When I was 17, I was a “throw away” – my mother threw me out of the house as part of the “Tough Love” movement of the late 1980’s. I was an honors student at the top of my class, and was drug free, but she didn’t like my boyfriend and was afraid I was becoming sexually active. So, instead of talking about it with me in a mature way, she threw me out.
That boyfriend, the only person I had had sex with, was newly away to college. I had to rely on friends for transportation and a place to stay. One of these friends was actually a friend of a friend – a guy I barely knew with a car. He was supposedly “better for me” than by public school taught, lower middle class, rough on the outside boyfriend who always used condoms and treated me with respect. He went to private school and came from money, had his own apartment and his own car. So, this new guy immediately brought me by his apartment when he was giving me a ride somewhere, just to “see his new futon.” After a few tears and me saying “no, I’m not ready” and trying to talk about being thrown out of the house and being so alone with my boyfriend thousands of miles away, somehow “no no no” turned into “well, OK” with some due persistence on his part. I was shocked when he ejaculated inside of me.
“My last girlfriend was on the pill,” was his explanation.
Well, I ended up pregnant. Luckily for me, there was no parental consent law back then in Florida, although there have been such laws since. My mother, who was choosing not to house me at that time, was my legal guardian and was a staunch pro-lifer. There was NO way she would give me permission for an abortion.
I cannot stress enough how helpful the crisis advisor was at my high school. I have no idea if they are still allowed to recommend abortion. I don’t even remember if he did, but he sure didn’t try to talk me out of it. I was sure from the instant I found out that it was not the right time for me to be a parent, and that the brief pressured encounter I had with my new “friend” was not a good enough reason to bring a new life into this world.
It has been fifteen years since I had my abortion, and I have helped others through the same ordeal, and I have picketed in support of a woman’s right to choose. I now have two beautiful boys that I chose to parent, and I have never doubted that I made the right decision each time. No one is saying that abortion is joyous, but it is necessary and crucial.
February 20, 2007
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