Jen’s Story

The silence around abortion can be deafening. I’m actively pro-choice, but I am still unable to say, “When I was 16, I had an abortion. I was dumb enough to get pregnant, but I was not so stupid as to think I could adequately provide for a child.” Now for a start, I can post my story at I’m Not Sorry. Maybe I will eventually have the confidence to say it out loud when people are around to hear my story.

It was 16 years ago, almost to the day, that I had my abortion. Low self-esteem, naiveté, and teenage invincibility got me pregnant; there was a boy involved, too. He cared for me very much, but we just weren’t equipped to care for a baby. From the moment I realized I was pregnant, I knew I was going to abort. It wasn’t a difficult decision.

My mother did what she could for me. I told her about my pregnancy and my decision and she accepted it. She never pressured me one way or another. I can’t remember the arrangements for sure, but she paid for the procedure and my boyfriend paid her back. (We couldn’t get enough money together for a simple procedure, how could we pay for diapers and food and everything else.)

My boyfriend took me to the clinic 2 ½ hours away. Because of the distance and time, I had to wait until school was done—getting dangerously close to the end of the first trimester of the pregnancy. The thing I remember most was the discomfort of trying to keep my bladder full for the diagnostic ultrasound. The rest of the time at the clinic was a relief: first for my aching bladder, but then for my mind and soul knowing I was not going to have a baby.

That boyfriend and I have gone our separate ways in life. We both earned college degrees and have moved on to marry. He has two little boys he delights in. I am still childfree, and don’t know if that will ever change. Because of my abortion, I can say that with the comfort of knowing that I am forever in control of my own reproductive destiny.