Brooke's Story

I have been through a lot at a young age. I am 22 now and one of the most difficult things I have been through was my abortion. I didn't come from a broken home like a lot of the anti-abortionists would have people believe. I'm not a drug addict. I'm not a broken down emotional train wreck or morally vacant. I'm not promiscuous nor am I what would be considered low-class. I am a normal person. A college student. An Artist. A writer. I have compassion, sympathy, respect for life of all forms, and Self-confidence. I am like millions of people.

I had been dating the same person monogamously for 3 years at the time and accidents happen. I had been feeling very poor for a week or so. However, I am a sickly kind of person so I brushed it off as some minor illness or a stomach flu. I was nauseated, My body felt wrong and all I wanted to do was sleep. I had just been laid off from my job and had little income, and I was sick to boot. Then the day came where I had missed my period. I didn't get crazy about that. My body is odd, my period changes up sometimes and I hadn't exactly been keeping track of it as well as I could've been.

I have had problems with stress-related Insomnia for years, and all I wanted to do was sleep and cry and throw up. Eventually, I knew something was wrong. So my boyfriend and I ventured to the local store and purchased a pregnancy test. I was not at all surprised I was pregnant. And neither was he. We had both been thinking that was probably the case. We talked for a long time after that, and he told me that whatever I decided to do be it abortion or adoption or to keep the baby, he would support me 100%. I was thankful to have his support.

I may be different in the fact that I didn't have a very hard time deciding what to do. I knew right away what had to be done. I had to have an abortion. And though my boyfriend was not horribly comfortable with the idea, he backed me as he said he would.

I am not going to lie and say that I didn't go through the normal feelings regarding abortion. I felt sad for a while. I questioned if what I was doing was right. Or if I even had the right to do what I was planning on doing. But I knew in my heart that I did. My body, My choice. My rational behind an abortion was very simple... I was in college. If I had a child I had to quit school, as I could no longer afford the tuition. How would I provide for a child without an education in this world where a degree equals eating or starving? I did not have a job. And being so young I really had no job skills. Did I really want to struggle for the rest of my life and give a child a lesser quality of life than I wanted for it? And what about me? Would I be bitter? Would I have squandered all my talent and my dreams and my goals because I would have to put myself aside to care for another person? Did I really want to be tied with my boyfriend Forever? Would I be miserable? I would be miserable and I knew this. So my decision came easily to me.

Some people call it selfish. But I think it would've been more selfish to keep a child that I couldn't properly take care of. Or even with adoption, the system is very far from perfect and I have seen one too many cases of children in foster care being abused and being made to think they are the perpetrators and not the victims in said environments. I don't want to be responsible for that. It would eat away at me like a parasite to know that I couldn't take care of my own child and that he or she were being abused in some manner and there would be nothing I could do. I'm sorry, but when I have children I want them to be planned and I want them to have everything they could ever need.... not barely enough to survive.

My abortion was a rough process on me mentally. I was scared. I was scared of the pain. I was scared of the side effects. I was scared of everything. But thankfully, I had support. My boyfriend was wonderful. He was there for me the whole time taking care of me before and after. I contacted some of my friends who had had abortions and asked questions... where they went. What it felt like. How painful was it. And believe it or not, what they said was true. The procedure was short and relatively painless. And afterwards I felt like huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

I have never regretted what I did. I did what was best for me and everyone involved. I have never looked back and thought I made the wrong decision. And I say it to people. People who I hear talk down about abortions not knowing I had one... then they seem to understand a bit more. For some reason it hits a little harder home when some one you know has experienced something you only hear about on TV. Sure, I have been called names. I have be told I am going to Hell. I have been called Selfish. But what I don't understand is how some of these people who call me selfish, have 3 or 4 children and don't show them the proper care and attention they deserve... is it not selfish to put YOURSELF first in that manner? Because you have such a strong feeling against abortion that you will have children that may not be as happy as they could be or be taken care of as well as they SHOULD be? To me this is the most selfish thing some one can do. People can sling mud at me all they want. I stand firm in what I did was correct... I am vocal about it when people start up a discussion, because I want other people to know that I have been there. I like to make myself available to other women if they want to talk should they ever find themselves in that dilemma. And unlike some of the afore mentioned people I won't call them names if I disagree.

I have talked to some other women about their abortions and they genuinely hate themselves for it. They cry when they see babies.... and I really think they may not have thought it through completely. I feel that if you live your life after YEARS of having had your abortion in constant guilt and depressed and feel generally as if you were wrong... that it was not the right decision for you. This is not something people should take lightly. Though I still stand in belief that I did what was right, the emotional taxation alone is almost too much for one to bear. Just like having children, having an abortion is something you deal with for the rest of your life....

January 2004

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