Oregon, US

Speaker's Age: 24
Story Told In: 2005
8

I got pregnant when I was 19 and living in Portland, Oregon, with my mother. The father was my boyfriend of a couple of years, and I really loved him madly. I got pregnant by having unprotected sex. I didn't tell my parents.

I felt like I knew I was pregnant right away, which was very strange. And I knew that's what I had to do. I didn't tell my mother because I just knew that it would complicate things too much. She probably wouldn't have been supportive-- she's very puritanical and controlled about sexual things. I think it had to do with being the age that I was and my mother not respecting that part of me. We never talked frankly-- I think we had maybe two conversations about sex. I know my mother never had an abortion because she told me that, and said things kind of condescending about women who do...

I told my best friend and my boyfriend. He and I went to Planned Parenthood. Afterwards, I was relieved. I felt good about it for several months, and then I kept wanting to talk about it and my boyfriend didn't want to talk about it. He wasn't bothered by it every day, and I was still bothered by it every day. And that eventually was a big part of the reason I broke up with him. Because I was very upset that it didn't have that impact on him. But I can understand... it's a woman's problem, ultimately.

I'd never had a friend who had been through that situation. I didn't know anybody who'd dealt with that. I mean, I knew a couple of girls who had gotten pregnant, but they weren't my friends, weren't like me-- so I just felt really alone. Now I put it on the table right away. If it comes up in conversation I say, I had an abortion. It's not something I'm embarrassed about. I just wish it were something that people could talk about more freely. Even now, it's weird-- I feel I can't be completely candid. I wish it were something more people knew.