Opinion: Every Abortion Story is Unique

By Teresa Rennie

January 10, 2024

“I couldn’t be happier with the life I had because of the choice I had when I was young. Everyone should have that option available to them” writes a Philadelphia resident on her choice to have an abortion.

At the end of June 2005, I was coming out of a restaurant when my mom looked at me and asked if I was pregnant. My knee jerk reaction was to say, “No, of course not!” But then I started counting and realized I was a few days late.

I talked to my boyfriend and we decided to wait a few days and then test if needed. Every time I went to the bathroom I hoped to have my period. I was going to be starting at a new college in the fall. I was going to get my driver’s license. I was going to work at a camp I loved with my boyfriend and dear friends. All of that would go away. As would my mental health. One of the medications I needed to be on, following a stay in a mental hospital the previous year, said in big blaring letters not to get pregnant and could cause serious birth defects.

Simply, I was not in a space to handle being a mom, let alone a mom to a special needs child. I still lived at home with my mom.

Three days came and went. It was time to buy a test. We went to the drug store and bought the early result tests. And went back to my house since my mom wasn’t home. I peed on the stick. Then I sat on the bathroom floor while my boyfriend sat on the bathtub. We waited.

It was positive.

I looked at my boyfriend who was scared but ready to support me in any decision I made and said “I can’t have a baby! I’m not ready.”

We went online and I looked up where a Planned Parenthood was near me. Luckily there was one close by. I called and told them I was pregnant and needed an abortion. I made an appointment.

My boyfriend took me to my appointment. It was confirmed I was pregnant. They gave me an appointment to come back in about a week to have the procedure.

My boyfriend drove me back on that scheduled day. He walked me to the front door while protesters screamed that I was a murderer, that I was going to hell and told me to turn back.

I went in and went back. It was too early for a procedural abortion, so I received a pill and went home.

The next day I went to work. I didn’t have health insurance or a job with paid time off so I worked all day while my body experienced a miscarriage. It was painful but in the end, I was relieved.

This story has a happy ending.

My boyfriend and I ended up husband and wife. We have two gorgeous sons. One who is medically complex as well as having autism, ADHD and gifted skills. Our other son has a speech delay. They both have a rare genetic disorder.

My abortion gave me the life I have now. I have my dream job as a teacher. I have my education. I even went on to get a Master’s degree. I am mentally stable. I was ready – in a good place mentally, emotionally, financially and psychologically to have children when we chose to have them.

And I couldn’t be happier with the life I had because of the choice I had when I was young. Everyone should have that option available to them. No politician knew my story, and they didn’t belong in my process to make the best decision for me, my present or my future. My personal experience, anyone’s personal experience, is unique and the broad brush that anti-abortion politicians paint with hurt us all.


  • Teresa Rennie

    Teresa Rennie is a 40 year old mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and teacher. She grew up and lives in Philadelphia.


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