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I had an abortion as a teenager and I would not change a thing

by Haley

June 17, 2019

When I was 18,  my high school boyfriend and I broke up.  I was devastated, heart-broken and addicted to drugs and abusing alcohol heavily.  We got back together, as first loves do, it was short lived and unhealthy.  He was the person who introduced me to cocaine and made it feel like it wouldn’t kill me if I snorted a line.  I began a love affair with drugs that last longer than I would like to admit.  In the three drug-fueled days we got back together and tried to work it out, I ended up pregnant.  I will never forget peeing on a stick in solidarity with a girlfriend who’s period was a week late.  I was a couple of days late but had always had slightly irregular periods and had not considered the possibility that I might be pregnant.  I remember my friend nervously pacing while she waited for the test result.   I knew I didn’t have anything to be worried about and was not anxious for the result.

The blood rushed out of my face when I looked at my test and saw a positive result.  All I could think of was that my fundamentalist Baptist father was going to murder me for getting pregnant, unwed and as a teen, given his extremely antiquated ideas on sex, morality, women and his dislike of my boyfriend.  I was so scared for myself, but even more than that, terrified that the cells in my body causing this pregnancy test to be positive had ingested so many substances that there was not a snowball’s chance in hell that it did not detrimentally affect the pregnancy.  I saw my entire future go up in a blaze of unwanted, accidental pregnancy.  I thought about how awful my childhood was, how dysfunctional my family was, and how unsupportive they would be if they found out I was pregnant.  They would also force me to keep the baby but would chastise me for it for eternity, because, well, Christianity.  I had no idea how a person even finds an abortion doctor or how to raise the $450 to pay for the treatment that was not covered by my insurance .  I ended up fighting with my ex-boyfriend over the money and ended up at his house, explaining to his mom that I needed help or she would be raising his child.  I knew she was not inclined to have her teenaged son tied to me, a girl she did not like, for the rest of his life.  Thankfully, she wrote me a check for $450 and told me to stay away from her son.

The girls whose house I was at when I learned I was pregnant helped me find out how to obtain an abortion.  She had a brother who performed abortions in his OB-GYN practice.  She quickly set me up with an appointment and offered to take me to it.  I declined, telling her my ex-boyfriend had agreed to drive me to and from the appointment.  He was supposed to pick me up from her house at 8 am on the morning of my appointment, but he never showed up and stopped answering my calls.  My girlfriend and the girl who I took the test with because she was late took me to the appointment and waited until the procedure was over to  drive me home.  I avoided my family for a week while I recovered from what was a painful procedure that left me bleeding through extra absorbent pads for a week.  My ex-boyfriend’s friend saw my car and scribed “Baby Killer” into my window, even though my ex-boyfriend had no interest in being a father.   To this day I think of her and think about what a cold-hearted thing that was to do.   I hope she never faces such a situation.

 

Because I had an abortion, I was able to eventually get clean, obtain a college education and attend law school.  I am vehemently unapologetic about my abortion as I know it was both the right thing for me and the right thing for the “baby” that would have been forced to have a drug addict for a mother had I not made the choice to abort.  I have never wanted children and still don’t.  The thought of being forced to conceive and birth an unwanted child makes me so sad for the unwanted child.  The argument that there are people who cannot have children and therefore unwanted pregnancies should be carried to the term for those folks is both unconvincing and unethical.  Pro-life (pro-birth) people fail to address the fact that a child who is unwanted by its a biological parent grows into a person with feelings and thoughts.  That fetus-turned-unwanted-child is forced to live with that reality, and no amount of love or desire from an adoptive parent will replace the feeling of unwantedness by the biological parent.  Having a child as a child is both a horrible disservice to the child and to the mother of the child because both lives are degraded and incapable of achieving their full potential.  I am an outspoken reproductive equity advocate and will defend the right of a person to choose for the rest of my life.  We will not go back.  #youknowme #neveragain #shoutyourabortion

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