This is something that is very hard for me to talk about. It continues to be exceptionally painful for me to even think about, let alone talk about.
I had an abortion when I was 19 years old. I was sleeping with someone who was older and had a child already. He talked me into an abortion I didn’t want to have because he insisted his life would be over if I carried the baby to term. I was in no position to care for a child myself but I would have preferred to give it up for adoption than terminate the pregnancy.
I didn’t know what to do. I was 19, I was freaked the fuck out and was terrified of losing him and everyone I knew for a child I couldn’t even raise.
I had an abortion I didn’t want. I was held emotionally hostage by a man who I loved and who I wanted to still love me.
I spent nearly a year after terminating the pregnancy very, very depressed. In the long run it was probably the best choice for me at that time and although it is to this day the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life, it enabled me to move forward with my life (eventually) unimpeded. I didn’t have to do that thing where you think you see your child in the face of every kid roughly the age they would be. At the time I lived in a small town in Alaska, there’s no way I wouldn’t have constantly wondered if every kid I saw was mine biologically.
I moved away. I went to college. I met my husband. I’m actively trying to get pregnant now so I can start my family when I am ready. I am a very vocal supporter of a person’s right to choose what happens in their own body. Although having an abortion at 19 enabled me to ultimately be much happier in the long run, it was a choice that was all but forced on me. It caused A LOT of problems for me emotionally. To this day every month that I don’t get pregnant while actively trying, I spend the first few days of my period thinking I’m being punished for having an abortion over 10 years ago.
I know that’s not true. I know that the two are not even remotely related. I know that it was the best thing for me at the time. I know that my life would have been radically different if I had carried that pregnancy to term. Even if I had ended up giving the child up for adoption things would have been much different.
But that moment has only strengthened my resolve to be a crusader for the rights of those who are pregnant to choose what they do with that pregnancy. Although my own experience with abortion was horrible, painful and caused a lot of continuing emotional fall out that I have still not fully recovered from: I will ALWAYS support a person’s right to choose abortion.
And because I was bullied into having an abortion I didn’t want, I will ALWAYS support a person’s right to carry to term if they choose.
Because I may never be able to have a baby on my own and because my only chance at motherhood might very well be through adoption, I am so incredibly grateful for the people who choose to give their biological children up. I know it can’t possibly be an easy choice and it’s incredibly brave to go through pregnancy and delivery and terminate parental rights. I’m not sure I would have actually been strong enough to go through with it at 19 and I would probably have a 14 year old right now that I was in no way prepared to raise how I would want to raise them. And seeing as I haven’t spoken to the man who got me pregnant in the better part of five years now and haven’t physically laid eyes on him in over 10, I can’t imagine he would have been a part of that child’s life either.
Being pregnant when you aren’t prepared or don’t want to be is absolutely terrifying. It’s confusing and scary.
All I ever want is to be a voice in support of making whatever decision is right for you if you find yourself in that position. I don’t care if the choice you make isn’t the choice I would make. I just want you all to know that I honor the fact that it is YOUR choice to make. It’s not mine, it’s not your partners or your parents or your friends. And that it may very well be the hardest thing you ever have to do. I will stand with you and I will support you. Always.
Today seems like a good time to repost this. The pro choice community is having a day of support for people who have had abortions. This includes lifting up those voices and sharing the stories of people who have made the decision to terminate a pregnancy. I’m contributing my story because I hope it helps lessen the stigma around abortion.
We absolutely support your right to choose. We’d love to hear your stories, too.