Shalitha

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I'm 37 years old. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California in the Western Addition. I've been here all my life.

I live with my children but right now I don't have my own place. I had Section 8 housing but they sold the building where I was living. I can't find another place right now. So for now my mom has the kids staying with them. I have a ten year old daughter and an eight year old son. I also have a 20-year-old. She has her own place.

But when I got pregnant this time, it wasn't the right time to have a baby. I was stretched out, on an emotional roller coaster. I didn't have my own place. I wouldn't want to bring a baby into this stressful situation. You know your body has to be right to have a baby. You can't be stressed out. I felt there were too many obstacles that I have to jump through right now.

Once I decided to have an abortion, I knew where to go for the procedure.  At the Clinic they don't automatically give you an abortion but tell you all your options, including adoption. I didn't want to talk about them. I knew what they were. I had been there a couple of times before. I just wanted to get it over. The doctor told me what was going to happen even though I already knew. It was a suction abortion. I was awake. I was so drained – I hadn't slept in a couple of days, I worried about my kids.

Most women feel shame having an abortion. They think they are going to be judged. I'd like to say that we as women are the strongest beings on earth. You know, we endure a lot. It's really hard. Like they say, "Oh, you had an abortion." It doesn't happen like that. You have so many emotions. I was a mother at 17. Do I have the baby or not?  When you have to make a tough decision about your own life, you're not any less for it. If you can't have a child at that moment, it's OK.