Ellen's Story
Saying NO to Parental Notification Saves Girls Lives

I remember having a pregnancy scare when I was in high school -- turned out I wasn't, but I know there was no way in hell I could have told my parents if I had been. And my parents are nice people, politically liberal and pro-choice, but they still would have been very disappointed in me. I had an abortion in college and as far as I know they still don't know, though by now it's not an issue for me.

I can honestly say that I would have mutilated if not killed myself trying to get rid of it if the alternative meant telling my parents. Even knowing I could get an abortion without my parents knowing (I was 19 at the time), I freaked out briefly and beat myself in the stomach as hard as I could stand with the base of a large wine bottle. But then I took charge and did what I had to do.

In fact, the whole thing was largely a good experience for me. Not that I'm saying everyone should go out and have an abortion for the therapeutic value, but just as a data point against the antis claiming how abortion is so traumatic for women.

My parents thought of me as irresponsible, lazy, and unable to take care of myself. I think I partially believed them. But then, when on my own, I was able to find out how and where to get an abortion, save the money for it, and plan it so I wouldn't miss class (and still got straight A's that semester), I really felt like I could do anything. I suppose it was a sort of coming of age in my case. I was an adult making an adult decision all by myself and for that I was proud.

May 1998

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Do you agree with Ellen that Parental Consent for abortion is a bad idea?? The U.S. Congress and your state legislature need to hear your views on Parental Consent or Notification requirements limiting teens access to birth control and abortion.