Yes, I had an abortion. You wouldn’t guess that I would be someone who would have had one. I don’t tell most people. Not that I am ashamed of it; it’s not something that comes up in casual conversation. It also is a topic that breathes fire into people and to be totally honest, it was my choice and I made it because it was right for me. End of story.
It was 2006. I was living with my boyfriend at the time and we had been together for almost two years. However, I had recently found out he was being unfaithful and our relationship was on the rocks. I wasn’t sure what the future of our relationship was and things were extremely tense and uncertain between us. Like a responsible twenty-something, I was on birth control and was fairly level-headed. One night, my boyfriend and I had a solid conversation that left me feeling like maybe there was hope for us yet. Things happened and within a few days, there were more arguments and accusations of infidelity, and my hope of reconciliation was pretty much gone.
Fast forward to four weeks later and as someone who takes birth control regularly on schedule, I noticed that my period had not arrived yet and was a few days late. I thought it was strange but didn’t think much of it. Then, I became totally exhausted and felt fatigue like I had never experienced before. I had a feeling deep in my gut that something might be wrong, but there was no way, right? I take my pill. I am responsible. I am prepared. Except I realized that just a few weeks ago, I had been on an antibiotic and oftentimes, those will cancel out the effects of the birth control, requiring you to use backup contraception. Which we did not…that ONE time.
Scared to death, I went to CVS, bought a test, and went home. There is no way this is happening, I thought. I told my boyfriend and for the moment, he was supportive and sat with me while we took the test. I am pretty sure that to this day, that was the longest four-minute wait of my life. When I walked into the bathroom, my heart was pounding out of my chest and I was shaking. As I picked it up, I saw the positive sign and I lost it. This was NOT how it was supposed to go. I wasn’t ready. We weren’t ready. Heck, we weren’t even in a stable relationship at the moment. This wasn’t happening. I was in shock, denial, and absolutely terrified.
After a long discussion, we knew the only reasonable option at this point in our lives was to end the pregnancy by having an abortion. I had never really thought much about it before but now that it was staring me in the face, I knew that I was thankful that I had the option to choose what was best for me. My boyfriend was in agreement and we scheduled an appointment the very next day. Time was of the essence as they like to do it before the 8-10 week mark for health reasons so I knew I had to do it quickly.
The experience itself is a story for another day. I wouldn’t wish that physical and emotional pain on anyone but I do know one thing: I am thankful that I was able to choose what was best for me at that time. I was an educated, young professional in a relationship. I wasn’t using this for birth control. I wasn’t being irresponsible with my partners. But regardless of my situation, I was faced with a decision, a decision that I still think about to this day. I don’t regret my decision for even a split second because I know that at that moment, for me, it was the right thing to do.
I do not take it lightly and I know that I am so lucky that I even had the option to choose. With the way the world is today, if I were in the same situation again, it would likely be a much different ending. So before you judge, before you assume you know everything about everyone, educate yourself. Bottom line is that the only person who should be allowed to make decisions about my health, my body, and my life is ME.