Shannon’s Story

It was just turning July and I knew I was feeling a bit sick. At this time I was no more than two weeks pregnant, and I just knew. My periods run really weird schedules, so I was not completely sure. I have a nine year old son, so I just had a gut feeling. I had been pretty regular with the birth control pills, but I did miss one, but I got right back on schedule with the pills after the one was missed.

I did not understand how it could happen, but I told my boyfriend. He thought I was nuts, but we bought a pregnancy test anyway. That night I dropped my son off at my mother’s house, and we went back to his house to do the test. I was so nervous. I let him read it while I went in the bathroom. He was laughing at my nervousness, but like I said, I just knew. I waited in the bathroom like a scared little girl, and then he said, “Oh my God!” My heart sank. “What… are you kidding? You had better not be kidding me!” I said. Well, after a long talk about the possibilities, we both knew we could not have it. I mean, we talked about it for a long time, and it all came down to my decision. I think he knew he could not tell me what to do. He was even willing to marry me! I just put the marriage thing into a memory box in the back of my head and labeled it another one of the wonderful things about him. I would never want to get married because of a circumstance! I noticed then that I had become a true woman.

I was a woman because I could make an educated choice; taking into consideration my family, my finances, my emotions, and all. At that moment, I had done away with society’s view of me, of women, of narrow beliefs. I was going to take charge and have an abortion. I will not tell you I did not have fleeting moments of question and doubt; I did. Making decisions does not mean one has to be totally sold. A person needs only to be leaning in one direction and to take action. I said yes to my future. I said yes to my rights. I said yes for so many reasons.

When I went to Planned Parenthood I was a little nervous. I did not wait long, but the wait was educating in itself. There were lots of health information booklets around, and women there were also there for reasons other than abortion. I was glad to not feel like the only woman in the world going through an abortion. So many women! So many seemed to have a weight being lifted off their shoulders. After speaking with a counselor, I went in to see the doctor. My boyfriend was with me the whole time in the waiting room, but I noticed that the doctors and medical staff were not comfortable with him in the exam rooms. I was fine with it of course, but I viewed my situation as our situation. I can understand, though, why women would not want men in the rooms; so I felt as though not having him there was a price worthy of paying. When the doctor looked in my uterus with the probe, she took pictures and said that I was about six weeks pregnant. It all went too fast for me. This may sound weird, but I wanted to relish the experience. I wanted to see the photo, have my boyfriend see it, look at the machines, ask questions. It was all so surreal. I felt empowered. I cannot truly explain it, except to say that at one time I was pro-life. After seeing so much injustice towards women, and after feeling these emotions, I became a feminist after this experience.

I took a pill. I went with the medical abortion. I highly recommend this method. I did cramp, but not more than a mild period pain, and I was out of commission for only a day; and that was due to the need for rest. I wore heavy pads for a week afterward, and my next period was a little on the heavy side, but the experience was fine. I have had no negative emotional distress. I believe that the emotional distress that some women have had is due to pressure from outside sources telling a women what they believe is right and wrong. This is so true. I make up my own mind. I make my decisions. I made the right one, and I am proud of myself for it.

Since my abortion, I have been playing a game. I have been keeping a tally of pro-life bumper stickers and the gender of the person driving the car. 2 women 15 men. Go figure.