Velma’s Story

I found I was pregnant late January 1998. I was a 22 years old senior in college. I had been seeing my boyfriend at the time for about four months, we were in love and had talked about getting married some day. I took my pregnancy test on a whim because I had been having some low-grade nausea and fatigue that wouldn’t go away and I wanted to rule out pregnancy before I saw a doctor. I never thought in a million years that my test would turn out to be positive. I wasn’t that late and I had been using birth control (in hindsight however, I realize there were times I was careless). I literally went into shock when I saw the second line appear. I told my boyfriend and he immediately offered to marry me. He said whatever I decided to do he would stand by me and I had his full support. (This BF by the way was an adoptee as well as a conservative.) Even though I loved him there was no way in hell I was ready to be a mother or wife. The only thing I wanted was to get this thing (yes it felt like a thing, a parasite) out of me. I had always been pro-choice but was unsure what I would do if ever I had to actually make the decision. But when faced with reality there was no other choice for other than an abortion. I didn’t waver on that for a millisecond.

Our first step was to contact the Women’s Health Center at my college. They gave me all the information for finding a local doctor. They told me which doctors gave the most medication, cost the most, or would perform the operation the soonest. I choose the doctor who gave out the most anesthesia. I made my appointment for 3 ½ weeks later. The cost was a little over $300.00. I went to the office with my boyfriend. Everyone was discreet and kind. I did some preliminary testing and was given paperwork to fill out. I went to a back room that was very clean and looked just like a regular exam room except there was some extra equipment and an I.V. pole. I started to get a little anxious as I climbed onto the table but the nurse calmed any unnecessary nerves I was having. The last thing I remember is the needle going into my hand. The next thing I heard was the doctor telling me it was done and everything was okay. The nurse told me to lie still for about 15 minutes until the anesthesia wore off. Then I got dressed, got a prescription for some pain pills (that I didn’t even need), and left.

I never felt any pain from the procedure or after the fact. I didn’t even need Tylenol. I never felt any guilt or remorse or regret from the procedure. I barely even remember the date and doctor. My boyfriend was also never less than supportive. We stayed together for four years after that. We were even engaged at one point. Later we split up because we both had grown into different people with different goals. I went on to graduate school to get my PhD in engineering (two more years hopefully) and my BF is working in a new city. We’re still good friends and keep in touch. I never told my family and have only told a few close friends. I am always surprised to hear these same friends share their own abortion stories. And in all the stories I have heard, the one thing that they all have in common is the overwhelming feeling of relief. I haven’t met a person yet who regretted it.