Nancy Lee Grahn: My Story

I was 25 years old when I became pregnant. I was diligent about using birth control yet I became pregnant regardless.

I was living with, and financially supporting myself and my boyfriend at the time. When I realized I was pregnant I was shocked, scared, and overwhelmed. But I was never uncertain about how I felt and what I knew. I knew I was not ready, prepared, or willing to be a mother at that time. I never once wavered in my belief that this was not the man with whom I wanted to, or should raise a child. Simply put, I was resolute in my decision to terminate my pregnancy, and grateful for those that tirelessly fought for my right to make that decision about my own body, and my own life. I was relieved that I lived in a time where I would not be shamed, confronted or harmed by others while walking into my nurturing doctor’s office for this safe and legal procedure.

While my spiritual beliefs are irrelevant in the sense that I don’t need to justify an act that is legal in this country, I’m going to share with you what’s very personal to me, in hopes that it may open the minds of those that think they have a monopoly on what is right or wrong, or what is true and what is not.

I am a very spiritual being. I believe deeply in the connection between heaven and earth. I do not follow any specific religion but my faith is strong, and it is mine.

In regards to birth, I do not believe a fetus is a human being until it can survive outside of the womb…until it can breathe on its own. I believe the soul enters the body after it is separated from its mother. Until then it is somewhere outside of us.

When I found out I was pregnant, I went to sit in The Little Brown Church on Coldwater Canyon. I chose this church only because I love church structures, it was quiet, close, and no one was ever there. I sat there for 3 to 4 hours every day for a week and communed with this soul, who I believed was around me for a reason. My sister had been trying to have a baby for two years and I asked this soul if it would either wait for me until I could be the mother I wanted to be, and the mother a baby needed, or go to my sister who was ready now. She would love him the way that I would want a baby to be loved. My sister Suzi gave birth to my nephew Josh, nine months to the day after my abortion.

The entirety of my short pregnancy and abortion was a deep and transcending experience. It is my story. It is my truth, and no one else’s. It belongs to me, and I cherish it. It helped me evolve as a person, and fueled my desire to be a good mother into actual manifestation when I gave birth almost 20 years later to the love of my life, Kate. It was ultimately a profound experience for which I have no regrets.

There are still those that insist on continuing to chip away at, or out and out deny us, our legal and rightful choice to control our own bodies, as well as our choice to decide when or if we become mothers. Their truth is theirs, not ours. Their relentless obsession with trying to correct us in the name of their faith is wrought with hypocrisies. Their obsession with trying to suppress us is suspect at best, and will never be satisfied, because it is wrong. They can never win this, because we won’t let them. It is 2016 and they are still invading while we continue to stop them. There is a world of women and children right here, right now, homeless, parentless, starving, being raped and slaughtered that need and want their attention, we don’t. It is time for them to move on. If they are really so pro-life, it’s time they focused on the living.

Since 1989, I have been diligent and unyielding in supporting, defending and championing a women’s right to have access to safe and legal abortions in facilities that are also safe, legal, and available for EVERY WOMEN.

I stand proudly with Planned Parenthood and all the reproductive health clinics all over America that love, nurture, and respect all women regardless of their race, income or zip code.

Nancy Lee Grahn is an Emmy award winning actress, starring as Alexis Davis on ABC’s General Hospital. She is longtime activist for reproductive rights, creating Daytime for Choice in 1988.

18 Comments On “Nancy Lee Grahn: My Story”

  1. Beautifully said, every woman’s right to control her life and body must be protected…

  2. I respect her for her beliefs and decision and determination.
    The essay was honest, heartfelt and well written.
    Thank you for sharing your life secret with the world.
    I think she is a wonderful actress, well deserved.

  3. Thank you, Nancy, for taking the time to write this eloquent and graceful statement. I applaud you.

  4. Thank you Nancy #respect

  5. Bless you, Nancy Grahn, for not bringing a child into this world that you had the insight to understand you would not have done your very best by. I wish more people would. No unwanted child should ever have to be born. It’s cruel.

  6. Good for you. Every woman show be in charge of their on body. Also, if u read this, I’m from Skokie, IL also.

  7. Very well stated. I have in the past had a similar situation, tho a few years younger. I was lucky to have the support of my family. I not discussed it with my circle of friends, mostly because I don’t want to have to defend myself but also because it is my body, my choice and nobody’s business. But no way should that choice be taken away.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure your story will be comforting to millions of women facing the same dilemma.

