I had an abortion.
My boyfriend and I were both teenagers. We had been dating around two months; we were very excited to finally be together. We wanted to try new things and be adventurous, which for us, meant not using protection.
We did this twice.
I got pregnant.
I don’t think I’ve ever used those words because I don’t consider myself as ever being pregnant. But I was.
I was pregnant and then I wasn’t so quickly that it never settled in… and I wanted it that way. I have barely talked about it since it happened. I have only recently begun to discuss it. To be clear, I am not one of those women you see on a billboard with a caption, “This woman regrets her abortion #ProLife.” I do not regret it.
I have never regretted, not once. We were teenagers. I was in my first few months of college; I was recovering from a sexual assault, and the death of a friend. To say I wasn’t in the best mental health was an understatement. Add an unplanned teenage pregnancy and you’ve got one messed up freshman.
So we made the right decision for ourselves. Yup, so everything is fine and I never thought about it again. Wrong.
It is possible to simultaneously not regret a decision but still feel grief over it. Humans are capable of any combinations of confusing feelings, and I definitely have this feeling down. I regret that I was foolish and spontaneous, and caught-up in love. I regret being too scared to get myself the pill. I had never been to Planned Parenthood, or any women’s health physician before this happened. I was given my first birth control prescription after my abortion.
I remember the fear I felt sitting in the waiting room filling out the papers with my sister, who looked even more terrified. As she was driving me back to my dorm, 5-6 protestors pushed their signs into the air, letting me know I was going to hell. I looked one of the women in the face as we drove by. The fury in her face was frightening. She hated me.
I defended a woman’s right to choose throughout high school (racy I know), but this is who I am. I have never been one to hide my beliefs. However, that day, and in many dark times, I believe that scary, hateful woman. Something about when it is you, your body, your hand reaching for the pill that ends your pregnancy. It’s harder to openly defend.
I wouldn’t judge someone else’s abortion, but at times I feel like I’m judging my own. It could be all the ads, bumper stickers, billboards, telling me I’m a horrible murderer, and that woman’s face… A lady who spends her days sitting on a corner yelling insults at scared girls, most of which are not getting abortions. This is the person that gets to judge me?
Years have passed and my boyfriend and I are still together. We are talking more and more about marriage and children. I think about how I will feel when I see those two lines again. I will definitely buy a different brand. Maybe a smiley face or a plus sign. The two lines might actually make me sick. I find it especially hard because I have always wanted to be a mom. I love kids and I feel in my bones I will love being a mother.
I lean on my bed and pray for… forgiveness? To be understood? For help?
What everyone prays for. I know what I did rides an ethical line.
I am sinner, just like everyone else.