Emilia's Story

I am 19 years old and had an abortion last October.

I became pregnant by a man I'd been with for almost a year. I was 17 and in my junior year of high school, he was 22. We had often talked about getting married and having children together. But he was not a stable person and he became abusive and manipulative to me as our relationship progressed.

Things between us got worse and worse so I broke up with him last May. I found out I was one month pregnant in June. I told my ex that I was pregnant and he freaked out and told me that I had to have an abortion.

I still loved him very much and I'd always wanted to be a mother, I would not have an abortion. Even though everything in my life felt like it was coming undone, I was really exited about the baby. It gave me hope and motivation to do good things with my life so that I could provide for another life.

I was scared to tell my parents about my pregnancy and my friends seemed too busy with their own problems to listen to me and were unsupportive of my wanting the baby. This left me relying heavily on my ex-boyfreind's ever-changing input. One day he'd say he loved me and wanted to be a good father and the next day he'd threaten to tell my parents if I refused to terminate my pregnancy. Throughout this emotional roller coaster, the one thing I knew very clearly was that I was completely in love with this person growing inside me.

Four and a half months passed and I began to feel the baby swimming and kicking in my belly which was quickly growing and getting hard to hide. One night my mother just came out and asked if I was pregnant. I just started sobbing. She and my dad told me I had to have an abortion, that I wouldn't be a good mother at my age, that the father of my baby would never help us out, that I'd have to go on welfare, etc. They also told me that if I chose to have the baby I would no longer have a place to live, that I would then be forced to drop out of high school to get a job and that if I wasn't living with them my baby and I wouldn't be able to receive insurance. They did not want to even discuss adoption. So to me it felt like I had no real "choice" but to abort my baby.

I went to a clinic and had an ultrasound done. My baby was a boy. I watched him suck his thumb and the nurse gave me a picture of him. I was so proud and happy. I showed the father but he just ignored the picture and told me he would never see me again and that he was moving out of state. I went home and showed my parents the picture of their grandchild-to-be. But for reasons beyond me they still did not think of this person as real, they did not know or care how much they were taking away from me. They even had the audacity to say that this was for the own good of my child. As if never being born was doing some sort of favor!

I had the abortion, most of which I do not remember. All I know is that I forced myself to be in a zombie-like state so I could go through with it.

I talked to my son, trying to explain to his soul why I couldn't have him at that time, asking for forgiveness. I told him how much I wanted him and that I loved him more then I'd ever loved anyone. I also prayed to God to bring him back to me at a better time in my life. I named him Yoshua after my cousin in Israel. I think about the son whose life I gave up with much grief, sadness and guilt, even though in a way I guess I did the best I could at the time. Still, what if?

I have moved on in many aspects of my life and am starting college next month. I have a lot of resentment towards my parents, however, and no matter how much I love them, this really strains our relationship. Any advice on how I can deal with all these issues would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for letting me share my story.
August 2000

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"Feminism catches fire when it draws upon its inherent spirituality. When it does not, it is just one more form of politics, and politics never fed our deepest hunger." -Carol Lee Flinders author of At the Root of This Longing