Eva's Story

Skye's story resonated so much with me. I got pregnant a few months after I turned sixteen by a boy my parents disliked so much, they sent me to a different school just to get me away from him. Let me make this clear -- they're not overbearing, terrible people. They were just people who wanted "the best" for me, and obviously believed they knew better than I did what constituted "the best."

My mother gave me two options: have the baby and give it up for adoption, or get an abortion. Keeping the baby was not an option. I said I'd run away and keep the baby, and she said they'd find me. I said I'd stay at home, keep the baby, and get a job to pay for it. She said I couldn't live at home with a baby. At 21, I can see how circular and silly this argument seems, but at that time, I was sixteen, of Catholic upbringing, dealing with parents who were obviously ashamed of my behavior, underinformed, and confused.

Skye, people like Skye, you have to know this: No one, and I mean no one, can tell you that you HAVE to get an abortion or HAVE to have the baby (to keep OR give up). This is so important. I had no resources, no mentors, and I was too emotionally battered and physically tired to secretly seek out resources to help me understand my rights.

You can call Planned Parenthood for help, you can call your school counselor, you can call any number leading to a city office and ask to be referred to social workers, people who know about welfare benefits, people who can help you understand your rights. Seek out resources in your community -- just pick up the phone book and call until you are directed to resources that will help you. Is there a local college? Call it and ask if they have a women's rights group (such as a NOW chapter or a Women's Collective) you can call, or whether they have a Women's Resource Center/Women's Center on campus, or if they know of one in the community.

I wish someone had told me what rights were mine when I was Skye's age. I can't honestly say whether it would have affected my final decision (abortion) but I know, I KNOW it would have affected how I felt about it. It's the difference between choosing your life and having your life dictated to you; it's the difference between being guided by adults you love or having those adults autocratically decide your life for you, leading to lifelong resentment no matter how much you love them; it's the difference between empowering yourself through choice and allowing yourself to be disempowered by handing that choice over to others.

I love my parents to this day, and I will still never, in my heart forgive them for their decision to limit my choices. It made my life so much harder, it made my frustration and grief so powerful and so hard to escape from...

I want Skye and every girl like Skye to know that the choice is ultimately theirs to make; no adult has any right, legally or morally, to make any kind of choice for them. There are resources out there to help women through the difficulties of unplanned pregnancies, to guide them without bias toward the choice that is right for them, and I hope fervently Skye will find those resources as I did not.

Am I against abortion? I want to categorically state that I am not against it; I am vehemently pro-choice, my grief stems from the fact that my choice was taken out of my hands. Did doing what I was railroaded into doing ruin my life? It didn't -- I'm an honors college student, a poet, a columnist, a small magazine editor, and president of a NOW chapter, I am happy with my life. And yet, how much happier might I have been if my choices were entirely mine?

I know this is lengthy -- but it touched something I thought was buried in me, to see that someone else was going through what I went through. If Skye should happen to read this, or anyone like her, I can only emphasize again that help, allies who will enforce your right to choose your own destiny in this matter, exist only a phone call away. I am working, and will work my whole life, to make sure women of all ages/economic status/races/religions/nationalities/etc have access to the full range of choices concerning their reproductive health, and I couldn't pass up this opportunity to say, should Skye or someone like her read this, the choices are there for you. You DO have a say in this. Value yourself and allow no one to sway you from what you know is in your best interests.

May you be free as I was not, may you choose as I could not, may you find the power you need to control your own destiny.

November 1998

more stories -- share your story

Birth Control Comparison - alll methods Abortion Info from Feminist Women's Health CenterShare your story
Poetry and Prose - by women about their reproductive lives Teens HealthResources for Women of Color
Feminist Abortion Clinics Real Life Abortion Stories from teens Questions and Answers


At 1992 rates, 43% of women will have had an abortion by the time they reach 45 years of age.