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Holly’s Story

I can’t really remember what year the abortion was. I think it was 2004. I was working on my bachelor’s at the time and I had three daughters already. I had left my husband in Woodridge, Illinois, because of domestic violence and I didn’t want anymore children. I already had more [children] than I planned on having – I had planned on having none.

I used birth control, so when I found myself pregnant, I was really furious. It was the Today Sponge and it didn’t work this time—it got dislodged. And I just instantly knew I was pregnant.

My friend, my partner, came by and he was excited about this yellow car that he used to have. I was just sitting there trying to figure out how to tell him. I was concerned about him being offended because of what I’d made up in my mind to do, and after a while I decided to just stop him with his car story. I said, “Look, I’m pregnant and I’m not having it. No offense.” He was supportive, so he told me to do “whatever it is you need to do.”

The process was fairly quick and comforting ladies were there. They were very helpful and supportive. I went home and rested.

I never thought about the fact that my mom had a friend who was supposed to go to an abortionist [pre-Roe], but she didn’t make it. She died. The house was just in turmoil after that. My mom passed about this time last year and it was one of the things I wish I’d asked her – how she was feeling with that. Because it never came up again.

But for myself, in terms of my ability to make the decision, it was like, “Do I wanna stay in bed today or do I want to get up?”

The option was there for me. It wasn’t complicated; I wasn’t worried about what other people were thinking.

The biggest thing for me was that I had [left] this abusive marriage. I left a three-bedroom, two-car garage house and an extraordinary community. When I came back to St. Louis, I came back with three kids and five suitcases, 60 dollars and a box of Church’s chicken. That was it.

It was as if my worth was just staring me in the face. My economic situation was devoid—I hadn’t finished school, I had no real job experience and I had to climb a rocky, sharp-edged mountain to try to be some kind of parental guideline to the children I had.

Everything moving forward at that point was about getting my life back on track. And I could not see how additional children was going to help me do that.

It is so extremely personal for me that a woman should decide whether or not to have an abortion. Having another baby was nowhere near the picture for me. I couldn’t even see it. I think that if someone had tied my hands and said “you’re going to have this baby,” I would have done something drastic because I did not want any more children. And it’s my right to not want anymore children. It’s my right to parent in what I deem are the best circumstances for the children I have, and to go on and further my education and to further my life.


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