Sep 052010

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I had gotten pregnant as a junior or senior in high school. It was not planned, it happened because of a miscommunication. I had never taken a test; when my period got to be a little late I just knew. I got sick once for seemingly no other reason, and then I was pretty certain. I told my then-boyfriend this suspicion, who took it rather well, and for some time there was a bit of joking around among our friends about me being the hottest mom in town. I wanted to have a serious conversation about it, which led to me telling him “We are not keeping it.” It was easier said than done. I had no idea how to even begin looking for a qualified doctor in the area. I didn’t have a license or a car, and few of my friends drove. Finally, I severely lacked the funds (despite my job, my savings were nonexistent). The way I found a doctor, might sound cliché, and I would not recommend it in retrospect, was via the internet. There was a clinic in my town. I went in for a preliminary check-up; I was about 8 weeks along at the time by my own calculations. My best friend lent me the money. I chose to leave my mother out of this, because I was afraid that she would prevent me from going through with it. This wouldn’t be because of religious convictions, but because of her distrust of doctors and concern for my health. Finally about a week later I had gone in for the procedure. It was incredibly nerve-wracking to have in wait in the lobby, mostly because I just wanted it over with. The procedure was quick and uncomfortable rather than painful. A nurse held my hand which I thought was tacky at first but appreciated at the end. I stumbled out into the parking lot, hanging onto my then-boyfriend (who came in to wait and to take me home), and promptly vomited. The ride to his house was uneventful. I experienced all the minor after-effects such as minor cramping, etc. I went in for a final check-up a couple weeks later, then said goodbye to the doctor forever. The most important part of the story is that getting an abortion was the biggest right decision I had ever made. As I mentioned, the young man and I had broken up some time later. Had I kept the child, I would have been stuck in a strained relationship that was being held in place by a kid, just another dysfunctional family. I would have never gone to college (I have now graduated), and may not have ever finished high school. Most importantly, I may have even made the same mistake again. Some people believe that the ability to have an abortion discourages responsibility for one’s actions. In my case, however, it has taught a lesson that I would not have learned any other way. In itself, the experience was a consequence for not taking care in the first place, and being anything but safe with my partner has never even crossed my mind since.

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