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Over the years I’ve learned my life experiences are defined by the way I process them.

by QUEEN

November 29, 2018

My name is Queen and I am 53 years young. My life is simple, and it is filled with love and light. I own my triumphs and I own my past. I WILL SHOUT IT ALL FROM MY SOUL, PROUDLY!

I was asked to share my abortion story. It’s a memory that others might find devastating, but I do not. Over the years I’ve learned my life experiences are defined by the way I process them.

When I was 18, I found myself backed into a corner. I’d gone away to college and my high- school sweetheart was at the same university. We were in love, or so it seemed at the time. We were both honor students and we’d study late at his place. We knew better, but “it happened.” We’d never talked about safe sex. We never discussed the what-ifs, either. No matter how educated or intelligent you are, sometimes stuff happens.

Well, the next month, my cycle didn’t come. I was terrified. “My daddy is gonna kill me,” I thought. Not literally, but you get it. My father was old- school: he was rigid and didn’t believe in abortion unless someone was raped. And that’s not what had happened to me. But I hadn’t been promiscuous, or fast, as they say. And I was smart! I made straight- A’s in high school, I was on the dean’s list for four years, and I’d eventually go on to get a master’s degree. I’d stayed a virgin until college.

I was on a four-year scholarship, and I wanted to finish with a degree. I knew if Daddy found out, he would make me come home, get a job, and raise his grandchild—plus he’d be disappointed and ashamed of me. Adoption was never an option; my parents didn’t believe in that. I had a plan for my life, and being forced to get married and be a parent wasn’t part of my vision. So I decided to terminate.

I shared my plight with my mother and my bestie, who were both determined to stand by me no matter what I decided. Momma told me to find a clinic and let her know the details. My best friend and I found a Planned Parenthood, and my momma secretly sent me the money. My mother and I vowed never to speak of my decision again.

The counselor at Planned Parenthood spoke to me in depth about all my options. They had me watch a few videos and gave me a pamphlet, but my decision was made.

I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual. And I don’t believe that I am any less of a woman for making that choice many moons ago. My abortion was what was BEST for ME. I don’t believe I am going to a place of fire and brimstone, nor do I believe that I should be ashamed. And I think the government should stay in their place. Planned Parenthood is awesome! They do more than abortion services— they offer HIV testing, pregnancy care, and so much more. No politician should be trying to close those doors, and nobody should be camping out in the parking lot harassing people who have chosen abortion. It is their right!

THEIR BODY. THEIR CHOICE. THEIR LIFE.

It saddens me to think what would happen without safe clinics. Back in the day, young women were forced into shady houses with no addresses and into dark hallways, resorting to abortions with rusty clothes hangers dug into their wombs. If we do not protect the right to choose, the outcome will be infection, death, and suicide.

I hope my story helps someone, and I am sending RAYS of LIGHT. It’s always there!

photo by Elizabeth Rudge

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