Tarah's Story

I had an abortion this last year, November 98. I was raised in a very abusive home, adopted by parents who thought it was popular to adopt kids from Korea. I was sexually molested for many years, but the funny thing was, I was always labeled by the woman who adopted me as a "whore" or a "slut." I actually was very naive about my body and its functions. When I got my period at 11, I thought that I was dying. I got home from school only to be verbally abused by the woman who adopted me and beaten for getting my period.

I finally left the house at 16, because I was sick of all the abuse. I was beaten rather severely when I left, so I had to go to the clinic to get checked out. The physician told me that because of the extent of my sexual assaults, over that length of time period, there was no chance of me being pregnant. Incidentally, I started being sexually active when I was 14, and continued, with scanty contraception, it was a miracle I didn't catch a disease!! I got sex in the place of love, and truly, it didn't get me anywhere positive.

I was with a guy, seriously for about a year and a half. We met when I was in college. We moved in together, and soon he manipulated me into quitting college and moving back to his hometown with him. I loved him so I did. As soon as we moved, however, the abuse started. It was either a series of put-downs, or he would abandon me all together. I was going to the college in his town, and then I kept getting sick. Also, around this time, I was trying to get a job, so I could get enough money to leave him.

I finally got a pregnancy test, because I was dreaming about babies, which I had NEVER done before, I took that as a omen and got tested, expecting it to come out negative, and then I would have to go through a battery of more tests. . .) It came out positive!! I couldn't believe it!! I was horrified but numb. Somehow, in the back of my mind, I was hoping it would make him grow up. WRONG!! As soon as he found out, he quit his job - so we had NO means of support. I was sick constantly, from the stress, since he would provoke fights, since he figured out that stress sometimes causes miscarriage. I went though a lot, then scheduled an abortion in the city.

That day, I was so nervous as my friend (I had to drag my ex along) and I went into the clinic. There were these protesters there, and I couldn't help but be angry. Who were they to tell me what to do?? Were they going to pay for my hospital bills, my son's college tuition?? Didn't think so!!

Being adopted myself, there was NO way that I would take that kind of chance. But the people at the Planned Parenthood were very kind and solicitous. The procedure went quite easily, less than 15 minutes. I recovered quickly, and marveled at the fact that it was quite easy!! Also, I felt relieved, as I started to feel normal again. It was a very self empowering feeling. That I and I ALONE was in charge of my fertility!!

That night, though, I wanted to talk about it, but he just turned away from me and ignored me until he left me that next morning. One day later, my now-ex dumped me. I took it very hard, but looking back, it was such a relief. It opened my experiences up.

As with my belief in Wicca, something must leave or be destroyed so something new can come in, and something positive enter. I am now returning to nursing school this fall or winter, getting married to a great guy next fall, and have met some of the best friends I have ever had!! (you see, I networked like crazy, trying to find women who had had abortions, and finally on the Yahoo chat abortion debate room, I found them!!)

Most anti-choicers would like you to believe that women who have abortions are selfish, and riddled by regret, etc. I wonder what might have been, but I am a strong believer in reincarnation, and returns are always possible. Things happen for a reason. Never forget that!!

Blessed Be!!

5 June 1999

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Feminism is the idea that all people should have equal social, economic and educational opportunities. That is my "women's studies" definition.
y personal definition includes that, but it is so much more: It is a movement of feeling people attempting to break down the conventional roles that keep us all (men and women) slaves to a tradition that we never agreed to and that pits us against each other and which sustains unfair (and unreal) social hierarchies.
It's not just about money or attaining more power, but about making new rules instead of just changing the old ones. It is the attempt of creating a new world in which everyone can live with dignity and satisfaction, instead of fear, humiliation and discontent.