Abortion at 18 — My second chance

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: Winter the Minor

The father of what would have been my child was a handsome man in the military. He was greek, with dark features and a passive attitude. I met him at a nightclub, and he asked to have sex with me. I took him home and we had a nice enough time. I told him I would never speak to him again, and that made him upset. He became very rough during intercourse and I felt him come inside of me. When I confronted him on why he was rough, he said, “I had to do something, you said you’d never call again.” I asked him multiple times if he came inside of me, and he told me no. I should have trusted myself.

I found out I was pregnant in a Walgreens bathroom, 5 days later on my period. I wept. I knew it was his. I sent him a message over snapchat. Isn’t that such a Gen Z thing to do? Share that you’re pregnant over snapchat to the father? I cried for hours. I begged to see him, to which he replied, “I’m not abandoning my friends to see you.” I realized I made a terrible mistake sleeping with him.

For the next week I struggled with it. I had plans to study internationally next year, and I was currently taking a gap year to focus on learning the language and to save money. By the time I found out I was pregnant, I had chosen to go abstinent. Too little too late. It was in this time that everyone abandoned me or couldn’t sympathize with my struggle over this pregnancy, that I’d be losing my opportunity to have this child. I knew abortion was what I wanted. I don’t believe in reproduction, I think the world is a cruel place. Climate change is too close. I also have a family history of childhood mental illness. What would I do if my child destroyed her room and told me the voices asked her to do it? What would I do if she hit a child at school and an evaluation showed she was autistic? How would I handle my mentally ill child, when I was still in therapy and on medication for my own mental illness? It was too much of a gamble.

I confronted the father one night. He was miserable. “I always wanted to play football with my son,” he told me, stumbling drunk and high on the city street. He was 20. I took him back to my apartment and we cried together, over what our child would look like, how they would act. I hardly knew this man. I asked him what his favorite color was, his middle name, where he grew up. He asked me about my career and my educational ambitions. He seemed pleased that my goals were so large, and so close to being accomplished. He had two more years in the military and lived on base one hour away. We agreed it felt like a fever dream that we could raise this child. Abortion was the best answer for both of us.

I started the hellish process of finding an abortion clinic in Texas to do the procedure. I was denied twice, manipulated by doctors into keeping my child, and humiliated by protesters. I snapped right back at them, every time. I was upset that everyone was withholding me from what would be my decision, the best option.

3 weeks later, I finally found a clinic to perform the procedure, 72 miles away. I chose to have a medical abortion. The father agreed to meet me at a hotel close to base, and I took the pills with him. The process was very fast– I screamed for half an hour, vomited everywhere, soaked through 4 hotel towels. He sat right next to me, a stranger, in his army boots. I hated him. I hated that he did it to me. In the back of my mind, I thought he came inside of me on purpose, so I would call him again. I didn’t make him pay for any of the appointments or the pills. He had ghosted me through the whole process. I was mad at him. He admitted that his grandfather had died and he had been suicidal. I said I didn’t care. I will never forget the way he treated me while I was pregnant, and I told him that as I cried on the bed. He apologized and held me close. But it wasn’t okay, and it never will be.

Two hours later and the cramps were less severe. I was fazing in and out of consciousness from the opiates. He had been training all day and was sunburnt and exhausted. We dozed together as I soaked through towels, and by the 4th hour I passed the fetus at 6 weeks, two days. It was a little white clump with a black eye. I woke him up and showed him. “It’s over,” he said, and kissed me gently. I crawled in bed next to him and fell asleep.

At 4:30AM, he had to report to base. As he dressed, I asked if he wanted to see me again. “What the f—,” he said, and I wasn’t sure what that meant. He gave me a hug as he walked out the door, and told me to get home safe. I closed the door behind him, and the handle came off. It was all over.

I drove home the next day, an hour back to my apartment. I had no more cramps and wasn’t bleeding. The abortion process took only 8 hours. I go back later this month to make sure the pregnancy is terminated, but I know it is. I struggle with the child I could have had, and I’ll think about it forever. What was I supposed to do, give birth at 18? Take my infant child to a foreign country? I couldn’t. I can’t. But I will always wonder. Thank god it’s over. I hope I never have to make the decision again.

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One response to “Abortion at 18 — My second chance”

  1. Nicola

    Reading about this guy’s treatment of you, and the doctors’ and protestors’ treatment of you, outrages me.

    Good for you – you recognized a bad situation and stayed strong. I know it wasn’t easy. But your strong sense of self will help you to move forward. Best of luck chica.

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