The first thing I should say is that I totally have it blocked out of my mind in terms of thinking emotionally about it. I don't think of it as a major traumatic thing in my life. I think of it as a fact. But very few people know... even just talking about it--I've buried it. I don't know if I feel embarrassed about it--I've just totally put it away. It's part of a more unpleasant time in my life. I guess that frames how I talk about it.
In terms of how it came to be: I was 19. I was totally unstable in high school. I went to college feeling totally independent and personally together, and I had this boyfriend. He went away for the summer and right before he went away, I went to New York to visit him. The condom broke, and that was the first time I had an experience with that. I think it was Saturday and I called my doctor for the morning-after pill, but didn't get it until Monday. So I probably took it outside the window of when that would be effective. It turns out that it wasn't.
So [my boyfriend] was in Mexico and I sent him a fax to tell him. It really didn't seem to bother him. He didn't seem to care. When he got back I was really upset about it and he told me it would be more upsetting if his computer crashed. I had to fight with him to help me pay for it. He was just an awful guy. It wasn't even an option to keep it. It would have just derailed my life. I wouldn't want to do that to my life and I wouldn't want to put an unwanted thing into the world.
I totally don't talk about--I think there's an association that you're a floozy or irresponsible. I guess as a woman you don't want to make a lot of references to your sexuality. We're supposed to be demure and virginal. To say 'I had an abortion' it's like, 'oh, you're not a virgin!' My friend told me her mom had one, which was reassuring because she was a normal, respectable grown-up. There was none of the stigma attached to her.