I lived in Pittsburgh, and went to Pitt for two years, then I dropped out to work full-time. I worked three jobs, and volunteered at the local radio station, and I had an apartment that I shared with my boyfriend.
He was ex-army, kicked out for abusing Percocet that he’d gotten for a knee injury (training, not combat — this is before Desert Storm). A terrific writer, but no follow-through. He’d get 10 pages into a story and then….stop. He wasn’t really able to hold down a job. I supported the two of us. I was really kind of an idiot about him. But not so much of an idiot that I would have unprotected sex with him. No, I was not so much of an idiot as that.
We spent some holidays with his parents (he lived locally), and I loved his mom and sister.
We got a dog, and we both adored that puppy. And then, one day, my boyfriend got pissed about something that the dog chewed on, and kicked him.
He kicked our dog.
I packed up everything I owned, called my friend Steve Mahofsky (he had a car, a credit card, and a somewhat flexible schedule), and he rented a U-haul, filled it with my stuff, and drove me and my dog home to Brooklyn the very next day.
The Very. Next. Day.
Two weeks later, in Brooklyn, I didn’t get my period. I thought it might be stress, you know. But I took a pregnancy test anyway when it still wasn’t there five days after that.
It was positive.
I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood. There was no doubt in my mind about what I was going to do. I was NOT going to tie myself forever to a man who had kicked. my. dog. If he could kick the dog, he could hit me. Or a baby. No. Flipping. Way. I was NOT going to bring a child into the world to have that man as a father. I was NOT.
Being with him in the first place was the stupidest choice I’ve ever made. Having an abortion after I left him, was the best choice I’ve ever made.
And it’s important to me that other women, that ALL women, be able to be free to make their own choices.
If it’s important to you, too. You know what to do.