Speaker's Age: 28
Story Told In: 2006
28

I had an abortion when I was 25. I was in the middle of getting myself ready to go back to college. My boyfriend and I were using condoms.

I went to the doctor because I thought I had some kind of infection... I was having these weird cramps. She had me do a pregnancy test, and I was pregnant. I was stunned. I walked out of there in an absolute daze. I drove to pick up my boyfriend, who's now my husband, and I told him in the car.

Although I had always been adamantly pro-choice, I had always said I would never want to have an abortion myself, knowing that it would be difficult for me. But upon discovering my pregnancy I immediately knew the only option was abortion. I was just about to give up working and go back to school, and my boyfriend was also a student, and I didn't feel emotionally ready at all. Adoption was not an option at all. Even though it was a choice, it felt like that's what I had to do.

I also felt duped. I had grown up reading Our Bodies, Ourselves, and I had thoroughly educated myself on birth control to make the choices that were best for me and my body. I had this idea that if I knew everything there was to know, I couldn't get pregnant... Accidents only happened because of a "lack of education." Looking back, I can�t believe I thought that!

My boyfriend and I went to Planned Parenthood. It was really weird-- I felt like I was on an assembly line. The hardest was when they did the ultrasound; the reality suddenly hit me and I felt really upset. But they just ushered me out to the waiting room, my emotions stifled. I was beginning to have all these feelings and was realizing that there was nowhere to put them!

My boyfriend came in with me. He held one hand and the nurse held my other hand. We had decided to do a local anesthetic, so I was awake during the procedure. They said it would hurt like a period but it really fucking hurt. It was awful. Then, just like that, it's over. I really wanted to cry, but there was no space for me to express what I was feeling. We went home and it was like: That's over with. I don't want to think about that anymore.

I went back to school and threw myself into my work to try and forget about it. Eight months later, I suddenly had a resurgence of emotion. I started crying for hours, desperately wanting my baby back. Even though, in reality, I didn't want a baby-- I had all these plans for my life. Still, I felt this deep grief in my body. I would get into arguments with myself: How can you think that? Are you turning into some sort of "pro-life" nut? What's wrong with you? But slowly I realized that I just needed to grieve.