Thankful for the Choice

by Jennifer

June 11, 2019

I was 30 years old. My amazing daughter – I had wanted to have, was 5, and I could no longer use birth control, without serious side effects. I had tried multiple formulations of pills, the Nuvaring, the shot, and I knew I only wanted one child – that was my decision and choice my entire life. I was denied any form of sterilization when I was pregnant and planning for delivery – back then they said I had to be 35 before the would allow it – allow me to make the choice to be a proud and content parent of one child. So, my husband – at the time, her dad – said he could not orgasm wearing a condom and I reminded him I only wanted one child and did not want to get pregnant and have to get an abortion. He told me he would get a vasectomy, which made sense – cheap and fast and allowed for him before 35.

I had to go out of town to help family and was taking my daughter with me, so he said he’s have a friend drive him, then just stay home and rest all weekend – made sense. Well, he said he went, but it turns out he lied, but he even told me that he had to go for a check-up to make sure it worked, so I trusted him. About a year later I start getting sick in the morning – my period had never been regular, so I could not assume that not having a period in 4 weeks meant I was pregnant, I would go months without a period. At first I thought I had some kind of flu, but after a couple days with no fever, I knew something was wrong. I went to the drugstore and took a pregnancy test in their bathroom and then began to vomit and cry when it came back positive – one of my worst nightmares. This may be surprising to some, but not all women want get pregnant and have babies – some don’t want any children, and some like me only want one.

I felt terrified about having to get an abortion – I had always believed in having that choice and had taken a friend for one, when her pills and his condom failed, but I knew it would be a hard decision – I was aware of the reality of my decision. I also knew I had to have the procedure immediately, since I didn’t want the fetus to get any more mature. I also felt betrayed and trapped. I called the abortion clinic – still in the Walgreens bathroom – to make an appointment. I had to wait two days to get in, by Florida law (that’s where I was at the time) I had to hear the heartbeat and see the fetus on the ultrasound. I was 6 weeks pregnant the day the ultrasound was done. I then was required to wait three days to make sure I was committed to my decision. All the while I was dealing with not letting my daughter know what was going on, while confronting her father about his actions. He said he wanted more than one child and thought he would trap me into having another one and having to stay with him for financial support, plus he didn’t want a vasectomy, so he lied.

I had the abortion and declined the pain medication, other than a local, so that I would be completely aware of the procedure and what I was going through. After recovering from the procedure, I tried again to get some sort of sterilization procedure and was still denied any options due to my age. To avoid divorce – which should have happened (and eventually did), he agreed to have me go with him to watch the real vasectomy and then I drove him back for the check up. I have not ever regretted my decision and am thankful I had the option to make that choice. I didn’t ever want a second child and it is my body, so my decision to make, and I had not been irresponsible – as so many judge-mental people say. I had been denied sterilization in the hospital after my daughter was born, been denied any procedures in the 5 years after her birth, still denied any type of procedure after the abortion, and been lied to by my husband about his vasectomy, all because he wanted a more pleasurable orgasm and to trap me into getting pregnant against my will. Each woman that gets an abortion has her own story and it’s her choice to make. Plus, as my daughter says, they are not pro-lifers that oppose my choice or her choice, but they are pro-birthers, because once they are born, they are not there to provide support and care. As a mom, I will do everything I can to guarantee she always has a right to make a safe choice.

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