Erin's Story

My period was late... I knew that, but I had never been extremely regular even on birth control. I was on birth control, and had been for a couple of years. I took my pill most every day and did not give a lot of thought to the days I forgot. I was busy. I was in college, working, living on my own, and trying to keep up with a long distance relationship.

It got to the point where I would not take my "green" sugar pills. It was just another thing I had to remember, and it was nice to have a week off. Sometimes, I forgot that first Monday, but I normally remembered by Tuesday. That's what I thought had happened this last time until I looked at the calendar one last time... I had not forgot one day, I had forgotten the whole entire week! This was bad. It was worse than bad, and I still hadn't gotten my period. This was Thursday. On Friday, I took a pregnancy test (which came up positive), and told my boyfriend of two years. He freaked out, of course. I was 19, and he was 24.

I was more frightened than I had ever been in my entire life. I was scared of disappointing my dad, I was scared of changing the path I had imagined my life taking, and I was scared that although I loved my boyfriend, I didn't necessarily felt comfortable being tied to him for the rest of my life.

So on Saturday, the day after my realization, I went in for an abortion. I couldn't bear to think of having a surgical abortion so I chose for a natural type instead. I thought it would be "easier," as if anything about an abortion is easy...I went by myself. My "boyfriend" who I thought loved me so much didn't want to ask for the day off. I was too embarrassed to tell any of my friends. They gave me a shot that Saturday, and then gave me four pills I would have to insert into my vagina the following Thursday. It was quick and painless, and a little too easy.

As the week went on though, and the impact of everything finally became clear, I wasn't so sure I had made the right decision. How could I have killed my own child? I kept seeing the sonogram and the little smudge that was growing inside of me. Who was I to decide that her life was so trivial, it could be terminated? and how could I have made such an important decision in a matter of a day? I changed my mind, but it was too late.

The shot I had gotten at the doctor had stopped her development. If I didn't use the pills to flush her out, she would be born dead or extremely unhealthy and wouldn't live more than a couple of weeks. I hated myself. I hated my boyfriend. I wished I could die to save that innocent child's life. I will never have an abortion again, and I will never recommend it to anyone.

Although, after all these years I can't imagine what my life would be like with a child. I regret the decision I made while still knowing that my life may be "easier" because of it. I cannot preach antiabortion, and I would never look down upon someone who chooses that option, but I just want everyone to know what the psychological consequence may be. It's a heavy burden to carry, and the grief you experience can sometimes seem unbearable. Don't rush into a decision because an abortion is not an easy way out. When it comes down to it, there's nothing easy about it.

4 December 2002

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"I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands."
- Zora Neale Hurston