Before “stealthing” was a crime

by Anonymous

January 13, 2022

Content Warning: sexual assault

I had only had sex once before I started dating my older, more experienced boyfriend during my senior year of high school. We used a condom the first time and I went on birth control right after, so when I began missing periods, I assumed it was a side effect of the pill. I didn’t think it was possible that I could be pregnant, since we’d always used protection. By the time I took a test, I was already 12 weeks pregnant, and my boyfriend had long disappeared. It didn’t feel like a choice at all. I’m lucky I was able to terminate that pregnancy a week before starting college. When I came into contact with him years later, he revealed that he had, in fact, removed the condom that first time, and was actually mad that I aborted it because he would have wanted me to have it. He didn’t want to be my prom date, but he wanted me to have and raise his child alone? He wanted me to spend the rest of my life coping with the consequences of a choice I didn’t get to make for myself? Is this what lawmakers intend for us?

The abortion was painful and traumatic, but it was the best decision I have ever made for myself. At least I got to choose what happened to my own body, and what it would mean for my future. When I read that California passed a bill making stealthing a civil offense of sexual battery, that was the first time I understood that what happened to me was a crime.

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