Submitted by Teara Marie
Three years ago, I was 21, still in college and in a steady, stable and committed relationship. We used condoms and I was also on the pill. The condom broke and I went to the local family owned pharmacy in the small rural town where I went to school and got Plan B. The cashier was an older woman who scowled at me when I told her what I needed. As she checked me out she slipped a pamphlet into the bag, at the time I assumed it was medications ingredients and side effects booklet that you get with prescriptions.
I rushed home took the $54 pill and waited. After experiencing very little affects of the pill I thought maybe I had read the instructions wrong on how quickly it would occur. So I went back to the pharmacy bag and found a pamphlet that said “Jesus already died for your sins, don’t make anyone else die for them too.” It took me at least 20 minutes to pick my jaw up off the ground. And it took all of my energy not to march back to the pharmacy and tell that old lady where to put her pamphlet. When I realized that if anything was going to happen it would have already, I made an appointment with a doctor.
I openly discussed what I wanted to do with my boyfriend. He said he would support me no matter what I chose. He understood if I kept it and would be there no matter what. And he agreed that we were too young to have children and not prepared financially and if I chose not to keep it, he would support me there too. He took off work to come with me to my first appointment and the doctor confirmed I was pregnant and after telling me about the prenatal care that I would to start immediately, I asked what I needed to do if we decided to not to keep the child.
She very politely said that while they don’t preform or recommend abortions at her office, she would gladly be my doctor if I chose to continue with the pregnancy. When she left me to get dressed, my boyfriend said “well, what do you want to do?” and in a temporary euphoric moment, I said “I think I want to keep it.” And he smiled in a way I had never seen and that made me even more happy.
The next day, I called my grandmother to discuss it with her because she knows me better than anyone and has always given me good advice. I told her the news and we began discussing how I felt about it. I had grown up saying I never wanted children. It’s a combination of not wanting to turn into the type of mother mine was and knowing that I’m inherently selfish and irresponsible.
As reality started to sink I knew in my heart that I truly did not and still do not want to have children. It wouldn’t be fair to the child to bring it into this world when I didn’t want it and wasn’t prepared for it. My grandmother said that I would be a great mother and if I kept it everything would be okay. But if I didn’t keep it, everything would still be okay.
I talked it over with my boyfriend, while he was disappointed, he agreed that it was the best choice for us at the time and I scheduled my appointment. A few days later when it was time for the abortion, he “couldn’t get off work” to come with me. At the time it irritated me but he justified it by saying that he’s paying $575 for me to have the abortion, he needed to work to earn money. A logical reason to me.
I went to the clinic and started the process. It hadn’t occurred to me that I couldn’t get sedated for the procedure because I drove myself and was alone. Though I don’t fault them, all the clinic could give me was an extra strength Tylenol. Finally after hours of waiting I was in the procedure room. The Dr. came in with her nurse, explained the procedure and began. I had no idea that the physically pain of the procedure would be that bad. Afterwards, I was hysterically crying. Crying because I was in pain and because I was alone. Then I hear the Dr. say “15 millimeters.” I don’t know what she was measuring but I can only assume.
Three years later, I can’t get that number out of my head. So fast forward almost two and years, I am still with the same man and we have another scare. This time he says “If you are pregnant, I don’t care what you say, you aren’t getting rid of my kid like you did the last one.” The entire time between the abortion to that point we never spoke of it. At first, I tried to talk about it and he would change the topic. Eventually I stopped talking about it to him and everyone all together.
When he said you’re not getting rid of it like the last one, I was in shock. I thought we had agreed on the abortion. I thought it was a mutual choice. When I said that, he politely said, “I never knew my real father. I know it was the right choice but I feel like we threw that child away just like my dad did me.” My heart broke, I knew about his real fathers absence but it never occurred to me that it he didn’t want me to have the abortion.
I didn’t think he would agree with me just because that’s what I wanted. I appreciate that he did because I haven’t changed my mind on having children, however, I hurt him and didn’t even know it. Presently, we still don’t talk about it and he gets upset if I tell anyone that I had it done. He’s ashamed of the choice I made, he doesn’t say that but I can feel it. He’s a good man even though it doesn’t sound like it, he loves me even though I aborted his child.
He loves me even though I don’t want to have children. I wish we could talk about it more but if he can still love me through all of this, I can respect he doesn’t want to talk about it. I came across this website while researching for a paper about the shame and stigma associated with abortion. I finally have a voice about my abortion. I don’t regret anything and given the choice again, I would make the same one. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to let me share my story.