It is often argued that women have a right to control their own reproductive capacity and that abortion is a vital tool for doing this. Proponents of this view state that nobody has the right to force a woman to undergo a nine month pregnancy, with all the accompanying discomfort and serious health risks, if she does not want to. Some say that the right to abortion is absolute and it is acceptable to use it as a method of birth control; other pro-choice advocates disagree but believe it should be available in cases where pregnancy will endanger the woman's health, the fetus has a severe congenital defect or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
One day, when I was visiting a Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago, a young girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to be a part of her project in which women share their stories of abortions. I sort of jumped. “I haven’t had an abortion,” I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion. And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department.