Candace’s Story

I met the man I was to marry when I was 16. We carried on a long distance engagement for some time. We married 3 months before I turned 18. Erik was in and out of jobs, even though he was a college grad with a degree in Comp Science. After losing his job in ’98, he entered the Marines. This lasted a month before they discharged him and sent him home with only $600.00 to our name. My father, who we were living with at the time, was judgmental and nasty toward us and we lashed out at him by taking what little we had and the $600.00 and moved to Alabama, near Erik’s parents.

His father found us a place to live. It was a tiny 1 bedroom trailer with no locks, only storm windows, no oven, no heating (and we moved in on December 6th), no air conditioning (we didn’t move out until June of ’00), only propane to cook with, a shower with only cold water, and the toilet was falling through the floor. Erik was working through Christmas at Toys R Us and bringing home only $80.00 a week. Shortly after Christmas, he was able to get a job that paid us $250.00 a week, but bills and food ate up the money — we just couldn’t move. I washed our clothes in cold water with hand soap and hung them on a line outside. We were poor and the home was so unhealthy no matter what I did.

It began to warm up in March and by April I knew I was pregnant. We were still eating from hand to mouth and the situation did not look like it was going to change. The trailer would reach 95-100 degrees in the midday sun, and maggots had begun to crawl up through the floorboards due to something having been caught under the trailer when our landlord boarded it up during the winter to keep the cold from coming through the floor. I was so disgusted and distraught… No matter how much I wanted children, this was no time to bring one into the world. We decided it was best to seek an abortion from our Planned Parenthood.

Because we made so little, they offered the procedure at a lower cost than normal. I was 6 weeks along when I aborted the pregnancy. We moved to an apartment the following June and proceeded to have marital issues due to infidelity on my husband’s behalf. We were just children, learning who we were together and who we were apart. A child would have torn us apart and made the whole situation worse.

We have been married almost 6 years now. My husband and father worked out their differences, and my husband even works for my father now. We have wonderful medical insurance and we are in the process of looking for our first home. We have no children yet, though not for lack of wanting. Since 1999, I have miscarried 4 times. I have since been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), insulin resistance, and hyperthyroidism. My reproductive endocrinologist has told me he would have been surprised if I had been able to carry the aborted pregnancy to term. There are no side effects, no adverse issues with my fertility from the abortion. I am not sorry I had it, since I do believe it was in mine, my husband’s, and that child’s best interest not to have carried to term.

I am starting my own business now, too, which I do not believe I could do if I had a 5 year-old child. And there was a time between 2000 and now where we had no insurance (for over 2 years) and Erik was unemployed (for almost 8 months). We would have just never been able to take care of a child. So, I have never regretted my decision to seek the abortion.