Sep 052010

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I was on the pill, taking it faithfully, when I got pregnant. I was twenty years old, hadn’t been to college yet, came from a family of very humble means, unmarried, and living abroad. All I wanted was for it to be untrue; I contemplated suicide. I was totally unequipped to be an independent adult let alone a mother. I virtually begged, borrowed, and stole to get a plane ticket home and see an American doctor. I had my abortion under a pseudonym – I was so ashamed. When I woke up from the procedure, I didn’t feel like I’d done anything wrong. I felt like I’d been given a second chance; like I’d been forgiven.
It’s been sixteen years. I’ve been to university and law school (I’m a licensed attorney). I was married and tried briefly to get pregnant – without luck. I don’t know if I’m sterile or not. If I am, I don’t know if it’s because I’m too old or if I’m scarred from the procedure. But it doesn’t matter. I’d like to get pregnant now, but if my only option was to turn back the clock and undo that abortion, I wouldn’t do it. In my twenties I struggled with depression and lived on the edge of poverty. I feel my choices allowed me to become a healthier person, overcome deep childhood psychological trauma, and do many positive things for many different people. If I’d chosen differently, I fear the damage I may have done to myself and to an innocent person dependent upon me. Without the assistance of Planned Parenthood, the odds are very high that my depression, the stresses of an unplanned pregnancy, the stresses of single motherhood, and the oppression of poverty and poor education would have consumed me. I’m not sorry.

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