Confessions of a Good Girl

In my thirties, I have had two abortions, six years apart. I tell no one. I perpetuate the shame of every woman who has ever chosen to terminate an unwelcome pregnancy—with my silence.

  1. If you told most of the friends and family I grew up with that I’ve had two abortions, they probably wouldn’t believe you. A clergyman’s daughter and a firstborn, I began cultivating early in life the appearance of some kind of unimpeachable Holy Innocent – an appearance I think I’ve managed to throw off in recent years. (Have I mentioned I got a tattoo this year?) But to the people who knew me as a child and young adult, I certainly didn’t seem to be the kind of girl who’d have had an abortion, let alone two.


    A frequent foil to my good girl image was a friend I’ll call Lilith—after the biblical Adam’s first wife, allegedly demonic in comparison to virtuous-until-the-fall Eve—or “Lily,” for short. (She’d kick my ass if I used her real name.)

    Lily once said to me, “Break some rules or something, will you? You’re making me look bad....

The complete text of “Confessions of a Good Girl” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in The Rumpus, January 2013

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