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I've had 3 abortions. Over the years (the first was in 1971, the 3rd in 1986). All my decisions involved maintaining my social standing within my family and my community. I was raised in the Pentecostal faith. Parenting in my family was very rigid, denial of self, corporal punishment, passive hardworking mother, controlling father. In Alice Miller's book, For Your Own Good, there are many passages on parenting dating from the 17th & 18th century that my father seemed to repeat by heart, yet I doubt he ever read any those words. He was only repeating what he was taught.

My mother did not see her children as her own, rather we were her husbands children. She never spoke to me about being a woman, just that I would have to "sleep in the bed I made".

We read the Bible a lot. I could never find anything in the Bible that said that terminating a pregnancy was an unforgivable sin so preserving my standing in the family became most important. I did not want to live my mother's life. Outwardly I was a model child. I had started going to college and having a child would not only destroy my dreams but an out of wedlock birth at 19 would have brought much shame to my family. Once I became aware of abortion as an option, there was no other choice.

Later abortion decisions have different contexts, yet all include maintaining social norms, either mine, or the father's, or both.

I don't believe one can speak of moral and spritual aspects outside of social dynamics of the family. It seems to me that the decision to terminate a pregancy will always include how the woman is and will be perceived her community.