I waited until I was 21 years old to
have sex. At first it was because I wanted to wait until I was married or at least
wait for "the right one." Later, I just thought it was important to wait until
I felt like I was old enough to deal with the consequences of sex. Not only the
possibility of pregnancy or diseases but the emotional responsibility as well.
I had been dating my boyfriend at the time for a year or so. It just seemed like
our relationship had matured to the point where I felt comfortable about beginning
a sexual relationship. Be
At first he used condoms because I wasn't on
birth control. After a while he began
to beg and plead with me to let him go without a condom.
I eventually gave in. Our little game of pulling out at "the right time" worked
for a while but I knew I needed to get on birth control. I saw a gynecologist
and got my first cycle of pills but
he told me to wait until after my next period
to begin taking them. Well, my next period never came.
I began to get
horrible morning sickness and a horrible taste in my mouth that just wouldn't
go away. I took several tests and finally went to the doctor to be sure. It's
strange thinking back now, I don't think I ever considered having that baby. I
never thought I would have an abortion but I never questioned at that moment that
I would. I loved my boyfriend but I didn't think we'd be together forever. And
he never gave me any indication that he wanted the baby or wanted to help and
support me with raising a child. I was already struggling financially and I worked
part-time at a prominent stock brokerage firm that wouldn't look too highly on
my pregnancy. And of course I didn't want to disappoint my family. Although I
know they would have supported me if I chose to keep the baby, I just didn't want
them to know how foolish I was. Especially after being so open about my abstinence
for so long.
My morning sickness turned into 24 hour sickness. I threw
up all day long. It was difficult just to get out of bed to see the doctor. I
was very scared when I went in for the abortion, but it was over very quickly.
There was some pain but nothing like I imagined. Afterwards I started feeling
better almost immediately. It was such a relief. I wasn't sick anymore and I wasn't
pregnant anymore. I am so thankful to all of the women who pushed to make abortion
a legal and safe option for women.
For me the decision was easy. Although
I knew the decision was a very serious thing that could affect me for the rest
of my life, I knew that actually having a child that I wasn't prepared to take
care of and provide for and support and love the way every child deserves is even
more serious. I had a rough time growing up and compared to some it wasn't that
bad. I refuse to put a child through that. I refuse.
Now, almost ten
years later, I am an avid supporter for pro choice. And although I do think back
about my decision to have an abortion and wonder what my child may have been like,
I know in my heart I made the right choice. I don't feel sad. I didn't feel sad
then. I felt empowered, like I actually had control of something for the first
time in a very long time.
23 March 2001
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strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility."
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton