Miranda’s Story

When I was 16 everything was going for me. I was an honor student, involved in marching band, had a cool older boyfriend, and a close knit family. I was sexually active since I was 13, but hadn’t thought much about birth control and was lucky up until that point. I was too young to know what I needed to know and was raised in a home where my mother always reminded my sister and I that she was a virgin when she married my father at the age of 27 (turns out this is true, not a mother’s lie). I was always given the impression that I was expected to follow her example. We didn’t really talk about sex.

After being with Tom, my boyfriend at the time, a year I decided it was time to talk with my mom about getting “on the pill”. To my surprise, she was supportive, and we went to the doctor. I was given instruction to wait to start taking “the pill” when my period came and went. I waited patiently but my period never came that month.

Despite using a condom, I had ended up pregnant, and found myself in a serious situation. At 16, I was already sure that I was going to college, going to have a career, potentially a husband, and maybe children after I had established myself. When I took that pregnancy test and saw the blue line, all plans came to a screeching halt.

I loved Tom, but I loved myself more. He was 21 at the time and looked forward to building a family. I was on a different path and I am glad I stayed on that path. Tom was sweet, but I knew what having a baby meant. Having a baby at 16 meant no graduation let alone with honors, no college, no youth, no traveling abroad, and no voice of my own. When I told him I was pregnant his response was “I know you are 16, but let’s get married”. Tom lived in rural Indiana close to his unusually elderly parents, had not completed high school partially due to a learning disability, thought he could be a punk rocker for life, and had no job prospects other than factory work. I had made up my mind to terminate the pregnancy from the moment I found out. This was hard for him to take, but he knew I had much to lose.

After telling him my plans, the next step was to tell my mother. I was a minor and needed her permission to get an abortion. The same night that I returned home from telling Tom, I was confronted by my mom about the lack of hygiene products in the trash can (she noticed these kind of things). She asked me if there was a reason why my tampon wrappers were missing this particular month. I just broke down in tears and told her I was pregnant. Then the most amazing thing happened. She just hugged me and said she loved me. After I was done crying she looked me in the eye and said “What do you want to do about it?” I couldn’t believe it and wanted to wallow in the moment of motherly love, but found myself running to the bathroom to experience morning sickness for the first time. I knew I had to end this as soon as possible. Turns out despite my mother’s sexual history she believed in a woman’s right to choose.

Mom collected half of the 480.00 from Tom and we set out to make an appointment. I rallied my best friend Sarah to come along on the uncomfortable trip to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati.

Once there I was given a pregnancy test and some counseling to make sure I knew what I wanted. I knew what I wanted and had my abortion. Everyone was kind and didn’t look at me in the way that I thought strangers would. They just gave my some over the counter pain medicine and acted as if everything was normal. The procedure was not a horrible experience, I felt empowered to do something that was so right for me at that time. All of my fears dissolved in an instant in that room with the doctor as the assistant gently rubbed my arm. I knew everything was going to be ok. When the machine turned off I could feel that the “baby” was gone. I started to feel better right away.

I am 23 now and am finishing college, have a career, and a home sewing business. I broke up with Tom within 6 months of the abortion and have never looked back. I don’t feel depressed or even think about the fact that I had an abortion. The only time I think about it is when I think about all I would have missed out on. I have no regrets and because of my experience I make sure I donate to help keep abortions legal for all women. I don’t know where I would be without the freedom of choice.