Marti’s Story

The day I found out I was pregnant was the most terrifying day of my life. I was only 17, I barely had a job, I hadn’t finished school yet, I was still living at home with my parents, and I didn’t know what to tell my boyfriend. I kept thinking ‘I only have a week left, I only have seven days…’ over and over in bed that night. I had to be at least 6 weeks by the time I took the test. I was in a panic. When I went into Planned Parenthood the next day (I ditched school, and wasn’t going to tell a soul what was going on,) to get the test done and everything the clinician asked me if I was sure I wanted an abortion. There was no doubt in my mind at all. None. When she was done counseling me, she gave me a date for an appointment and told me that my cost would be a little more than 300 dollars. My heart sank. The date wasn’t for a month. And 300 dollars? Where was I going to get that kind of cash? I asked her why it was going to be so long and she explained that they don’t offer chemical abortions, so I would have to have a surgical one. I guess my face went white because she told me I had nothing to worry about. She left, and came back with a handful of pamphlets and a form for me to fill out. She explained the procedure, and stressed that the money was to be paid up front, on the day of the procedure.

I took a bus to the bookstore and spent the rest of the day shaking, trying not to cry, waiting for it to be safe to go home. I had to tell someone. I couldn’t drive myself, I couldn’t take a bus back from the clinic either. I had to bring someone. I had to find 300 dollars to pay for it. I cried the whole bus ride home. I went to my boyfriend’s house, and couldn’t stop crying long enough to tell him what was going on. I couldn’t make myself admit that I was pregnant. He finally coaxed that much out of me and when I said it, I closed my eyes, and expected yelling or storming out of the room, or questions, anything but what happened. He was so supportive, and so gentle with me. He offered things he did not have to, and when I could finally speak again I told him I already had an appointment, and all I needed was to save all my pay until the appointment. He offered to pay for it all himself, and we agreed that we would each pay half. There was never any questions to my decision. Never any accusations. Never any suggestions of alternatives. He was and still is a wonderful man.

The day finally came, and walking into the cold clinic, money in one hand, his hand in my other I shuffled my way past metal detectors, an armed security guard, and very watchful nurses. The bulletproof glass, and steel door of the entry chamber scared me some. I’ve never waited longer for something in my life as I did that day. When it was all said and done, and I was on my way out, I couldn’t stop crying. My boyfriend wanted to know why, and I honestly couldn’t tell him. When I got home that night, and laid in bed, wondering why myself, it came to me. They were tears of relief. It was finally over. My life would go on, and it wouldn’t be in shambles. I did not have to face the accusations of my family, or friends, or peers. No one would ever know, except those that were there that day. No one would ever know. And my life would go on.

I am not sorry. I am glad to have had that choice. I am glad that I was spared from the life of a young uneducated mother, and I am glad that no child of mine would suffer through me being inadequate. I am not sorry.