This is a message to every woman who has had an abortion,
Or taken Plan B,
Or given up a child for adoption,
Or became a mother before the world said you should.

If anyone says you are irresponsible, remember.
Remember what it took to get you there.

Remember the bravery of exposing your body to another
in a world that tells you your body is not good enough.
Remember the gasps and moans of humans connecting
in that primal physical way that can matter so much or so little
depending on the circumstance.

Remember meeting the assessing stare of the pharmacist,
flashing an ID and handing over your money just to be safe.
Remember getting sick and smiling through it
because you were responsible.

Remember when you realized you should have bled,
when you accepted the blood was not coming.
Remember when you cried, maybe, or swore or threw things
because biology did you wrong.
Remember drying your tears and moving forward
because you were responsible.

Remember when you made the appointment,
listened to the counseling without a flinch,
went under the knife or took the pills,
made a point to follow the instructions for aftercare
because you were responsible.

Remember when you spent nine months
nurturing a being, knowing once it was done
you would let it go
no matter how hard it was
because it was the right thing to do.
Remember saying hello and goodbye in one breath
because you were responsible.

Remember when you went to the doctor
took your prenatal vitamins,
lifted your chin up under the weight of judgment,
shrieked and sobbed through labor
and met your son or daughter at last.
Remember accepting motherhood
because you were responsible.

Remember what responsible means.
It means doing what you want, or need.
It means deciding for yourself.
It does not mean doing what you are told.
Or letting things be done for your “own good.”
It means making choices,
living with your choices,
and knowing when people say you were irresponsible
for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy on your terms
that they are, in fact, irrelevant.

Written by Cheyenne Connors, State Director, Ohio
Follow her blog, Just Your Average Liberal Feminist Realist, or her Twitter!

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