The pregnancy that followed was one of the worst experiences of my life. Also, my body was ruined in ways that I didn’t even know was possible. I thought about suicide. I was still living with my parents, but they could not physically or financially take care of a baby. I also wanted to go to college, and wished that my child have a full family with both parents, and maybe even a sibling or two. Eventually, I gave birth through c-section to a (thankfully healthy) baby girl, whom I gave to a loving and well-off family in an open adoption. We still keep in touch, and my daughter knows who I am. But after that experience I decided, if I ever got pregnant again before I was ready for a child, that I would get an abortion. I did not think I would ever want children, but my doctor still refused to even give me an intrauterine device due to my age. I had my first, and so far only, abortion when I was 27. (I am now 30.) I had just moved to a new city and could not get to the doctor in time to procure my annual birth control prescription, and so was only a couple of days late taking it. However, my live-in boyfriend at the time “forgot” to use protection, and surprisingly, I became pregnant. I decided to get an abortion, and he did not protest. I did not have much money, so I went to Planned Parenthood for the procedure. Luckily I had discovered my pregnancy fairly quickly. Sitting in the very full waiting room for hours before the procedure, some of the women got to talking. One was a mother of four who could not afford, nor wanted, another child. Another woman was there for her young teenage daughter. We waited and waited, not knowing what to expect. Before the procedure, I was taken into a room and told to take off my clothes, and someone I assume was a nurse performed an internal sonogram. Having the surgical abortion was the single most painful experience of my life (and I’ve had abdominal surgery). I was awake, bawling and in severe pain the entire time, while trying to remain still, with my legs wide open. Hopefully I will never need an abortion again, but if I do, I will approach it differently. After the procedure they sent me, along with others, into a room for a few minutes to try to recover. It took a long time for the abdominal pain to subside. In the days immediately following the procedure, I did think about what may have been, and whether there was any difference between embryos and other non-conscious masses of cells. I do not believe there is. But safe and legal abortions are important for keeping actual living babies out of garbage cans. I was just glad to have discovered the pregnancy before it was too late. I know that having the abortion was the right choice for me, and I’m so glad that I did have the option to make my own decision. It was the best decision for me, and for my unsupportive and irresponsible ex. Also, the world is already overpopulated. People are terrible for the environment, and I believe that every child should have a loving home with a family that really wants a baby. I would not want to put any further strain on America’s already underfunded social programs. There are already so many children out there in need of good homes. In the past few years since the abortion, I have earned my master’s degree, and found a wonderful man whom I intend to marry. We may decide to have a child in a few years, since he would love to be a father. If we do eventually have a kid, I intend to pursue more permanent birth control options afterward. Family planning is of the utmost importance for women to be able to have power over their own lives. Controlling births is the responsible thing to do.
I was in love. My partner and his family were my family. I was taken care of. Then it happened. It was 1 month before we would have to go our separate ways to two different colleges in two different states. It was the classic teenage love story. We were scared that I might have gotten pregnant because the condom we were using fell out during sex. Literally just fell off. So, we went down to planned parenthood to ask some questions and get advice. I peed in a cup. We sat in the room and waited, joking about the possibility of being pregnant. The doctor came in and handed me three pamphlets and said with a somber tone "the test came back positive. You're pregnant." I looked at my partner with disbelief. No--not me. Not us. This isn't happening. I'LL have to skip the college life and maybe one day take courses at a junior college. I'LL have to take care of a child without any help. My mother is dead. My father is drinking himself numb on my granny's couch. No. No. NO!!!! It was awful. I ran out of the room, leaving the pamphlets behind. My partner followed. We sat in his car while I caught my breath. We went to a movie. We were silent. No room for discussion at this point. He knew it was up to me and was waiting for me to speak. I cried all night. Didn't sleep. There were 3 options that kept me awake and thinking every night. 1.I can throw away everything I've worked so fucking hard for despite being on my own and have this baby. Wave goodbye in a month to my boyfriend as he makes his way off to college and stay with his parents, only seeing him on weekends. 2. I can set myself back a year. Be pregnant, give birth, be attached, fall deeply in love the precious life growing inside of me, then have someone else come and take my baby away. 3. I could have an abortion. I could wait to have a child when I have a home, money and a stable partner to help me raise it. I chose the third option. For weeks after I was empty. I felt the hole that the abortion left inside of me. The picture of the ultrasound that the clinician MADE me look at before making my final decision was a bad horror movie playing over and over in my brain. I was fucking angry! But here I am 8 years later. I've finished my undergraduate degree. I've traveled. I'm doing work that I love to do and I've been able to do this because of the choice I've made. No, I wasn't raped or coerced. I loved my partner at the time and we had an accident. I do not regret my choice and I believe that it should be there for every young woman so that they can experience their own life, struggle with themselves and the world before they have to help a child through that process. Women deserve choices. Women deserve to plan their own lives.