Susan’s Story

Twenty-three years ago, at the age of sixteen I had my only abortion. My then-boyfriend and I had been dating for several months and were stupidly playing Russian Roulette with birth control. I was terrified; he was scared but still made the usual “we’ll get married” offer. I freaked! I had seen my oldest sister get married because she had gotten pregnant and her life was hell. By that time, she had two kids under the age of four and was married to a wife-beater. They constantly struggled to make ends meet and he would hit up on me and my friends. There was no way I was going to live that kind of life. So I told my best friends what was going on and they chipped in, along with another sister, and I got the money. I went to the local Planned Parenthood clinic, had my exam and found out that yes, I was two weeks pregnant but that I would have to wait two more weeks to be sure that the abortion would be complete. So I waited the two weeks and was back there bright and early on the day of the procedure. They were kind and considerate. They gave me information on my options. When I explained that there was no way that I was capable of raising and caring for a child at the age of 16 they didn’t argue or try to talk me out of it. I had my abortion and went home.

A couple of weeks later my boyfriend informed me that his mother had found out about it. She was a nurse at one of the local hospitals and it seems that one of the nurses at the clinic recognized my boyfriends name and told his mother what had transpired. She was very upset because she had not been able to have children and my boyfriend was adopted. We explained to her that we were not going to ruin our lives because of a stupid mistake and that we were too young to start a family. She got over it.

The next day I called the clinic and ripped them a new one because of the violation of doctor-patient privilege and threatened to sue. I wouldn’t have sued, I was too young, but I didn’t want the same thing to happen to someone else.

I told my friends how the procedure went, step by step. I told them all of the gory details. I also told them that I would do it again in a second, and that I would help them get an abortion if they ever needed one. I also told them not to be stupid about birth control and to go to the clinic and get the pill or condoms because there was no excuse for intelligent, educated people to have this problem. I held myself up as a bad example.

This was in 1980. Twenty-three years later, I have not had one single regret, nor have I ever had a child. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had had a child, I would have been an alcoholic, abusive divorced mother on welfare or in prison for murder. I know this. I do not have the patience or tolerance for children. I do not have a shred of maternal instinct for humans.

That abortion taught me that I DID have control over my life. I DID have choices. I DIDN’T have to do something just because that’s what others wanted me to do. I didn’t have to be a follower, I could be a leader. I have never felt any remorse or guilt or suffered any kind of depression because of my abortion. I went on to finish high school and get a degree in Business Management, something I never would have done if I had been selfish enough to have kids. Out of those six friends, only two have children. One got pregnant in college and one just had children five years ago, after thinking about it and planning for it for several years. My sister who got pregnant and had the kid? Her oldest is 25 and a college graduate. The next oldest got pregnant recently by someone other than her fiancé and has been in her low wage job less than a year and so has no benefits and no way to support a child. She has already applied for welfare.

I have been married for sixteen years to a man who also doesn’t want kids. He travels frequently for his job and I have been able to travel with him on short notice. We moved to a different state with opportunities than I never would have been able to take advantage of if I had had children. We pay taxes and get involved in our community. I continue to take classes and teach myself various things that I never would have discovered and continue to contribute to society. I am a firm supporter of Roe V. Wade and will be until the day I die. No one should be forced to have a child that they don’t want or are not prepared emotionally or financially to raise. I chose not to have children but if someone else chooses to breed and can financially and emotionally support that child then that’s fine. Our government was founded on the basis of freedom to choose how to live our lives and that freedom must be protected.