Karen’s Story

My name is Karen, and when I was a senior in high school I turned 18. It was a big last semester for me, I was graduating at the end and now I was old enough to go out and party. My parents had already told me I pretty much had no curfew as long as they knew where I was and who I was with. I guess this feeling of being on top of the world led me to make some pretty dumb decisions.

I met Rob when I was only 16, we dated for a while and he even took my virginity. He was a good guy, but we were just too different for anything to come out of it. The whole of it was mostly physical attraction anyway. We stopped talking for about 3 months, and then bumped into each other again months later at a fraternity party. I ended up going home with him and having sex; we dated for a couple of weeks, and then things fizzled off again. This whole process repeated itself over the next two years when finally I met him over St. Pat’s at yet another party. This time I was 18 and felt like I could do anything, handle anything and pretty much didn’t care about consequences.

I went home with him again and had sex, but this time the condom broke. He assured me nothing was wrong, and I was so young and naïve that I believed everything he had to say and went to sleep. This time was actually different though, because we began hanging out all of the time and it was obvious we were interested in something more than a two week long dating. All of that changed when I found out I was pregnant, and I had to tell him. He was supportive and offered to pay for it, but I refused and said he only had to pay for half of it. I then went to my friend’s work and told her, and we cried in one of the aisles of Big Lots.

I had already decided to keep the secret to myself and only tell my two best friends, Rob, and my nurse at school. I had gone to see her before I had received the results to get feedback about pregnancy symptoms. I was so stuck in the fact that I was going to get the abortion, that when she asked later in her office (with the door closed) I told her right away. My naïve-self once again assumed that everything was said in confidentiality, but the nurse demanded I tell my parents because of the “risks” of abortion. I refused, and she took the matter to my vice-principal. My vice-principal called me into her office the day before my abortion and said, “If you don’t call your parents and tell them, then I will.” I told her it was against the law to do that, but she grabbed the phone and even dialed my house number. I grabbed the phone from her hands and with tears in my eyes had to tell my dad I was pregnant and getting an abortion. I never forgave the nurse or my vice-principal.

My parents took a while to accept it all, but they ended up being very supportive. The next day my two best friends and I drove up to Illinois to get my abortion. I breezed through counseling because I was so dead-set on getting it done and over with. I was going to attend college that fall and I knew I couldn’t have a baby. We left later and headed home.

Rob called me to check up, but we never really talked after that. I met my fiancé one week later while I was still bleeding, and it was awkward trying to come up with reasons why we couldn’t do anything when my “period” was lasting so long. Finally, after two weeks I told him about it all and he was very supportive. He himself is actually very pro-life, but he’s always been there for me and understands where I come from.

Just at the end of this summer, Rob died in a plane crash. He was a skydiving instructor and it was his one and only true love. I remember he always used to tell me that he would take me skydiving for my 18th birthday, but things got “complicated” to say the least. It was probably the weirdest feeling and hardest part of my life. I felt like I’d lost the part of me that was the only person on “his side” who ever knew about the abortion. I found out later that he had in fact told one of our mutual friends when it first happened, and this has provided me with a lot of relief. I guess I just regret never getting back to him and catching up.

I know that if I hadn’t made the decision to have an abortion college would not have been an option. I’m now 20 and working on my psychology major. I love life and being with my fiancé Josh, who is amazing and makes me laugh every moment of my life! I don’t regret the decision, I regret having to make the decision. When people around me start talking about how abortion ruins lives, I just look at them and silently say they’re wrong. Although my life has been different because of it, I would never, ever say that my life was ruined. In a way, it was a blessing. I woke up from my 18-year-old high and realized I was just as fragile as anyone else. I hope my story gives someone else some hope that life really does go on.