Penny’s Story

At the end of September 2006, at age 29, my period was late. After the smell of my burrito dinner made me sick, I knew I was pregnant. I called my boyfriend at work and asked him to pick up a test that night. The second I peed on the plastic stick, 2 faint pink lines showed up. I remember running out of our bathroom and down the hall to where my boyfriend was sitting on the edge of the coffee table. I threw the pregnancy test on the floor, and screamed “I’m f-ing pregnant!” It was the scariest moment of my life, and I immediately broke down in sobs. Not because I wasn’t married, or didn’t have enough money to raise a child, but because I suffer from severe agoraphobia.

At age 17, I was diagnosed with agoraphobia, anxiety disorder, and OCD. I am semi-housebound and, on most days, I can’t even leave my house to go to the local convenience store. Because of this, I have always known pregnancy would cause more harm then good, and decided to remain child free. Not to mention that I take daily medications to help with my anxiety, and there was no way I was going to stop taking them to carry a child to term.

I called the clinic the very next morning, and was told that I wasn’t far enough along for a surgical abortion, as I was only about 5 weeks. I had to wait 6 long days until the following Saturday. It was the worst week of my life. I couldn’t eat, and the medication that I take for my mental disorders made me sick. I cried everyday because I just wanted to get it over with. Because of my agoraphobia, I was terrified to go to the clinic. I was worried I wouldn’t make it through the procedure without having a full-blown panic attack.

Finally, the day arrived. My boyfriend and I arrived at the clinic, and everything went well. Thankfully, I had no anxiety at all. The abortion hurt like hell because I chose not to have sedation, but it was very quick. The nurse held my hand during the procedure, while we watched the clock on the wall and counted down the two minutes together. After getting dressed, I received some paperwork on post-abortion care, and a prescription for a preventative antibiotic. The walk back to the care was almost joyous. I have never felt more relieved in my entire life! More then two years have passed, and I have never regretted my choice. I did what was best for me, and I’m not sorry.