Women's Issues: Abortion, After the Decision: ABORTION_ALLISONJOYCE__103-copy

Lisa, a 27-year-old restaurant manager, poses for a portrait in her home in, Massachusetts. Lisa says she was 24 when she became pregnant and had an abortion. “I told my husband at the time – we weren’t divorced yet but… I was leaving him, and he was really supportive and (it was) surprising because it was not a great relationship anyway… I didn’t have to think about it. It wasn’t like, “will I, won’t I.” It was like, this is happening. I think I was kind of fortunate in a really sad way that it wasn’t a difficult decision… I was alone. I didn’t have any family and I didn’t have any friends really. I had one friend but she was not a very good friend. So I kind of went through it all alone,” Lisa said. You can always look back in retrospect and say ‘this is what it would have been like’ but you never know… I’m happy. I’m very happy. I was leaving. I was trying to cope with moving out, having no money, no support. I had two jobs. I was working like a maniac just trying to cope… So it was like, all these things are happening at the same time. I was like, “Ok now I’m pregnant. Ok, I have no money.” And when I left my husband and divorced him, I didn’t take a cent or a dime from him. I didn’t want anything… I just felt completely alone. They have doctors at the clinic and they ask you what your life situation is like right now to see if… I think they are trying to see if you’re psychologically fit to do that, because it’s a really painful thing emotionally to go through. And some people maybe need extra psychological care if they’re going to do it or ‘are you going to be ok if you do this.’ She was asking me a list of questions and she’s like, ‘So you’re getting divorced.’ And then I had to move a few times, because I didn’t like where I was living and I didn’t have money and I did and I didn’t and then, she’s like, ‘Oh, the most stressful things in this country are divorce and moving.” And I was like, ‘I just got divorced and I’ve moved twice. And now I’m doing this.’ And it’s like – ugh,” Lisa said. “I had a boyfriend after I got married and I wrote down what that decision would be if I found myself pregnant again. Ultimately I think I would go through with the pregnancy even if it didn’t work out, just because, I don’t know… I would know I was in a better place and the person that I was with… they would support me and a child and whatever I wanted to do. And I think it’s just crazy… the worse my situation was with him the easier the decision to do it was, and the better the situation would be, the harder the decision would be. And I just thought it was a weird dichotomy… After I had it I got an IUD right away. I was like, ‘I’m not ever getting pregnant again unless I’m sure.’ So I’m taking extreme measures – not extreme, but as much as I possibly can to never have that happen again,” Lisa said. “No regrets. You never think about how you’re going to feel when you do it. And when I did it, it was pretty straight-forward… The decision to do it wasn’t hard and afterwards it hasn’t been hard in that area. I mean, I’ve had struggles but – no. And I thought I would maybe think about what it would be like if I went through with the pregnancy and having a child and… I don’t think about it. I don’t try to think about it. I don’t try not to, I just – I don’t,”

Lisa, a 27-year-old restaurant manager, poses for a portrait in her home in, Massachusetts. Lisa says she was 24 when she became pregnant and had an abortion. “I told my husband at the time – we weren’t divorced yet but… I was leaving him, and he was really supportive and (it was) surprising because it was not a great relationship anyway… I didn’t have to think about it. It wasn’t like, “will I, won’t I.” It was like, this is happening. I think I was kind of fortunate in a really sad way that it wasn’t a difficult decision… I was alone. I didn’t have any family and I didn’t have any friends really. I had one friend but she was not a very good friend. So I kind of went through it all alone,” Lisa said. You can always look back in retrospect and say ‘this is what it would have been like’ but you never know… I’m happy. I’m very happy. I was leaving. I was trying to cope with moving out, having no money, no support. I had two jobs. I was working like a maniac just trying to cope… So it was like, all these things are happening at the same time. I was like, “Ok now I’m pregnant. Ok, I have no money.” And when I left my husband and divorced him, I didn’t take a cent or a dime from him. I didn’t want anything… I just felt completely alone. They have doctors at the clinic and they ask you what your life situation is like right now to see if… I think they are trying to see if you’re psychologically fit to do that, because it’s a really painful thing emotionally to go through. And some people maybe need extra psychological care if they’re going to do it or ‘are you going to be ok if you do this.’ She was asking me a list of questions and she’s like, ‘So you’re getting divorced.’ And then I had to move a few times, because I didn’t like where I was living and I didn’t have money and I did and I didn’t and then, she’s like, ‘Oh, the most stressful things in this country are divorce and moving.” And I was like, ‘I just got divorced and I’ve moved twice. And now I’m doing this.’ And it’s like – ugh,” Lisa said. “I had a boyfriend after I got married and I wrote down what that decision would be if I found myself pregnant again. Ultimately I think I would go through with the pregnancy even if it didn’t work out, just because, I don’t know… I would know I was in a better place and the person that I was with… they would support me and a child and whatever I wanted to do. And I think it’s just crazy… the worse my situation was with him the easier the decision to do it was, and the better the situation would be, the harder the decision would be. And I just thought it was a weird dichotomy… After I had it I got an IUD right away. I was like, ‘I’m not ever getting pregnant again unless I’m sure.’ So I’m taking extreme measures – not extreme, but as much as I possibly can to never have that happen again,” Lisa said. “No regrets. You never think about how you’re going to feel when you do it. And when I did it, it was pretty straight-forward… The decision to do it wasn’t hard and afterwards it hasn’t been hard in that area. I mean, I’ve had struggles but – no. And I thought I would maybe think about what it would be like if I went through with the pregnancy and having a child and… I don’t think about it. I don’t try to think about it. I don’t try not to, I just – I don’t,”