Suffice to say in the heat of the moment, we hoped the rhythm method would work. Two weeks later I was pregnant. I would say “we” were pregnant, but it really was only me. I was and am still pro-choice. I knew I had options. I considered them all, including marriage, which this young man sweetly offered. But I never had to make a choice, because… I began to miscarry. I was surprised at the sense of loss I felt for this unwanted pregnancy, but was also grateful to be spared making a choice that might haunt me the rest of my days.

I think “abstinence only” flies in the face of nature and the biological imperative. People who choose abstinence as a self-protective measure have my admiration, because I was incapable of doing so. But making abstinence a moral imperative just breeds shame, self-loathing and, more often than not, failure to live up to the ideal.

When I was 36 and 38 I gave birth to my two beautiful daughters. They came at just the right time, with exactly the right partner, my husband Henry. That wouldn’t have been possible without birth control. I hope both of my daughters will wait until a ripe old age (35?) before they engage in sexual activity and I hope they will only give themselves to men who cherish them, but when they’re in high school I’ll be taking them to Planned Parenthood. No shame. No blame. Knowledge is power.

~ Shannon Bradley-Colleary, The Huffington Post, May 31

[Photo via USF Healthy Bulls]

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