My name is Lindsay, and I’ve had an abortion.

by Lindsay

November 10, 2020

I was 16. My high school boyfriend was leaving for college in two months. The condom broke. It was Friday evening and planned parenthood wasn’t open until Monday. I had to ask an older girlfriend to drive me there after school on that day. The plan b they gave me made me sick, but the thought of it not working never crossed my adolescent mind.

After two months and no wherewithal to track my period, I began having morning sickness consecutively three days in a row. Leaving my history class each day at the same time to vomit in the bathroom. I knew. I told two other older girlfriends who drove me to Walgreens and bought two pregnancy tests for me. They were both positive. We sat in a park nearby and talked about my options and they urged me to tell my mother, there was no other option.

That following Saturday afternoon my mother was bedridden with a migraine. This was my moment. I crawled into bed with her and cried. That’s all I could muster. She asked me what was wrong what felt like 1000 times before she asked “are you pregnant”. Through my fingers I could only muster the words “yes” before curling tighter into her arms. She hugged me tighter, telling me she loved me, and asked me what I wanted to do. Abortion was the only way. Keeping it never once crossed my mind.

Out of college, my mother had her first psychology/counselor job at a Planned Parenthood in the 80s. She was well versed in this after school special. I felt safe and lucky to be her daughter.

We made an appointment through our insurance for a consultation at a clinic on the west side of Phoenix. They gave me an ultrasound, asked if it was consensual and other formality based questions. They showed me the ultrasound even though I didn’t want to see it. We booked the appointment for the following day. I was two weeks away from the cutoff per Arizona limitations at the time.

I had to tel my boyfriend the night before he left for college in California. He was heartbroken. Not because I was terminating it, but because I had to go through the experience without him by side.

I went in for the appointment, I was jittery and nervous. It feels like a fever dream at this point. Half sedated, half awake. Then it was over. I came to in a recovery room, sitting in a lazy-boy with two other women. They had left me some apple juice to sip on. Then I went home. My boyfriends mother brought me flowers the next day as I rested before going back to school and pretending like nothing happened. Surrounded by the everyday normalcy of being a teenager.

Regret and shame have never once crossed my mind. I feel very grateful for my family and friends for their support I recognize the privilege I had as an upper middle class white woman and know that many other women are not so lucky. The only emotion I feel is anger. Angry that we have to keep fighting for this. Angry that women continue to be suppressed by something as minuscule like an unplanned pregnancy. We don’t want to have to have abortions. It’s certainly not an enjoyable experience, but the option is necessary to protect women in a society that seems to hate us so much.

My name is Lindsay, and I’ve had an abortion.

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