Erin’s Story

I read the pregnancy test. I read a second one later that day. I was pregnant. My first reaction was “I’m sure glad that abdomen pain is explained now”, because I was scared I’d developed cervical cancer due to my already diagnosed HPV.

I never cried. I never felt hopeless. I’d made my decision on what I was going to do 6 years ago when I was in high school. Then I started to worry because I wasn’t worried. I made awful jokes about being pregnant to my friends. Perhaps it was crass, but perhaps it was my way of dealing.

All I knew was that I did not want to be a victim. I did not want to throw a pity party for myself; no matter how good sympathy can feel. I did my best to be strong. I was even stronger than my boyfriend. He freaked out. I supported him through MY ordeal. How odd is that?

But I know that when I look at this down the road in the future, I’ll know that I did not break. I did not loose control. That was the most important thing to me. I was in control. My life is my own and no one can take that away from me.

The day I had my abortion, my boyfriend and I arrived to the clinic. The first thing I saw was protesters. They weren’t picketing. They were praying from the sidewalk. I guess I can say at least they were polite. I’m very much an atheist, so what they think doesn’t mean anything to me. I just worried about those other girls, who may have cried, believing that their God thought they were sinners. In my opinion—and isn’t religion boil down to opinion in the end?—is that if God existed, he’d want babies to be born into homes that were doing it right the first time.

The lobby was packed. People were sitting on the floor. My boyfriend and I got lucky and found a seat. The worst part, hands down, of the whole experience, was the wait. We were in that waiting room for 5 hours in total. We had to watch the most god-awful movies like The Wedding Planner. If that isn’t enough motivation to never get pregnant again, I don’t know what is.

Everything went fine. The blood test hurt less than donating blood. The ultrasound was cold and boring. I didn’t like when the counselor asked me, as part of the paperwork routine, “could you please tell me the reason why you choose to have an abortion?” I know this is intended to help discover if a girl is being forced into this, but it still made me pause. My answer of “Not Ready” sufficed, so no harm, no foul.

Finally they called me in. I sat in one of the exam rooms with two other girls for 20 minutes as we waited for our Valium to kick in. This was quite an experience. These girls…my goodness. They both had a child each already. Their reason for having an abortion was, for the both of them, “One is hard enough. I can’t handle two”. These poor girls were so young. One of them was 18 now, but had her son at 16. I’m 22 and I feel like a child still, I can’t imagine what being in their shoes is like. I feel like all the greatest things in life were stolen from them.