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Abortion Saved My Life

by Jules

June 3, 2019

Content Warning: physical, mental, & sexual abuse

This letter is for those in opposition of the Reproductive Rights Bill amendment to Roe V. Wade with the looming possibility of ignorant and irresponsible people able to potentially overturn it, as well as those states currently banning them. Both, for those who support and oppose abortion. I need my story to be heard and repeated, because my situation is not unique, and our broken judicial and healthcare system almost breed these circumstances.

I’m not sure if those of you who opposed the bill’s passing have ever watched The Hand Maid’s Tale, but I highly encourage you to watch it. To see the full extent of the ramifications of what the action of just a small decision can create. I hope we never get to that place in society, although these times make it hard to believe so.

Abortion saved my life. I was put in a very difficult situation, and it was not something that I just ran into a clinic to have performed. It was easily the hardest decision of my life. I even scheduled an appointment and couldn’t even walk into the door because it was so heartbreaking and difficult. Even more so, that every year on my birthday, this will be my memory.

At 19 years old I was in a very abusive relationship that almost cost my life in no exaggeration. I have numerous police reports to prove it, and he is currently serving a 9 year sentence that I predicted although no one would listen to me or do anything to prevent it. I come from a broken home, teetering off-and-on from homelessness, with no guidance or direction- all circumstances beyond my control. My boyfriend at the time saw an opportunity. He purposely got me pregnant as a means of control, so I couldn’t escape his grasp, so I would raise his child, so I could be his punching bag.

I didn’t know I was pregnant until about 7 weeks. With the fact that I’m not a heartless criminal, I wanted to do everything for my child that was not done for me. I had no profitable education, emotional or financial support, and no family that would even talk to me. Even with just graduating with a Cosmetology degree and being hopeful to find a job, he would not let me apply and sabotaged every opportunity to do so as well as every attempt to reach out for help and support. I had no one to talk to or help me. I felt looming pressure to abort before a heartbeat developed, but I did not want to desert my child and everything I believed in.

I was raised to handle my responsibilities. I was taught abortion is wrong. I was also exposed to a hypocritical society that hates abortion but doesn’t line up to support the numerous children in need of adoption.

After I tried to leave the situation while we were having an argument, he made numerous attempts to physically keep me in our apartment. He would not let me use my phone to call for a place to stay for the night or for help. As I walked out the door, he proceeded to grab me by my ankles and drag me down the stairs. All while punching me as close as he could to my stomach, while screaming and swearing at me, in front of his then 3 year old daughter. It only stopped because his friend and the landlord intervened. They screamed to him, “What are you doing? She’s pregnant!” They broke up the fight. And for that I am so grateful, because I don’t know how much worse it would’ve gotten. They even sat with me while the police came because he locked me out of my car and wouldn’t let me leave. But that was enough. It wasn’t until he started throwing my things out of the apartment, when his daughter looked at me and said, “Mommy, Daddy is mad at you,” that I knew my own child could never know this life.

Neither of our families were healthy; they were extremely dysfunctional in stability, maturity, mental illness, and drug problems. His family saw no problem with him being a drug addict, criminal, or abusive – a very familiar cycle in society that perpetuates this problem. After all, they were addicts and criminals themselves. This life was all we both had ever known. He himself was conceived while his parents were on a crack mission and he was inhaling these drugs in utero. I myself have parents with substance abuse and alcohol issues, as well as mental illness. I was blessed in seeing their lives and the ramifications of such, to not go down the path my family has. As a child victim of those circumstances, I could not perpetuate that to my child. I could not consciously have this child in this environment, be separated from him and know there was nothing I could do about this child being raised in such an environment, or repeat the cycle. I did my best under the circumstances I was given in my situation. I was lucky enough to be able to stay with an aunt while I figured out the best thing to do. It took me quite some time to come to the decision. His father lived next door to my aunt, and he had plenty of time and opportunities to try to make things right, get his life together, or at the very least apologize and check to see how his child was doing. He never bothered to reach out. It wasn’t until after it happened that he called me everything under the sun, including a murderer. That I should’ve just stuck it out and dealt with it. “What kind of mother are you?” Easy, the kind that raised your child all these years. The kind that will not condone this behavior, these patterns, or this lifestyle.

I made the choice to abort because even if I had the means to love and provide for this child, my child would never come from a happy home. My child would be exposed to all kinds of elements that organizations like DCYF should intervene for but do not. I should know based on how I grew up, and how I tried to contact them to aid his daughter and they didn’t even bother to physically check on her or research the environment.

I myself have been molested, sexually assaulted, physically abused, abandoned and left to fend for myself through the cracks of society. I myself have graduated high school taking six busses a day and supporting 4 people including myself at 17. I myself have pushed myself to have the courage to break ties with a sociopathic monster like my ex-boyfriend who sabotaged every opportunity I had to get healthy, educated, and employed. I myself have graduated college, have a great paying job, a healthy relationship, and have been financially stable and independent for over 6 years since he has been incarcerated.

I could not have done this if I had not had an abortion. I could not have done this if someone like that had any involvement with myself or my child. I could not have the opportunity to have a healthy, happy, loved and well cared for child if I was not able to end that relationship and end the life of a child I was scared to have but did in fact want.

You may not like me, understand me or agree with my decision, but I assure you that if you do not support this bill that many people will suffer worse fates than myself. I regret not having an 8 year old today, but I do not regret why I did what I did. I saved that child from a lifetime of pain.

I sincerely hope you consider stories like mine completely before you go forward and play God with your legislative abilities. It is okay for Senator’s wives, daughters, and mistresses to have abortions. It is okay for rich white women to abort whenever they see fit and not have society look down on them, statistically, the highest late term abortion participant and demographic. But not for those like myself because of a situation many claim I should’ve predicted, or those of similar financial situations, or those of different colors or religions as you. But I tell you what, it is not okay to take away the ability or right for women whom are the most intuitive, knowledgeable advocate for their own well-being by stripping them of the legal resources and avenues available to them.

It has been just over thirty years where laws have changed where we do not need our husbands permission to get divorced, escape abuse, choose birth control, or not be fired for being pregnant. My ancestors have fought for over a hundred years to uphold these very essential human rights.

It is not up for a court, an employer, a politician, a president, a religion, a health insurance company, or even God to decide what is best for me and my body or future-it is especially not your right. Nobody EVER mandates that a man get tested for sexual diseases, that he uses a condom, that he is honest with his partner or at least treats her like a human being, to go on birth control, or even if he needs a vasectomy to prevent pregnancy. You have no right to let him do as he pleases and tell me what I need to do with my body. Please consider this next time you legally try to tell me what I can and cannot do with my life, body, child, health and future.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!