This story is published at Shout Your Abortion.
I grew up believing the anti choice lies. I was raised in a very strict Christian household. I was taken to “pro-life” rallies when I was a child. Told to hold signs and call women murderers. At 10 years old, I did this and am still ashamed of that to this day. What I am not ashamed of are my abortions.
I graduated high school in 1993 at the age of 17. I had begged my mother, before becoming sexually active, to take me to a gynecologist for birth control. Of course this idea was shut right down, with an astounding no. “Birth control is for promiscuous women, not for you”. I knew that was the last time I’d try to have that conversation.
I took it upon myself to use condoms, and try to be as safe as possible, by always insisting me and my high school boyfriend use them, we did. I managed to remain pregnant-and-std free, and graduated.
By the time I turned 18 I had met someone new at my job. We fell madly in love very quickly. It was a blossoming work romance and I was incredibly happy. We used condoms religiously, never skipped it, not once. However, three months into our very new, very loving relationship, one condom broke. That’s all it took, that one time, that one condom. I was pregnant.
All the thoughts running through my mind. “How could this happen? I was being responsible.” “We love each other so much, but we are so young” “I cant barely afford my rent” “He is living in another state and going to grad school”. All of those questions and concerns, we discussed, at great length. We cried a lot. We came to the decision together, but ultimately he kindly said he would support whatever choice I made.
I was very fortunate to have two very close friends who had had abortions in high school. They helped me understand the procedure and what it would be like. After deciding the best choice for me, the right choice for me, was to terminate the pregnancy. I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood the very next day.
That was the very first time I had ever been to a gynecologist, I was scared and nervous and embarrassed, but I was 100% sure of my choice. At Planned Parenthood they discussed my options and asked me various questions to make sure this was what I wanted. It was. I made an appointment that day and had my abortion the following week.
It is not a pleasant experience, no surgical procedure is, but thankfully, all of the staff at planned Parenthood treated me with kindness and respect. I will always be grateful to them. Which is why I am a clinic escort and a Planned Parenthood Volunteer to this day.
Fast forward a few years later. I am now 23 years old and deep into the depths of a very dark depression, filled with fear and anxiety, coping with my mental disorders with massive amounts of drugs and alcohol. It was at that time I met a man who I thought was my equal. By that I mean, we could both out drink and drug each other. We thought it was love, turns out it was more our mutual love of substance abuse. I wish I could say this was the end of that era, but it was not. Side note, I’ve been sober now for 11 years.
Anyway, at the time, 23 years old, drunk and high every single day and night, I got pregnant again. This time I was careless, reckless, and just didn’t bother with birth control. These are not the top priorities when you’re an addict.
I didn’t even have to think about this one. I was 100% sure I was not going to bring a drug addicted, fetal alcohol syndrome child into the world. I made an appointment immediately and 3 days later I had the abortion.
It wasn’t as if it was no big deal, it was, I was angry and sad and scared, but I coped with all of that the only way I knew how. Alcohol and more drugs.
Immediately following the procedure they sent me home with a pack of birth control, which I stayed on for years and never got pregnant again. I do not regret my abortions. My biggest regrets in life have nothing to do with the choices I made to terminate my pregnancies. I shout my abortions because it is normal, it is ok, and it is my business, my body and choice.