by Jessica

May 9, 2019

Content Warning: physical & emotional abuse

Growing up,  I was firmly on one side of the fence. I considered myself to be a Pro- lifer in that I never considered abortion a “normal” medical procedure. It was awful and horrific and incredibly taboo. Because of that stance, I have two amazing daughters, having given birth to my first when I was 25.

When they were young, we were very poor, relying on every government program available in order to keep our utilities on and food in our mouths.  It was an incredibly scary and unpredictable time and I made sure they were none the wiser. Eventually, though,  I climbed my way out of poverty and obtained not one, but two, degrees.

It was only a few years later that I found myself standing on the other side of that proverbial fence.  I was in an intensely volatile relationship. We had been close friends in high school and reconnected many times thereafter through what I would call fate.  Eventually, we decided it must’ve been the universe giving us a sign and we became romantically involved  and shortly thereafter, engaged.  One day, while discussing our future, we talked about children.  We both had them from previous relationships and decided we didn’t desire anymore.  He didn’t hesitate when I suggested he get a vasectomy.  He understood it was a quick, fairly painless procedure and was willing to be the one to go under the knife and I was incredibly thankful for this.  After he returned, he explained to me what the Dr had told him to ensure that pregnancy would not occur while the sperm count was dwindling.  We used protection… for weeks. He never did take in a sample for testing, though, but it had been quite a long time and he assured me it would be fine.

So we had sex.  Without a condom.  Weeks after his vasectomy.

Soon afterward, alcoholism began to change him.  He became sarcastic, accusatory and sinister.  It took all of his goodness and replaced it with darkness, misogyny and distrust. I knew I had to get out but I feared him and I wasn’t sure how.

One night, while in a highly intoxicated state, he managed to corner and trap me in my own home.  He hurled foul slurs at me and physically restrained me. He threw my phone and car keys across the room. His eyes were dark and stormy, like nothing I’d ever seen.  It was then that I knew he wanted to hurt me.

I eventually managed to wriggle free from his constricting grip and ran for the front door. He lunged for me, his feet pounding on my wood floors.  I threw the door open and ran barefooted out into the cold, fall night.  I screamed, attempting to draw attention to myself, running as fast as I could.  I heard him getting closer, breath heavy, speech slurring. He caught up to me and grabbed my waist as I held tightly onto my neighbor’s fence,  slicing my hands open in the process. My grip weakened, I couldn’t continue to hold on and he pried me away, sending me backwards and into the street.  Then, just as quickly as he grabbed me, he let me go. I got my footing back under me and took off further down the road, passing house after house, praying for a front porch light, but it was 2 am and no one was awake.

I remember hearing the distinct sound of his truck. The unmuffled engine was roaring towards me and It was closing in.  I knew if he got me in that truck,  I was never going to see my children again.  I kept running, but my feet could barely keep up with the panic in my mind.

I turned a corner, toward a street where I had people I knew and trusted.  His truck was pacing me now. He slammed on his brakes and screeched to an abrupt stop, facing sideways in the street.  He flung open his door and grabbed me once more.  He tried to pull me into his truck via the driver’s side door. I began to honk the horn, over and over and over.  He grabbed my arm and pushed me further into the truck.  I found a way to honk the horn with my chin by slamming my head into the steering wheel.  Then, through the miracle of the universe, a door opened. A man stood there, half asleep and VERY pissed off.  I screamed for help and he quickly realized what was going on. He yelled at my attacker to get the hell away and, knowing he had no alternative, he relented and released me.

I ran to this man, who unknowingly saved my life, and explained what had happened through sobs. I sat on his cold bathroom floor, head in my hands and still in disbelief about what had just occurred.

Much more happened after that incident including nonstop phone calls, frequent drive bys and other harassing behavior, but ultimately, my children and I were safe and that was all that mattered to me.

About a month later, I began to feel a semblance of normalcy. I kept myself busy with my children, my schooling and my work.  So busy, that I didn’t notice when I didn’t start my period that month.

The moment I realized I was late was the moment I knew I would not keep the pregnancy.  There was literally ZERO hesitation.  I felt sad. I felt angry.  I felt abused, but I never doubted my decision to terminate.  I would consciously end a biological process that would have eventually resulted in a baby and I was ok with that.  I had two other children to think about plus school and work and just life in general.

I was approximately 6-7 weeks along when I ended my pregnancy.  The procedure was quick and only mildly uncomfortable; I equate it to menstrual cramps. Before I knew it,  my uterus was empty and I was officially rid of everything that had anything to do with my attacker… I breathed a sigh of relief.

At times,  I do wonder who my third child would have been, what he or she would’ve looked liked etc. but I NEVER regret getting an abortion.  Since my abortion,  I have used my experience to help other women,  to stand up for them and to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.  Although the incidents leading up to the abortion were terribly traumatic,  the abortion itself was incredibly enlightening. I have so much more to offer and a far more broad and accepting perspective because of it and I will fiercely defend abortion rights indefinitely because of it.


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