Stephanie’s Story

When I was 19 years old, I was a college student. I had a boyfriend who also went to my college. We had been involved for about four months, were sexually active, and used birth control. When I became pregnant, it took very little time to decide that I would have an abortion. I remember being quite upset when I found out that I was pregnant, but I knew that I could not have and raise a child at that stage in my life. I did make the decision in conversation with my boyfriend, but I also felt that it was ultimately my decision. I did not want to have the baby because I was young, unmarried, not at a point in my relationship with my boyfriend where I felt we could commit to each other and to a child, and because I was in college and wanted to continue to give my full attention to my education and to the career that I hoped would follow college.

My sister and my boyfriend took me to the appointment and took me home (to my room in a college dormitory). They were both very loving and supportive. I did not feel that the procedure took an enormous emotional toll on me, largely because I felt confident that I was making a good choice. This is not to say that I have not ever questioned the decision: I recognize that bringing that embryo to term was a choice I could have made, and neither do I think that it would have meant disaster or sure misery, but it was a choice based on what I thought was best.

I am now married to my then-boyfriend. We have been through a lot together and have a strong relationship. We had a huge amount of growing up to do and did much of it together, but I am glad no child had to live through our very messy and volatile twenties. We now have a beautiful two-year old daughter who we adore, and who we planned for. We both love parenting and love our daughter. Our daughter has the advantage of parents who felt emotionally, maturationally, financially ready to rear her. This is not to say that our lives have no struggles, and certainly not to say that we are perfect or even ideal parents (who is?!), but we were able to make a conscious decision about our own readiness for parenting, and now are able to devote real attention and commitment toward parenting.

Because I had that abortion at age 19, I was able to finish college and go on to graduate school. I am now a university professor. My husband also has a career that he loves and has worked hard for, and that he would have been unable to pursue had he become a father all those years ago (he is a composer, and would not have been able to spend so many years living in financial shakiness if he had financial responsibilities for a child and a wife in graduate school).

My husband and I have talked about that pregnancy years ago, and the fact that we would have a nineteen year old child now if we had not had the abortion, but neither one of us doubts that we made the right decision. We are thankful for the lives we have, for the strength of our relationship, for the time we were childless and the fact that we used that time to pursue our careers and strengthen our relationship and mature emotionally. And we are grateful for the terrific two years we have had with our daughter, and grateful that we can provide the type of love and parenting for her we never would have been able to give a child when we were 19 and 20 years old. I had an abortion and I’m not sorry.