Mackenzie’s Story

I know that our reproductive rights are in jeopardy. It drives me insane. I am so very thankful everyday, that not very long ago I was able to receive a safe and healthy abortion!

My decision was not hasty. I thought about it for a long time. I never really wanted to have children, but I always planned on adopting later in life. I am in the middle of school, trying to pay for everything in my life by myself at the same time I stay up all night to finish my homework. I make about 100 dollars a month too much for food stamps or Medicaid. I was devastated when I found such a hideous lack of governmental help for this poor college student! I had to move in with my father, after begging and begging and finally agreeing on a lower rent. The rent money coming from what I used to reserve for health insurance. This was 267 dollars a month (now all going to my father for rent…). It was so high because I searched and searched for insurance that covers birth control pills on their prescription plan. Not being able to afford birth control and never finding the time to make it to Planned Parenthood for any options that I could get, I nonetheless decided to have sex with my partner, using only a condom.

We, as the chances go, did not realize that the condom was expired at that time. I found out later when I found the remainders of that box with 1 year past due dates on them! I do not have sex very sporadically. I am so pre-occupied with school and work and bills. I never really have time for men, but I did meet a wonderful one and love and sex will make a cookie crumble. A few weeks later, I was sick everyday. I got dizzy when I worked out. (I power lift for fun, so this was a very unsafe thing!) I couldn’t concentrate on school. I was weak when I didn’t eat meat or greasy foods (I am also nearly a vegan! So this was hard for me!) I was tired all the time. My period was late. Put it all together and the worst came true. We were pregnant.

Like I said, we considered keeping it for a long time. It was hard. A lot of my friends were very one-sided on the issue. They either wanted to beat me or they stopped talking to me because I considered terminating the pregnancy. But, being an x-ray tech student, I am not allowed to be pregnant. I would have to drop out of school. I work on an ambulance where we do a lot of heavy lifting and pull 24-hour shifts. I would have to quit my job soon if I kept the pregnancy. Basically, I would be screwed from help, job, and school. My partner also in similar situation, struggling to make ends meet. We both knew that if we loved this child, we would not force it into a terrible life of poverty and un-needed stresses.

The abortion was wonderfully done. I was nervous (so many horror stories exist out there…) so my partner made jokes the entire time we were in the lobby. The clinic showed “Liar, Liar.” The doctor joked with me when I got the anesthetic shot about how it should feel like drinking during happy hour. I don’t recall it taking more than 1 whole minute. The staff was so pleasant and so were the other girls I met. I was so surprised! I’ve had worse pap smears done! I hardly cramped after. There are a few rules that I didn’t like that you need to follow after. Like, no surfing! Things as such could aid in creating an infection. But those restrictions are only 2 weeks lived. The price, both monetary and physical, is such a small price to pay to feel normal again.

Within 24 hours, I felt relieved. I never felt sad, though I thought I would hate myself if I went through with it. I actually, have decided to invest more thoroughly in summer session at college. I want to finish school so fast, much faster than my original goals! I am more dedicated and more thankful for everything I have! I have a renewed life. A whole new chance. My life was almost ruined because I was so caught up in a heated lover’s moment that I didn’t check a freaking expiration date! And because it is so hard these days to find help and time when you so badly need it. The pill should be available over the counter and for reasonable prices!

I did finally get to go down to Planned Parenthood. My girlfriend dragged me after this event, afraid that if I got pregnant again, I would never achieve my goals. Keep in mind that I am the only person in my family to go to college. I cannot quit! And, being a loving friend she made the time for me, drove me there, informed my partner of everything, and helped me pay for my first pack of pills, which was only $15. However, as it turns out, the lowest dose has been making me very sick. The clinic however said that I can go back and be fitted for a diaphragm and that it wasn’t too expensive. My partner agrees after seeing that I am almost as sick after being on the pill now for 4 months as I was being pregnant, that he will help me pay for it. After all, we split the abortion 50/50. Now that I know that I cannot take these rights for granted, I have paid tribute to pro-choice America organization. It is so rewarding for me. I am thankful that it was safe, that I have a new life, and that this has opened my eyes to the issues of America. I will never again be without prevention or choice, no matter what the out-of-pocket cost. But, it shouldn’t be that way. It should be easier to obtain assistance. Planned parenthood abortions are not allowed in my city. They are very conservative. I had to visit a clinic 3 hours away. All well worth it but frustrating to think about.

Thank you for giving me a chance to share my story and to have a safe procedure done by a doctor and staff that were so friendly and dedicated to the cause! It saved 3 lives. Mine, my partner’s, and my child’s.