CJ Koivuniemi

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I had an abortion. I was twenty years old and living in Ireland, a country known for its stance in abortion rights. At the time I was a product of my Catholic conservative upbringing, and I was not a supporter of abortion rights, to say the least. But when I took a pregnancy test, I knew I couldn't have a child in my current situation. I hadn't finished University, I had no money, I didn't have any help for a pregnancy and childbirth and rearing a child. I had an abortion through Women On Web four years ago and I finally feel like I can tell my story. It's been more than four years and having the power and autonomy to end a pregnancy and continue my individual life has continued to improve my life. I have a career, a partner, and things in my life that an unwanted pregnancy and child would have barred me from. I advocate for abortion rights because it's personal.

2014 Ireland

Painful but fortunately, no complications.

Did the illegality of your abortion affect your feelings?

Yes. I felt trapped and lost, like there was no way out and death was the only option.

How did other people react to your abortion?

My family doesn't know because if they knew, they would never speak to me again. My partner is supportive and validates how alone I felt. My therapist validates and listens and offers support and healing. No one else knows.

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