I was 19 and “in love” or so I thought.
He was 5 years older than me and had a 5 year old from a previous relationship unbeknownst to me at the time of our short lived courtship. I later found that he had been quite the “Don Juan”.
I found myself in quite a predicament after discovering I was pregnant and that my partner was also expecting a baby with another woman he had been courting on the side. My family was not supportive of my pregnancy. I was scolded and given the silent treatment and eventually asked to move out which is the polite version of my reality that year.
I was 3 months pregnant and was unaware of any choices as my family only considered one . . . having an abortion.
At first, I was determined to keep my child. I felt deeply that aborting was wrong and that God would punish me. I was afraid. What if the abortion went wrong? What if I die, or what if the doctor somehow sterilizes me and I end up not being able to have kids when I am older and ready. What if the baby growing inside of me is able to cure cancer or has the ability to change the world for the better?
All sides were determined to stop this baby from being born, except me! I was conflicted. How was I going to raise a baby on my own with no help! I had no idea where to go or what to do.
The father decided to join the Navy and before leaving, he wanted to talk with me. He told me that “I was a nice girl” and that he didn’t want to “ruin my life” and how I deserved better (he wasn’t going to be in the picture). He also talked about his experience in raising his 5 year old and how it wasn’t easy, even with the help from his parents. At the end of our conversation, he added that “we” didn’t need to go through with this pregnancy.
With pressure from all sides to dismiss my pregnancy, I caved in and with much regret decided to go through with “my” abortion. For years I felt embarrassed, ashamed and I regretted what I had done.
Fast forward to the “my body, my choice” movement. I began hearing women speak out and share their hidden stories and about their choices to terminate or not to terminate their pregnancies. I also heard them talking about our rights to make decisions concerning “our” bodies. This movement sparked something in me. Where there once lived shame and regret, there now lives power.
The government’s tyrannical acts are cynical and lack compassion. Every woman’s situation is different, every life is different. These differences should be considered by our government.
I can only imagine if during my ordeal in 2003 “my right” to decide been taken away from me. Where would I be? Would I have to flee to another state or even another country where it was legal to terminate my pregnancy? Would I have been locked away in a prison because I decided to terminate? What about women who won’t know until later in their pregnancies that the being pregnant could threaten her life and that they “need” to terminate. What about the woman who was raped and for 9 months she not only has to deal with the mental repercussions of that incident, but her body bears witness to the physical repercussion growing inside of her every day.
Just because something is a law doesn’t make it right. We must fight and band together, I share my story in hopes that it will give power to someone to understand that “our right” to make choices for our bodies could be taken away.
What kind of a country would we live in if that happened? It would certainly not be the land of the free.
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” -John C. Maxwell