I had an abortion when I was 20. I got pregnant because I didn’t use any birth control. I had received education in high school about birth control, but education wasn’t enough to overcome my upbringing. I was not able to take responsibility for myself. I denied I was a sexual being because I believed sex is bad and wrong if you are not married.
At first I was too afraid of getting an abortion. I decided to have the baby. As the 8 week deadline approached I realized I would be making a huge mistake. I was not educated enough to get a good job. Neither was my boyfriend. Looking for apartments changed my mind. I could not imagine living in the horrible apartments I could afford. How could I raise a child like that? One room, no light, dirty, ugly apartments. I should go to college, not settle for this.
I made the appointment for my abortion. The paperwork before the abortion was routine but inside I felt humiliated and defeated. It was the only medical procedure I had ever had where I had to pay the full price in cash up-front. The doctor who performed the abortion was the same doctor who delivered me when I was born. The procedure HURT. I bled profusely for a month afterward. But the abortion made me face my sexuality and take responsibility for it. I left the clinic with a bag of free birth control pills relieved and grateful I had made the right decision.
It wasn’t just the abortion that was a relief. It was a relief to confront and overcome my fears. I was so afraid my parents would get angry, but they didn’t. Everyone knew it was the right thing to do.
I think without the abortion my life would have been filled with a gnawing feeling that I was trapped in a life that wasn’t mine. Instead, I went to college and graduated at the top of my major. I live in a house with a view of the ocean and the mountains. I have no regrets. It was a necessary turning point for me. I am happy I did it.