Penelope's Story

I am currently 18 years old. Three years ago, when I was 15, and much stupider, I got pregnant. I didn't know until I went to the gynocologist and my mom made them give me a pregnancy test. Halfway through the examination, as I was lying on the table with my legs in the air, a nurse popped her head in the door. "It's positive!" she said happily.

It took me a few seconds to register the information, and then the tears came. My doctor finished the exam as fast as she could, then took my mom and me into her office. As soon as she told my mom and gave us the options, my mom said we wanted all the information on abortion and clinics in the area. I was in shock, and unable to say anything else.

As soon as we got home, I called my boyfriend and told him. He didn't know what to do. Abortion sounded like the only option we had, to him. But I still couldn't grasp the information completely. At school, I told only my closest friends. They were all shocked, but extremely supportive. But again, all they could conceive of me doing was abortion.

At this point, my mind was starting to clear. I started to question the abortion, and think about alternatives, like maybe adoption. I knew I was much to young to be able to raise a child. One of my friends didn't want me to get an abortion. She was the only person. But that was enough to give me the determination to not go through with something I didn't want anymore. But one morning, she told me that she had been thinking very seriously about me and the situation, and though it went against all her convictions, she cared about me and thought the only real choice I had was abortion.

With that, all my hopes fell through. I gave up. So my mother made the appointment, and we went. Apparently, she had expected for me to get the abortion that first time. And I would have, except it was too early to be able to see the baby on the ultrasound, and it couldn't be done for another 2 weeks at least. They got lucky with that, because I live in Pennsylvania, and its illegal to have an abortion performed without a consultation visit at least 24 hours prior.

In 2 weeks, we went back. That day, December 2nd, 2002, was the worst day of my life, though I wouldn't realize it until much later. I was a completely uninformed, scared, pregnant teenager. I was never told what the procedure was, what the risks involved were, nothing. Again, thats illegal in this state. Now, 3 years later, I live with only one regret. That I didn't open my mouth and speak up for myself...and my child. Please don't think that I am against abortion. I am completely pro-choice. But I think that other women out there, no matter your age or situation, should hear my story because they need to understand the importance of doing what you want, no matter what others want, and knowing everything that there is to know. If not, you may have to live like me, waking up everyday to the pain of regret, loss, and longing. Be strong, and make intelligent choices. If not for yourself, think of what you feel is best for your child. That decision is yours, and no one can tell you otherwise.


February 21, 2007

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