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A couple reflects on their decision to end a pregnancy

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's Friday, which is when we hear from StoryCorps. And today, we meet a couple who want to talk about something they've never shared before.

TOM PETERS: We were going to talk about a secret we have.

JOAN PETERS: Yeah. We were going to have a baby, and we decided not to.

INSKEEP: Tom and JoAn Peters first met in Los Angeles in 1999. They fell in love, and a couple of years later, JoAn got pregnant. Tom asked her to marry him.

J PETERS: I was sitting on the couch, and I remember asking you if you were marrying me because you loved me and you wanted to be married or if you were marrying me because it's the right thing to do. And you said you were marrying me because it was the right thing to do. I was sobbing. And I said, well, then I don't want to get married, and I don't want to have this baby. My fear was you'd grow to resent us. A couple of things that stand out in my memory about the day of the abortion - you took very good care of me that day. You really nurtured me during that time. But I don't remember doing that for you. I never asked you how you felt about it.

T PETERS: I think at the time, I was trying to get through the procedure itself and keep you safe.

J PETERS: I never questioned our decision. I never regretted it. I didn't want my child to ever say, why isn't my father here?

T PETERS: But then you said, come back to me when you're ready to get married and have a child.

J PETERS: Yes.

T PETERS: And I ran for the hills back to single life, spent a year and a half dating other women, but couldn't get you out of my mind. And what flashed in my mind at that time was I was ready.

J PETERS: We got married, and then we found out what I thought was a cold hanging on for dear life was actually a pregnancy. And Ellie (ph) came into the world, the most perfect baby that anyone could ever ask for. I can't get enough of the two of you together. You love her, and it shows. And she adores you. You're everything I wanted. And she is, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: JoAn and Tom Peters in Santa Monica, Calif. Their daughter, Ellie, is now 17. This weekend marks 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled on Rowe v. Wade, the decision that made abortion a constitutional right until it was overturned last summer. This interview will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jey Born