My name is Robin Osborne.
I’ve had an abortion.
It was February 14th 1973. I got on an airplane from Kentucky to New York City. It was before Roe. I was 15 years old and pregnant.
I didn’t know what to do. I grew up in rural Northern Kentucky. I had three siblings with a rare genetic disorder born in the sixties. I was a caregiver as a child and couldn’t bear the thought of bringing a baby into this situation. My friend had an abortion the year before and helped me navigate the process.
I was raised in the Baptist church and having a child out of wedlock was unheard of according to our religion. Back then, the state could have taken this child because I was still a teenager. I knew there wasn’t really a good outcome to going forward with the pregnancy. I was poor. I was busy taking care of my siblings. And after what happened with my disabled siblings, I felt abortion was the best choice for me.
I went to planned parenthood in Cincinnati and they facilitated the appointment in New York for me. My boyfriend came up with the money. I lied to my parents and my friend took me to the airport.
As I flew into the city, the flight attendant must have known. It wasn’t uncommon for abortion clinics to arrange flights with those of us getting care out of state. I made up a story, but she helped me get a hotel for the night. I knew my parents were not supportive, and I honestly don’t know how I pulled it off. I was afraid of them finding out, but I was more afraid of my future being forced to be pregnant.
I made it to the clinic and was so scared and nervous. They were kind and it was safe, and the facility was clean. It was no different than any other medical procedure. I was under 8 weeks pregnant. I had some bleeding afterwards but no complications.
I made it back to the airport and got back home safely. I didn’t feel any shame because to me, it was just like any other procedure. It wasn’t until I got home where I felt like I was judged harshly for my decision.
After years of therapy, I felt more empowered to share parts of my story. I know that the guilt I felt was not a reflection of my decision, but the stigma around abortion.
I don’t regret my choice, because it afforded me a better outcome in my life. For me, the only difficult part of getting an abortion back then was the logistics of it all.
Because I was able to make that choice, I went on to have a successful life. I owned two replacement glass companies, quite rare for a woman. I was also featured on the cover of the National Glass Magazine with my company in Northern Kentucky.
One of those companies was named Ms. Glass dba… in honor of Ms. Magazine and Gloria Steinem who has been a role model for me.
Now, I’m really angry.
I feel like the government has not done enough to protect this right. At the end of the day, overturning Roe V Wade is about power and control. The Supreme Court doesn’t know my story. They don’t know anything about me. They assume what my story is without actually hearing me. I am tired of people writing my story for me.
I will continue to share my experience and be outspoken about my abortion because I don’t want anyone to feel the condemnation I felt about my decision.
To those in power: How DARE you tell me what to do with my body?
My body, my choice. Bans off my body.
Robin Osborne lives in Northern Kentucky.