Deb Hauser was a married mother of a six-month-old when her husband “went to work one day and didn’t come home.” Two weeks later, she realized she was pregnant.
“I’m working full time. I’ve got this six-month-old, and all of a sudden I’m pregnant,” she remembers. “I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen. I didn’t know if he was going to come back, if my marriage was going to stick. I didn’t know where I was going to get the money I needed. All I know is I had a responsibility to my six-month-old.”
Hauser had an abortion, “which was absolutely the right thing to do for me, and for my son,” she says. “I never ever regretted it.” Eventually her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, they were divorced, and she remarried and raised her son, who is now 20. “Abortion has played a really important role in my life,” she said. “It got me stable again.”
Now she wants to help other women tell their abortion stories. It’s part of an effort by her organization, Advocates for Youth, and several others to “de-stigmatize” abortion. As the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion approaches Thursday, abortion-rights forces hope this new tack will help them reverse the momentum gained by abortion opponents in recent years. Not only have states passed a growing list of abortion restrictions, but with the U.S. Congress now in GOP hands, federal restrictions are likely to pass as well.