I’m Alive Because of Abortion Access

by Anonymous

May 31, 2022

Content Warning: sexual assault, suicide

I was 20, and it was the summer between sophomore & junior year when I found out I was pregnant. I had no symptoms, but I had been having nightmares for about a month and was about to go across the country to visit some recently graduated friends, so I took a test to “calm my nerves”. Let’s just say my nerves were NOT soothed by the result.

It’s funny the way that my body could communicate in my subconscious something my conscious mind wasn’t ready to accept. I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe this feeling then, but for me, the closest comparison I can make to the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy is the trauma of sexual assault. Just as a desired pregnancy can be so beautiful, so can consensual sex, but remove the desire and it became an incomparable pain of feeling like my body does not belong to me. It’s a feeling that almost drove me to suicide, and one that I can without doubt say would have lead me to take my life if I had been forced to continue the pregnancy.

When I found out, I immediately called planned parenthood, and they told me I could make an appointment, but because of the law in NC I would have to wait a week to think about it. A resentment I struggle with still is that I feel as though, because abortion is so often under attack, many pro-choice supporters behave like it is utterly painless and there are no negative side effects for fear of providing ammo for the opposition.

I caught it early enough to take the pill, and my doctor told me it would be fine *hint hint* to use recreational marijuana to deal with the pain, which gave me the impression that I was going to be able to have a girl’s night, get high, and wake up like nothing had ever happened. No one prepared me for the fact that it would be excruciating. No one prepared me for the hormonal depression I felt because of a fetus I still in no way wanted. Even now, I’m afraid to share that truth, in case someone might point to it and say “see, your pain is proof that abortion is the wrong decision”.

My boyfriend, who was then and always has been supportive of my decision, comes from a pro-life Catholic family, which l will admit adds a layer of shame. To be honest without anonymity would mean to destroy his relationship with his family. I’m not ashamed of my abortion, but I’m tired of carrying around the guilt of what feels to me like a lie by omission. I’ve never regretted my decision, and I never will, but I wish someone had warned me that it can be difficult no matter what you choose, or how certain you feel about that choice. My advice to anyone who is faced with the choice to have an abortion is this: no matter what you decide, don’t isolate yourself as I did. You’re not alone, and it’s okay to need support even if you’re entirely confident in your decision.

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