It is unfortunate that the LJ email functions should be abused in such a manner by someone too cowardly to identify their own account, or who is not even a member of the LJ community.
We already know that adolescent pregnancies, the vast majority of which are unintended, are associated with greater risk for depression and low self-esteem. However, lead author Jocelyn Warren says: "What we didn't know was whether psychological outcomes are worse for girls who choose abortion. This study says, 'No.'"
in April of 1999, i was 23 years old and pregnant. the guy i was with at the time was not exactly "daddy material!" we had only been together about 10 months and one time we had unprotected sex and i got pregnant. once i found out, i knew right away that i could not go through with it. i was in school and it was finals time right around the corner! also, even though i was 23 i did not feel ready to be a parent, i could barely take care of myself. i was working at a coffee shop part time while i was in school and could not afford to have a child, let alone face the responsibility. so i told my boyfriend, we can't do this, i can't do this. i'm going to terminate this pregnancy and get an abortion.
well, my boyfriend says, wait a minute! let's get married! and i was like what? um, i don't know...
and he says, i want to do the right thing. and i say i appreciate you wanting to do the right thing but i don't think this is right for us. i knew deep down in my heart that i did NOT want to end up with him. besides, i told him, you have never even told me that you love me. i don't want you to marry me just because i'm knocked up.
he then says, oh well, uhhh, i love you!
and i say thanks but that's not what i wanted to hear.
he was pretty adamant about us getting married and me having the child but i was totally against it. when the 6 week mark rolled around, i called Planned Parenthood and made an appointment to have the abortion. i was so scared to do it. i didn't want to do it, but considering the alternative, i was not ready for a baby. i started to freak out and i thought that maybe i could do an herbal abortion at home. i went to the herbalist and bought the goldenseal and pennyroyal teas, but i couldn't go through with it. what if it didn't work and it became too late to have an abortion and i had a baby with brain damage? i lost my nerve and just went through the medical abortion.
my boyfriend drove me to the appointment at 7:30 am. he told me the whole time that he would back me up 100% whatever i decided to do. he also tried to convince me to forget the abortion but i stuck with it. we show up to the clinic and i fill out the paperwork. then they take me back into a room and onto a table with stirrups. i lay down and i'm nervously staring up at the flourescent lights above me. the nurse and doctor come in and they place an IV into the top of my hand and tell me that they are administering the anesthesia. they tell me to count backwards from 20. i get to 16 and the next thing i know, i feel very drowsy and can't keep my eyes open. i close my eyes and fall into a deep, silent calm.
the next thing i know, a nurse is waking me up in the recovery room. "is it over?" i asked her. yes, it's over, she tells me. it all went by so quickly. the nurse tells me to put a sanitary pad on my underwear and when i was able to sit up, she will call my boyfriend over to come and get me and take me home. we're finally in the car, leaving the clinic and with pain medications in a paper bag. i'm feeling very woozy and slurry. i feel like i'm stoned and drunk at the same time. i also feel very sleepy and tired and take a nap once we get to his parents' house. when i wake up we go and have lunch somewhere and by 6pm that evening i am feeling ok.
flash forward 3 weeks after the abortion and my boyfriend drops the bomb on me: he doesn't want to be with me anymore. i am crying my eyes out, since i have already been dealing with a lot of the guilt that comes with the social stigma of having an abortion. i say to him, how can you leave me when i need you the most right now, to support me and to be there for me? i call him a jerk and an asshole.
he then says to me, uh, well, ok i guess we can stay together until you're ok.
and i say thanks but don't do me any favors! forget it, take me home, i never want to see you again!
so i grab all my stuff together, cos i know we're breaking up. right then an there. he drives me to my mother's house and i collect all my things and throw a book at his head before i slam the car door. i was so angry at him! he tells me he supports me but then abandons me.
the only person i had told then was my sister, and i made her swear to me that she would never tell my mother. my mom is a born-again christian and i know it would devastate her if she knew. i mean, she already freaked out when she found out i had a tattoo, and it was just one tattoo!
