When I was 20 (almost 11 years ago), and in college, I was dating a guy that wasn’t very nice to me. It didn’t last long and there isn’t much to say about him except that he forced me to break up with him. And afterwards, when I found out I had gotten pregnant, he told me I better not be lying to him. I went through the emotional roller coaster of deciding what to do. At first I thought I could keep it, be a strong woman, raise it on my own…. I took the train down to Olympia to meet my parents and brother to tell them what was up. When I sat down to explain myself I burst into tears and could barely get the words out I was so scared. My mother held me and they took turns comforting me, making sure I knew they didn’t think any less of me and they were there for me no matter what I decided to do. I’m tearing up again thinking about how much love I felt from them. A few weeks went by and I came to the conclusion that I was too young for this and maybe I could give the baby up for adoption, not giving it much thought, and procrastinating the research I felt I should do before committing to that idea. In that time I met another guy and we went on a date. I told him on that date what I was going through and he responded with kindness and understanding. We spent the weekend together and then went our separate ways back to work/reality. The next time I saw him he told me he had talked to a friend and decided that he didn’t think he could watch me go through with this. That it would be one of the hardest things I could do and he didn’t feel strong enough to have this experience with me. I realized in those moments that I had been avoiding considering an abortion. I had grown up in Texas and never known or talked to someone that had had one before and was terrified of the procedure. I knew in my heart what I needed to do; the responsible thing, the best thing for me and my family. I had a panic attack trying to make the appointment. PP was booked out longer than I could put it off and so I got an appointment at Seattle Medical and Wellness clinic downtown. A week or so later my parents drove me to my appointment. I was nervous but the entire staff made me feel safe and secure, my mom got to be in the room with me and held my hand the whole time. The procedure was easy and mostly painless and my doctor was very kind and talked to me about animals. Afterwards, my parents drove me back to Olympia and took care of me for a few days until I was ready to go home. To this day it is one of my most life changing experiences. I learned so much about how my parents love for me works; truly unconditional. How to better listen to my body, where I absolutely stand on abortion care and women’s rights, and even though it was a very hard and scary time in my life, I’m left with fond memories of those who gave me love and support at that time. Including the guy who helped me see my true feelings, who supported me through my abortion and we dated for a while after. He will always have a place in my heart.
I’m now 31 and married to the love of my life and we are starting to think about having children. It’s a huge life changing decision that should never be taken lightly or forced upon anyone. I’m forever grateful and thankful to my parents, my friends, my employer at the time, and, most importantly, the staff of Seattle Medical and Wellness clinic who benefits our community more than most can appreciate. They are pillars and soldiers of Seattle and my hope is that they are here to stay.