Abortion Story #356: Karen’s two abortions and overcoming shame

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The below excerpt opens Karen’s story. She shares about her two abortions, being shamed by her family and mistreated by one of her partners. Years after her experiences, having overcome the “hurt” of stigma, she speaks of what it was like to finally find compassion and support. Read Karen’s complete story that was published by The Forward.

“I am 56 years old, a wife, mother and soon-to-be grandmother. I’ve just retired from a joyful career as a teacher’s assistant in an elementary school in Georgia. This wonderful life of mine was made possible by two abortions in my teens.

My first abortion was as a ninth grader. None of the adults in my life had taught me about sex, healthy relationships or how to stand up for myself in social situations. I got involved with an older boy who pressured me relentlessly. I got pregnant the first and only time he penetrated me in what was a frightening, painful and degrading encounter. My parents arranged the abortion and swore me to secrecy for eternity. I felt so deeply ashamed…”

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