Linda’s Story

I was 17 and a junior in high school when I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend and I were having unprotected sex. We thought that by him withdrawing I wouldn’t get pregnant. Wow, how wrong we were. I missed one period and really never thought anything about it. When I missed my second period I told him and by that time I had already made up my mind that if I was pregnant I wanted an abortion. I had seen what my older sister had gone through being a single mother and the pain it caused our whole family. It took me a few weeks to work up the nerve to tell my mother. I think she suspected because I was tired all the time and nauseous frequently but she never asked me. It was so hard to tell her. It was just after the new year, my grandmother had finally left from her LONG visit and 2 months earlier my sister found out she was pregnant again. The tension in the house was very high but I knew I had to tell my mom. I stayed home from school feeling sick and I lay in my mom’s bed while she was curling her hair. She asked me what was wrong and I said to her “I think I am pregnant.” She sat down in shock and cried just briefly and said “let’s go get a test.” After the test came out positive she asked me if I had any thoughts of what I wanted to do and I told her I wanted to have an abortion. She asked if I was certain and I said yes. I could see the relief on her face.

We made the call to a clinic for an appointment. A week later I was in the clinic with my mom and my dad. My boyfriend was a coward and abandoned me. It was very tense in the waiting area. A soap opera was on. How ironic that the topic was on teen pregnancy. A line that was said “good girls don’t get pregnant”. It broke the ice because many people responded with a yeah right kind of nervous chuckle. A few minutes later a news report came on saying that Desert Storm had started. They called us to the back one by one and asked each of us privately about our choice making sure it was really our choice. They did blood work and a sonogram. Then when I was called to the room where the abortion would take place they asked for me to change into the paper gown. I did. Then a few nurses came and a doctor came in. I was given pain medicine by an injection. The procedure did not last long. I do not remember much about the actual procedure. I was walked to a recovery room with other girls and where the staff gave us Sprite and crackers. Many of us were not able to keep it down. After some time I was able to go home. I was very tired and slept for several hours afterwards.

It was awkward going back to school. I was worried that people would find out. I went through a period where I was very insecure with myself. I kept to myself and felt lost. My parents did not want to talk about it. Over time I redeveloped my confidence. I graduated from high school and went on to college. I am now married with two great children. I do not regret making the choice that I did. I do not believe I would have been a good parent and I probably would have been abusive, dropped out of school, and been very poor. I knew that someday I wanted to have children but not under those circumstances.