Lori’s Story

Hmm. I never thought I would be sharing this with the world. But then, I can’t imagine a world (this country) in which I didn’t have the legal right of choice over the reproductive functions of my own body. It makes me shudder to think it could go back to the days before I was even born, which was 1970. I don’t remember the dark days before legalization, and I cannot fathom what my life would be like today if I hadn’t had been able to make the choice I did. Or worse, the life of that innocent child I would have brought into my angry world.

When I was 23, I was an adult legally, but emotionally still very much a child. I had lived in my parent’s home all throughout school, then in Argentina for a year, living off of savings, tutoring, and amassing a bit of credit card debt while I traveled. I returned to the U.S. to a job of meager income, savings gone, and debt. I had no idea what I was going to do with myself or my life, but now I had my own apartment and I was going to have fun until I figured it out, and fun meant partying. I didn’t know it then but I was an alcoholic, and only three years away from hitting bottom. I was quite a mess, but of course I didn’t think so.

I met a Navy Seal one night at a restaurant. We started a “fling” although he lived in another state and I went to visit him one weekend. We had sex of course. I wasn’t using any birth control because I hadn’t had a period in 8 months. Didn’t think I could get pregnant if I didn’t have a period. Well, within a week and a half of that trip I knew. I was certain I was pregnant because I was completely sick like I never had been before. And then, it was awful to be so ill and not be able to tell anyone. My family are born-again Christians. (My mother still doesn’t know I was ever pregnant.)

My girlfriend and I went out for drinks one night and she noticed I wasn’t able to sling it back like usual. She guessed right away the reason, I suppose I was a bit green, and she took care of me from that point forward. She had her own story to tell, and so understood exactly what I was feeling, what I needed to do and who I could and couldn’t trust. From the moment I confided in her, there was never a question in my mind about which course I was to take. NEVER.

I was 23, barely responsible enough to take care of myself, let alone a child. The father of the child was a Navy Seal who would soon be shipped off to some remote part of the world and had no interest in family at the present, and besides, we didn’t know each other. I didn’t know MYSELF.

The most frightening thing to me is that I was drinking so heavily then, that had I kept that baby, I would have drunk all through the pregnancy, and that child would have been welcomed to the world already with a B.A. level or birth defects, and a mother who was drunk, volatile, definitely emotionally unstable. It makes me sick to think of it, scared to imagine the damage physically and emotionally I would have wrought upon that innocent little being by my disease. I am 8 years sober now and the thought of having children still scares me to death. Maybe I’ll never have any. Maybe I’ll adopt. One thing is for sure, I learned my lesson and for years have been a loyal patient of Planned Parenthood for my contraceptives. Going in to the clinic is a great reminder. I have deep compassion for those girls.

There is one less miserable broken person in this world because I had the choice. Perhaps I don’t give myself enough credit, perhaps I could have done a good job, but it’s not likely. It’s taken me until recently to really claim a healthy self-esteem, a healthy mind. I work in family law and every day see the ways people perpetuate the damage onto their kids. That’s life. But it’s not mine.

I chose to break the cycle in my case.

No, I will never regret nor be sorry.