Maria’s Story

I became pregnant when I was 19. I was stupid and thought that an unplanned pregnancy couldn’t happen to me. Looking back, I realize how little sense that made. I knew about birth control, but just never wanted to admit that I was having sex. I wasn’t ready for a baby; my life was just beginning. I thought about having an abortion, but I decided against it. I went to a clinic and got the scare tactic, and decided that abortion was something that girls like me didn’t do. To be honest, I was also afraid that it would hurt. I know it may sound silly, because giving birth hurts too. I think that the issue is that continuing a pregnancy is not always making a choice to have a baby; it is also what happens when you don’t make any choice and hope that the problem will disappear. My boyfriend at the time was supportive, and we got married and had the baby. Throughout the pregnancy, everyone acted like it was something I was supposed to be ashamed of. No one was happy for us; there were no baby showers or well-wishers. It was a miserable way to go through a pregnancy. I struggled for a few years with a bad marriage, trying to raise a baby, trying to raise myself and coming to terms with the loss of so many of my dreams. It was just not the way I ever pictured that my life was going to be. I swore that never again would I give birth to a baby that was not planned, not wanted and that I was supposed to feel sorry about.

Fast forward ten years, I am divorced and finally able to stand on my own feet. Able to be a good mother to my daughter and take care of her with very little help from her father. We were building a life and growing up together. I found ways to chase some of my dreams and still make her my main priority. I had a new relationship, the first serious one since my divorce, and found out that I was pregnant. That time, I had been on the pill, I just didn’t know about drug interactions. I was 29; he was 33. We weren’t teens, and decided that we should do the responsible thing and have this baby together. . After my son was born, I went into a depression. It seemed like just when I was getting my life back on track, I was back to diapers and placing my dreams on hold. My boyfriend and I tried our best to keep our relationship together, but it just wasn’t strong enough to handle that sort of strain. Looking at it objectively, I had two children with different fathers, and no one to stand by me and help. A daughter that was getting older and looking to me to be both mother and father to her, and a baby that would always have to deal with the fact that his mother and father weren’t even married. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my children tremendously, but I do regret some of the decisions that I made.

In January 2007, I married an incredible man. This is the relationship I have been looking for my whole life. In May I found out I was pregnant. I had been using a new birth control method, and this was the first sexual partner I had been with in a long time. I knew that we were not ready for the challenges of having a baby. I never ever wanted to have another unplanned pregnancy. I thought that I was old enough at this point to know better. We thought about it for a few days, and I realized that there was no way I wanted to go through it all again. I called and made an appointment at a clinic near me. The clinic was in an office building, and very hard to find. There were no protestors. The clinic was run down and definitely an assembly line situation. I arrived for my appointment at 9:00. After an hour wait, I went to a small room with a counselor. She just wanted me to pay cash and asked if this was what I wanted. I said yes, paid her, and went to a small room to have a sonogram. They said I was 8 weeks along. I went back to the waiting room, and waited an hour or so more, till they called my name. I received some medication, waited a little longer, and then was sent to an exam room to wait for the doctor. The doctor came in, gave me an IV, and started the abortion procedure. Throughout the whole thing, I just felt numb. Afterward, they gave me some antibiotics and I was sent home. As the medication they gave me in the IV wore off, I was in a lot of pain. The cramping was really bad and I bled a lot. I slept most of that day. The next day the pain was a little better. It took 3 days before I felt like I was able to carry on with daily activities. I bled heavily for two weeks. After that I was felt fine.

I kept waiting for the sadness to hit, and really all I felt was relief. It didn’t make me a bad person, which I think was a big worry of mine. Aside from the obvious baby-killer and murder titles, so much of the anti-abortion propaganda tells us, as women, that if we chose to not carry a pregnancy to term that we are bad people, that we are selfish and ungodly. I feel that this insidious brainwashing is the real crime. I believe in protecting life- my own and my children’s’ that are already here. I made a choice that my life was worth protecting. That I have value, and it doesn’t have anything to do with my uterus, my vagina, or my willingness to sacrifice all my hopes and dreams because I had sex. And I am not sorry!