Sep 062010

My name is Raquel and I felt compelled to share my story now more than ever. With all of the “womb watch” in Hollywood and movies such as “Knocked Up” and “Juno” abortion seems to be the choice never chosen. I am also annoyed as hell that those who support abortion currently feel the need to “soften” it now by pretending to act as if every woman agonized on choosing abortion and we are all walking around mentally and emotionally anguished years later. I have no regrets, I’ve never been sorry and I make no apologies.

I had my first abortion at 14. I was a latchkey child and my two older siblings were already out of the house. My mother was working as a live-in health care aide and needless to say that an unsupervised teenager can get into a whole heap of trouble. I was hot and heavy with boy a few years older than me named David. I was the know-it-all (at least I thought I was) among my peers but I was still a virgin. I decided that I wanted David to be my first. We started off responsibly enough and used protection. After the first time though I felt like I had been conned, there were no trumpets, fireworks, or angels singing in the back ground, just a searing pain. David was patient and attentive and assured me that in time it would get better I doubted it. But he was RIGHT. I found that I liked sex and even became an aggressive initiator and rather creative.

However, becoming sexually comfortable with each other we weren’t being as responsible as before. Also, my relationship with David became all consuming we had to be together everyday and felt we had to spend all of our time with each other. I often would skip school to be with him. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade we became each other’s obsession. It wasn’t long before that family and friends became concerned about our relationship. My mother hated him and of course I loved him even more because of it. I defied my mother and continued to see him. We were having sex like rabbits. David would wait for me everyday at my bus stop waiting for me to come home from school I thought that was soooo romantic. But later he developed an issue with my teddy bear; apparently I was paying too much attention to it. My friends in high school also became an issue, hell; all my friends became an issue. So much so that at a church fair we got into an argument and David slapped me. I knew something was definitely wrong with our relationship but it didn’t end there.

After slapping the shit out of him in return and making him grovel for a couple weeks I took him back and soon after noticed I hadn’t gotten my period and was nauseous as hell. Twenty years later and I remember it like it was yesterday right down to the clothes I was wearing to what kind of weather it was on the day that I was told “Your pregnancy test is positive”. At that moment I felt my world come to a halt and saw my future flash before me: I was sweating and cooking in a hot kitchen with two kids at my feet, becoming another statistic. I knew right then I wanted and would get an abortion. But both David and I were young and broke. When I told him I was pregnant he got on his knees and asked me to marry him finding out I was pregnant also gave me clarity. I saw a boy who had already given up on his future, who was suffocating me because he made me his world and in turn I would become one of the many young women in my neighborhood that didn’t finish school, have to live hand to mouth and stuck taking care of kids wondering where my life went. That’s not what I wanted. I said no to his marriage proposal and reminded him my mother would have to give her consent which she would never do. I told him I didn’t want to have it-when he realized his begging wouldn’t change my mind he agreed to get the money so that I could terminate the pregnancy. Since we were both unemployed and from poor families he would give me small amounts of money in intervals. One day he told me his father said he should make me have the baby. I already knew I was pressed for time and the truth is my mother would have never allowed to me to have a child as teen but she would also hold it over me. Thank GOD for sisters, especially big sisters. I had to bite the bullet and told my sister I was pregnant. She looked as If I had punched her in the stomach and quickly composed herself and told me that I wouldn’t be going to school that Thursday. My sister who was very pregnant with her first child took me to have my abortion. She too has had an unwanted pregnancy and there was no way she was going to allow me to have a kid at 14.

I will never forget the pretty blonde nurse who informed me how lucky I was to have my sister’s support and how at 28 yrs old men still lied to her to get what they wanted so I shouldn’t beat myself up about being there. When I woke and felt the cramps I knew I was no longer pregnant and it was one of the happiest moments of my life because ironically that experience taught me what it feels like to be alive. After the procedure I cried with my sister. I cried because I had to go through the procedure but not that I did it. I was relieved.

I soon broke up with David but it wouldn’t be the last time I got pregnant. The second time I actually considered having it for all of the wrong reasons. I was now acting like David a few years later. I worshipped this guy and I imagined how adorable our child would be, how having this child would mean I would always have a part of him and most importantly this would mean he would have to be with me. I even had a name picked out. I was so desperate to hold on to this guy that I almost ruined my life and brought a child into this world with a man who only brings me memories of contempt and pain. And that child would have been a constant reminder. We actually sat down and discussed the pros and cons of what it would mean to continue the pregnancy. The cons won. At 19 I had surgery and found out I had endometriosis and was told that my chances of becoming pregnant were slim. So at 21 my boyfriend and I who always used condoms decided that since I was on the last days of my period a quickie couldn’t hurt. And of course the first time we don’t use protection I find out I’m pregnant even after I was told that I would actually have to plan a pregnancy to if I ever wanted a kid. Again I decided to terminate but I made a vow to myself after that abortion that I wouldn’t put myself through it again. All 3 times I was young and dumb. I’m well aware that being old and experienced doesn’t make you exempt either but I became very adamant about birth control.

I’m 34 now and haven’t been pregnant since. I also decided that I don’t want children. When I tell people I don’t want children they try to convince me other wise. I don’t have any illusions that I would be living happily ever after if I’d gone through with my pregnancies. I’m very realistic about what it means to have a child and raise it as I feel is appropriate. I don’t romanticize pregnancy as if at 3 weeks there’s a cherub smiling in your uterus. If I’m an emotionally, mentally unstable, substance addict childbirth is not going to cure it. And the people who speak about giving children up for adoption act as if they’re lines wrapped around foster homes with the Angelina Jolies wanting to take them. Not to mention the hundreds being shuffled through the system. I don’t believe everyone should be become parents. Yet people who want children aren’t questioned, even when they have more children that becomes to much for them to handle but let a woman admit to one an abortion let alone multiples and they become holier than thou. I chose my abortions because I didn’t to want to fall in to the mommy trap, if I wanted a child it would me the man I marry, I don’t find children should be exploited for Caleb photos etc I am selfish, fiercely independent and enjoy solitude I had to choose and I chose ME.

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