as the years went by, i became less and less guilty about the fact i had an abortion. i began to feel proud of myself for taking my life into my own hands and for trusting myself to make the right decision for ME. yes, i know it was another life at stake here, but i could not give that child a good enough life, let alone be a good parent. ultimately, this decision is about YOU, because a child changes your whole life and you need to be ready for that type of change.
today i am married to a wonderful man and we are 9 weeks pregnant with our first child. i have thought so much about this abortion because it is a contrast to how i reacted when i found out i was pregnant. 10 years ago, when i saw that positive pregnancy test, i got scared and cried. this time, when i found out i was pregnant, i was happy, emotional and excited! this is how it should be! you shouldn't be scared when you find out you're pregnant cos that obviously means you're not ready for it.
i am thankful that we live in america and have the services of abortion clinics to terminate a pregnancy. no one should ever be sorry for making a decision for themselves about something that would impact their life forever. nothing is ever picture perfect. better to have a child when you're ready to be a parent than putting someone through a bad experience.
i hope that for any woman who is reading this who is pregnant and scared and not ready, that they know that there is no shame in having an abortion and it's not selfish. you do what's best and right by you, don't let anything else get in the way of making a decision for yourself.
Did you experience financial barriers at any point in the process?
Are you interested in telling your story?
We want to hear from you!
We're working on a project to increase financial access to abortion in Iowa, and we're hoping for help from the pro-choice community on LJ. Please click on the link above to find out a little more about our project, and don't hesitate to comment or e-mail with questions. If the project looks interesting and you'd like to help get the word out, even if you're not in Iowa or this doesn't apply to you, please feel free to re-post the link to our message anywhere and everywhere. We're hoping to get the link on as many pro-choice websites and communities as possible so that Iowa women will see it and contact us. If legislators and other lawmakers can see a face on this important issue, we're hoping it will convince them to pass crucial reforms. Thank you for your time!
(Crossposted to pro-choice and abortion communities.)
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I am going to be having a Medical Abortion on Saturday and I am very scared. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be having this done I guess I just need some words of advice and support. I was on birth control and we used a condom and here I am pregnant. I am not financially nor emotionally ready to bring a baby into this world and the only support I have is my roommate. I am sick of being judge for what I want to do with my body. Please any can give me advice.
I'm not sorry I had a surgical abortion. But I have lied to my friends and family about it.
In August 2006 I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant. I was 27 and felt 'mature' enough to face the responsibility of raising a child. However, my boyfriend and I had only been together a couple months and I was still in university. I had always been pro-choice, but faced with the reality of an unplanned pregnancy I did not know what to do.
After several days of discussion, my boyfriend and I decided on having an abortion. We went to the clinic together, and afterwards he brought me home and took care of me, though I felt completely fine. The procedure had been virtually painless and I experienced only mild nausea afterwards.
When I found out that I was pregnant, I told my mother and two close friends. Though I knew they would love me no matter what, though I knew they would support me no matter what, I was too ashamed to tell them that I had had an abortion. I lied to them and told them that I had miscarried.
It is now 7 months later. Ever since I had the abortion I have felt content in knowing that I made the right decision. My boyfriend and I are still happily together. We often talk about getting married in a few years and starting a family. I'm not sorry that I had an abortion, and I now realize that I had no reason to feel shame about having had an abortion either. There is a part of me that would really like to tell my mother and friends the truth. I feel wrong about having lied to them. Perhaps, though, it's best to let sleeping dogs lie. I don't want to (potentially) upset anyone needlessly.
Has anyone else had concerns or fear regarding telling others about their experience?
My question to you ladies is...if you were in a relationship when you had the abortion, what changed? How was your boyfriend supportive or not supportive? Are you still together? Did the abortion tear you apart?
I'm just looking for a little perspective from someone who've walked in my shoes since Kevin and I have been having such a hard time making things work. We had plans to move in together, and so on and so forth, but Kevin put a big halt to that the very morning after.