Sep 052010

I became pregnant when I was 19. I was a high school dropout, working as a waitress in a local diner, and my then-boyfriend was a 17 year old dishwasher working in the same establishment. I can honestly say that continuing with the pregnancy never occured to me. I was poor, young and uneducated. I had no health insurance and could barely keep a roof over my head. My beau was completely unprepared to be a father. In fact, when I told him I was pregnant, he ran off to Mexico for several weeks to avoid the whole issue. We broke up shortly thereafter.

I had dreams and plans for my life that I knew full well would never materialize if I became a mother at such a young age. I was very lucky to live in a town with a terrific women’s clinic (Emma Goldman’s in Iowa City, Iowa). They were kind, supportive and never pressured me either way. I was also very lucky that my parents were supportive and loaned me the money to proceed with the abortion. They wanted what was best for me, and they never judged my decision. I had an abortion at 9 weeks, and I have never regretted it. I went on to graduate from high school, and college, with honors, and now work as an environmental scientist.

I had an abortion. I am not sorry. It was the right thing to do. It provided me with a real wake up call that I needed to do something with my life, and that parenting was not the best answer.

For me, abortion was the only realistic option. I’m 38 now, and by choice, I have no children. My life is vibrant and satisfying and I am happy. I am able to work, travel and advocate for the things that I believe in. I firmly believe that I have been able to do more to make the world a better place for not having been a mother at 19.

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