Women like me.
I recently read a story of women who made a statement, that women who get abortions live with shame. And I realized that is what I have been doing for a long time.
Not shame because I had an abortion, shame of what I thought people would think of me if they knew. What do I care what people think of me? In most of my life, I don't. But for some reason the fact that I had an abortion was different.
I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I do not regret that I had an abortion, I regret the fact that I was faced with making the hard choice. I was 21, recently had broken up with my boyfriend and had been on birth control. And here I was. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew I was not ready to have a child. I could barely take care of myself, let alone a baby. I knew that while my recently ex boyfriend would have been thrilled at the thought of a child, I also knew I did not want to tie myself to someone that I was not sure I loved, forever.
I remember going to Planned Parenthood. I had to go twice, once for them to do a pregnancy test and counsel me on what my options would be if I was pregnant. They were kind and concerned and contrary to what seems to be popular belief, abortion was not all they counseled. The next day they called me and told me I was in fact pregnant and what did I want to do? What did I want to do?? What did I want to do?
Shit, I did not want to believe this was true. I did not want to have to make a decision. I wanted to cry, I wanted to take a trip in the wayback machine and not have to be facing this, that is what I wanted to do.
But, I made an appointment for termination of my pregnancy for the next day.
I have good friends, I went home and cried as I told Donna & Kim. They hugged me and said whatever you need, we are here.
Joanie who went with me that day, sat with me in the waiting room, took me home and tucked me in bed after.
I remember walking into the procedure room, the doctor who asked me if I was sure. Yes.
I remember the shape of the glasses on the face of the young woman that held my hand as I tears rolled down my cheeks.
If Planned Parenthood had not been available to me what would I have done? How different would my life have been?
Would it have been better? I have a pretty awesome life, I can't imagine it being better.
Would it had been worse?
I have asked myself these questions, but you know what? I am the only one that can ask those questions. I am the only one that could have made this decision. I am the only one that has to live with it.
And you know what else, I'm ok with it. I won't feel shame about it anymore and I don't care if this story changes the way you feel about me.
What is most important is the Planned Parenthood is there for the next girl and the next and the next.