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11 years

by Michelle

June 7, 2019

Content Warning: attempted suicide

Hi guys,

 

My name is Michelle and I had an abortion at 16 years old. Now 11 years later, I am 27 and no longer feel comfortable keeping my story in the dark. I’m angry, I’m emotional, but most of all I’m proud of my decision. Here is my story.

 

At 16 I became pregnant from my high school boyfriend. I am first generation Hispanic and lived in poverty most of my life. At this point in time I was living in a one bedroom apartment with my family of 4, being severely abused by my father, and every day not knowing if we were going to go back to sleeping in our car or not.

Although I was conflicted, my firm decision was to have an abortion. Your natural maternal instinct makes you second guess, but then that same maternal instinct comes back around and makes you realize having a baby in this situation would be irresponsible. I know this now, however it took me over a decade to realize it.

I was told about a women’s clinic that was “similar” to planned parenthood in my area (at the time I think I was about 8 weeks). When I went in for my appointment the nurse had me do an ultra sound and kept mentioning things like “Wow you’re so young” and “I can’t believe you’re even got into this mess” the entire time. I became incredibly emotional by their rude comments, which they interpreted as I’m not ready to make any such decision. I then saw the doctor who continued to tell me reasons why I should keep my child and how there are other ways than terminating a pregnancy. They then refused to continue the process and sent me home to “think about what I’ve done”.

Showing emotions is NOT equivalent to instability. My tears did NOT mean my judgement was hindered, nor did they mean I couldn’t make a decision for myself.

Several days later I was able to go into planned parenthood. They were alarmed because I was so close to the time frame where I wouldn’t be able to have a safe abortion. They explained to me once the fetus is at a certain point, it makes the process more jeopardizing to the health of the mother. This means that the original clinic was purposely trying to postpone my time frame of having the procedure, in turn forcing me to carry my pregnancy to full term. Not only did that put my health in danger, they pushed their personal agenda on me.

Planned parenthood welcomed me with open arms. The doctor even praised me for taking care of my body. To this day I think about her, I don’t know if she realized how badly I needed to hear that. I was able to have my abortion, and go to check ups after to ensure everything went fine. They cared about me, my mental state, and my overall health.

I was taught to be ashamed of what I did. My mother even tried to make me go to school the same day because my procedure happened so early in the morning. She told me I brought this onto myself so why should she feel bad. My boyfriend (who didn’t want to have the kid either) threw it in my face every time we had an argument. I even tried overdosing on pills at one point and ended up in the hospital. I was drowning in guilt and shame.

Every year that has passed since then has made me stronger. The depression lasted for years – I was even fixated on when the child’s birthday would have been. Nevertheless, I began to see other women go through the same thing. I would find out a couple of my girlfriends had also terminated their pregnancies, women with social platforms started being vocal about it, etc. I was beginning to feel less and less alone.

Now I’m at a point where I finally feel no shame, but instead I feel strong. I had to make a very adult decision when I was only a teenager. I am so proud to stand with the many women who have also made such a hard decision in their lives.

I feel this is the best that I can encompass what my experience was. There is so much more to tell, but I know whoever reading this will feel the same way that I felt when I heard someone else share their story. Whether you have had an abortion, or stand with those who have, we all need to continue supporting each other.

Thank you for creating a platform where we can all express our experiences. Thank you for making me, and many other women, step out of the darkness.

Best,

Michelle

 

 

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