ It was such a fast and such a visceral response that he had. I asked him why and he said ‘Well you just have to get an abortion… you can’t have this baby and there’s no way around it,” Lisa said. “All I kept hearing was, ‘I will never love you and I will never love this baby.’ … When I looked down the road five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, I didn’t see any happiness in this child’s life. I wanted the baby. I knew that I could love it and I could give it certain things, but hate is a powerful emotion to overcome in a child’s life. Not being wanted is a very powerful emotion in a child’s life. You can do a lot of damage to a child with that feeling. I couldn’t inflict that kind of pain on a child – knowing what that felt like… So I agreed to terminate the pregnancy… After some while… I said ‘Look, if you didn’t want children you should have controlled your – fully controlled – your reproduction.’ And that’s what upsets me so much about when I hear the abortion debate now, is that I don’t hear any part of that at all – there’s nothing about men needing to control their reproduction. Because it’s almost like women enjoy having abortions. It’s like it’s a cavalier decision,” Lisa said. “We’ve been conditioned that there’s a certain kind of woman that has an abortion. You know, that it’s poor women who have abortions, who just don’t want to control their reproductive rights and that those women who have abortions – it’s not the more common thing where it’s women who do control their reproductive rights. But, things happen. Nothing is 100%. And when nothing is 100% you will have an unplanned pregnancy. I’ve been in there with married couples, who had too many children and were deciding to terminate because they had four kids or something. And they thought the fifth was too many. It’s not what you think it is… We’re conditioned that it’s bad and we’re conditioned that if – how could you let yourself be so stupid to get in that position. What is wrong with you? And, how could you do that?… There was another person there who shares 50% of it and somehow they walk away scott-free… I will always regret not having children… I think when I was pregnant that was probably the right time to have kids. Because children bring a certain clarity to your life. There’s a sense of humor and there’s a wisdom to kids that most adults lack… I regret the choices that I made with regard to the men I was with… that’s time that I can’t get back. But, I do not regret the decision to terminate those pregnancies. That was the right decision for each one of those pregnancies that was tied to each one of those men,” Lisa said. Lisa says she became pregnant and had two abortions when she was in her 30′s. The second time Lisa was pregnant, it was with a man who had two daughters and was in the process of getting a divorce with his wife. Lisa says she was off birth control for medical reasons. “I said ‘you can’t support what you have financially.’ He couldn’t support what he had. I ended up finding out I was pregnant and I said it to him. And he looked at me and he goes ‘Well you know I don’t know what to tell you, but I can’t have another child. I don’t want another child.’ He said, ‘It’s going to be really damaging to the girls.’ We had a fight in this house that I think they can still hear. … I was mad at myself for allowing it to happen. I just remember feeling disgusted and used and just hating him so much. … In that case I decided to have an abortion. He wasn’t somebody that I wanted to be tied to. I felt like it was one of the stupidest things that I ever could have done. … I had put my reproductive future in his hands. And I trusted him with that. And he violated that trust.. It was almost unforgivable to me that I would get pregnant – that I would be so stupid to put myself in that same situation that I had just two years previously with someone else who couldn’t commit, with someone else who was pathetic. And I was right back in that same situation. But I didn’t want to be tied to him. And it was terrible and I hated myself for it, I hated myself for it. I hated how quickly I made the decision,” Lisa said.

Lisa, a 45-year-old writer, poses for a portrait in her home in, Massachusetts. Lisa says she became pregnant and had two abortions when she was in her 30′s. “His immediate response was ‘Well you can’t have it!’ It was such a fast and such a visceral response that he had. I asked him why and he said ‘Well you just have to get an abortion… you can’t have this baby and there’s no way around it,” Lisa said. “All I kept hearing was, ‘I will never love you and I will never love this baby.’ … When I looked down the road five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, I didn’t see any happiness in this child’s life. I wanted the baby. I knew that I could love it and I could give it certain things, but hate is a powerful emotion to overcome in a child’s life. Not being wanted is a very powerful emotion in a child’s life. You can do a lot of damage to a child with that feeling. I couldn’t inflict that kind of pain on a child – knowing what that felt like… So I agreed to terminate the pregnancy… After some while… I said ‘Look, if you didn’t want children you should have controlled your – fully controlled – your reproduction.’ And that’s what upsets me so much about when I hear the abortion debate now, is that I don’t hear any part of that at all – there’s nothing about men needing to control their reproduction. Because it’s almost like women enjoy having abortions. It’s like it’s a cavalier decision,” Lisa said. “We’ve been conditioned that there’s a certain kind of woman that has an abortion. You know, that it’s poor women who have abortions, who just don’t want to control their reproductive rights and that those women who have abortions – it’s not the more common thing where it’s women who do control their reproductive rights. But, things happen. Nothing is 100%. And when nothing is 100% you will have an unplanned pregnancy. I’ve been in there with married couples, who had too many children and were deciding to terminate because they had four kids or something. And they thought the fifth was too many. It’s not what you think it is… We’re conditioned that it’s bad and we’re conditioned that if – how could you let yourself be so stupid to get in that position. What is wrong with you? And, how could you do that?… There was another person there who shares 50% of it and somehow they walk away scott-free… I will always regret not having children… I think when I was pregnant that was probably the right time to have kids. Because children bring a certain clarity to your life. There’s a sense of humor and there’s a wisdom to kids that most adults lack… I regret the choices that I made with regard to the men I was with… that’s time that I can’t get back. But, I do not regret the decision to terminate those pregnancies. That was the right decision for each one of those pregnancies that was tied to each one of those men,” Lisa said. Lisa says she became pregnant and had two abortions when she was in her 30′s. The second time Lisa was pregnant, it was with a man who had two daughters and was in the process of getting a divorce with his wife. Lisa says she was off birth control for medical reasons. “I said ‘you can’t support what you have financially.’ He couldn’t support what he had. I ended up finding out I was pregnant and I said it to him. And he looked at me and he goes ‘Well you know I don’t know what to tell you, but I can’t have another child. I don’t want another child.’ He said, ‘It’s going to be really damaging to the girls.’ We had a fight in this house that I think they can still hear. … I was mad at myself for allowing it to happen. I just remember feeling disgusted and used and just hating him so much. … In that case I decided to have an abortion. He wasn’t somebody that I wanted to be tied to. I felt like it was one of the stupidest things that I ever could have done. … I had put my reproductive future in his hands. And I trusted him with that. And he violated that trust.. It was almost unforgivable to me that I would get pregnant – that I would be so stupid to put myself in that same situation that I had just two years previously with someone else who couldn’t commit, with someone else who was pathetic. And I was right back in that same situation. But I didn’t want to be tied to him. And it was terrible and I hated myself for it, I hated myself for it. I hated how quickly I made the decision,” Lisa said.