Emily’s Story

My name is Emily, and I had an abortion four years ago, when I was 20 years old.

I had been sleeping with a guy at college for several months, hoping (naively) that it would turn into a real relationship. I was not on the pill, but we used a condom every time. We never had a broken condom-I was just among the small percentage of women to become pregnant in spite of taking the proper precautions.

I decided to take an at-home pregnancy test before I even missed my period. I had a funny feeling that something was wrong. My breasts looked and felt different, and I just didn’t feel quite right. So, my best friend and roommate went with me to the store one night to buy pregnancy tests. My stance on abortion had always been that I wasn’t against it, but that I would never be able to have one myself. When I saw the positive result on all six of the pregnancy tests I took, I realized how unbelievably wrong I had been. Without a moment’s hesitation, I knew precisely what I wanted and needed to do.

It certainly wasn’t that I didn’t want children. I just didn’t want them then, or with that partner. I wanted to finish college and go on to graduate school. I wanted to wait until I was in love and married to have a baby.

I called the guy I had been seeing and told him what was going on. He agreed to pay for half the procedure, and drive me to the clinic and back, and I scheduled an abortion for two weeks from that day. Honestly, those two weeks of waiting were the hardest part of the whole experience. I just wanted things to go back to normal.

On the day of my abortion, there were protesters outside the clinic, but they were far from the patient entrance, and did not harass me. I was nervous, but still sure that this was exactly what I wanted. My partner was not overly emotionally supportive, but every single person working at the clinic was. All of the nurses were very compassionate, no one tried to talk me out of my decision, and I did not once feel judged. The procedure itself was easier than I’d expected. I had a suction aspiration abortion. It was no worse than getting a pap smear. The conscious sedation made me feel a little foggy, but there was no pain, and the procedure was quick. Afterward, I sat in a room with other women who had just gone through the same thing, waiting to perk up enough to go home. I felt a sense of solidarity with these women, which I found comforting. When I got home, I slept for several hours. I had some bleeding that day and night, but felt fine by morning. The next day, I got up and went to work, relieved to have the whole experience over with.

I can’t say that there are never days when I wonder what my life would be like if I’d made a different choice-days when I imagine what it would be like to be raising that child-but I have never, ever doubted that I made right decision. I am 24 now. After my abortion, I graduated college, went on to get a master’s degree, and found a great job in my field. I don’t feel that any of this would have been possible had I not had an abortion. More than that, the experience actually changed me for the better. I really grew up that day. It gave me real insight into what I wanted in life. I ended things with the guy at college, who didn’t actually care for me, and realized that I wanted more out of a relationship than sex. I am now in a healthy relationship, with a man who loves me. He knows about my abortion, and is supportive of the decision I made. I hope to someday have children with him. I wouldn’t be where I am now, in my career or personal life, if I had not had an abortion. So I am definitely not sorry-I’m actually thankful for the things I learned about myself through the experience.