  9. Pingback: GH Star Nancy Lee Grahn Opens Up About Her Abortion Choice

  10. while I applaud your honesty about your situation at the time you were 25,i do not agree. I find it very hard to believe that if you were taking every precaution for birth control that you would get pregnant.It is not like you were a teenager and the child would have no home,You had a home,a job and if wanted could have taken care of this child on your own. I believe that god gives us children for a reason and that reason is not always for us to know. You were given a child that you just chose to abort. I do not feel the same as you that a child is not a child until it is outside the mother. I could not imagine ever thinking that it was okay to abort a gift from god I do applaud you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe and write your story,knowing that not everyone will agree and there could be backlash for it.So let me just say while I 100% do not agree with what you did it was your choice to make. Just like my opinion is my opinion and I hope that we can agree to disagree on this highly controversial subject

  11. I’m so proud of you for sharing your story. Some day I may be ready to share mine, thanks to your example.

  12. Thanks Nancy!!!!

  13. Very brave article.

  14. So well spoken, intelligent and explained perfectly to anyone who is able and willing to have an open mind on such serious matters. To Presidential candidate Marco Rubio in particular, I say, I would NEVER vote for him because of his radical belief not necessarily that abortion be made illegal again (I don’t agree, but respectfully can accept others having reasonable, sound varying opinions than my own) but on his radical insistence of “no exceptions” even when other conservative candidates like John Kasich (the best man running in the Republican party, in my opinion, though I personally vote Democratic and am a “liberal” as those Republicans call us out of their own rigid thinking and ignorance)pointed out that in some cases women are raped or even molested by blood relatives and in these instances exceptions should be made. To his credit, though Rubio still says if it were up to him there would be no exceptions, he did agree that if, as President, other party members agreed to make abortion (women’s right to choose) illegal again, yet insisted on there being exceptions, he would, though begrudgingly, sign off on this. As a man speaking to another man I say, we have NO RIGHT to dictate what a female should do in an instance as traumatic as having gotten pregnant by no choice of their own through rape or incest, for example. Sure, one could argue that they could opt to give the baby up for adoption, but as a survivor of childhood sexual molestation, and as a man who will never have to face such a personal issue as the one presented in such a scenario, I say NO ONE has the right, using their religious beliefs and Biblical references that can easily be misinterpreted as weapons to back their argument, to say a woman, pregnant from rape for example, should have to endure what could only be an unhealthy (for mother and child) nine months of carrying a child that is a constant reminder of a tragic and traumatic event that happened to them against their will. If you are so judgmental, radical and close minded that you can say “No exceptions” regarding such a sensitive issue, you are not the right person to be the next leader and president of our great country, Mr. Rubio! I respect and admire Nancy Lee Grahn as an actress and as a person and reading this only made me respect & admire her more so. Love you Nancy!

  15. From what was said in the article it seems Nancy’s aborted fetus was placed in her sister who had been trying for 2 years to have a baby. She mentioned that she asked the soul inside her whether it would wait for her to be a mother or would go to her sister who was ready now. Nine months from the day after her abortion her sister gave birth to her nephew. It seems obvious that the fetus was given life in her sister.

  16. I wish I were as eloquent as Nancy in telling my story. I had a similar experience with my daughters when I was 25, and I had twins. While I was pregnant, I believe I ‘met’ them, or their souls. My daughters are 30 now, and they didn’t have the life I wish I could have given them. We struggled, we added pain and suffering to the world, we were on and off public assistance most of the time they were growing up. They are contributing members of society now. One is a teacher with a master’s degree and the other has a bachelor’s degree and a career and is self supporting. However they both have mental health problems that keep them from realizing their full potential. I firmly believe that my daughters would have waited for me, to be born to me later, when I could have given them the life I believe they were meant to have, but now never will. To say that I ‘met’ my daughters before they were born is to say that I have a belief in more than the world of our five senses, and I think it’s out of that belief that our ancestors conceived of the idea of a god. That belief is very personal. I don’t like anybody telling me that my idea of god is not the ‘right’ idea. So when someone says abortion is wrong because of their idea of god, why does that give them the right to push that onto me in the form of a law? We live in a society that allows religious freedom, and there are places in our world right now that don’t. Not everyone believes in God in the same way. Not everyone believes in God at all. Not everyone believes that if there were a god, he would bother with choosing a child for each and every one of us. Some people, who may or may not believe in God, might even think that pregnancy is simply a biological process that has nothing to do with god. Therefore, shouldn’t the choice to terminate a pregnancy be as personal a choice as our own religious beliefs?

  17. Ms. Grahn, thank you for sharing you story with such inspiring, poignant and honest words.

  18. Maggie Grace, no birth control method is 100%. I know people who got pregnant when condoms broke, when the diaphragm slipped, when the Pill just didn’t work, and this is just as true at 25 or 35 as it is at 15. When Ms. Grahn became pregnant, she did not have the option of the Morning After pill to prevent pregnancy, so if there was a contraceptive slip-up, there was no back-up option back then. Many times, though, you don’t know you need a backup option until you find out you are pregnant. Have you ever thought that maybe God gives people these experiences for a reason, too? Given that as many as 1 in 3 pregnancies end by miscarriage in the first trimester, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant, I can’t be too vexed by someone chosing to end a pregnancy when she isn’t ready to be a mom.
    Bodily autonomy is essential to all humans. Women are more than incubators for babies, and women deserve the right to decide what happens to their own bodies.
    Thank you for sharing your story, Nancy Grahn. I love your character on GH, but I love the person you are IRL even more. I appreciate your honesty on your twitter feed and your honesty here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *