When I was a teen I had a partner who was, at times, verbally abusive. He made threats that he would have his family members physically attack me if I “acted out.” Because his abuse didn’t leave me with bruises, I thought it was part of a deep love that sometimes hurts. His threats were peppered with whispers of love and plans for the future. Mistakenly I thought we’d be able to work it out. It wasn’t until he punched a wall next to my head, resulting in a boxer’s fracture and a cast, that I realized I should start planning my exit strategy. When I found out that I was pregnant, at 19, I knew I had to get out. I couldn’t put a child through the stress and violence I experienced.
Having an abortion was one of the ways I was able to leave the relationship and make changes in my life. It was the best decision for me. I will never apologize for that.
With the prevalence of abuse in relationships, my story is common.— Renee Bracey Sherman in her RH Reality Check article For Survivors of Abuse, Access to Abortion Can Be a Lifesaver