I found out I was pregnant on my 17th birthday. I was at school and this was before the instant pregnancy tests. I had a vial of urine in my pocket that would turn pink if I was pregnant. It took hours. So, after my first class, I went into the bathroom, looked at the pink liquid in the vial and poured it into the toilet.
Then I went on about my day.
I told my boyfriend. He was supportive, I guess. I don't really remember how we decided on an abortion. I don't really remember even seriously considering not having an abortion.
We borrowed money from a friend and went to the clinic on a Saturday morning. I remember there were people there with signs that had gross pictures on them. They were yelling and screaming and blocking my way to the clinic.
But then there were people who helped me get through the crowd. They made a circle around me and my boyfriend and got me into the clinic. I never thanked them, but I was very thankful.
After the procedure, I felt like crap. I went to my boyfriend's house and slept. His mom asked what was wrong and we told her I was sick. I couldn't eat Egg McMuffins for years after this because that is what I had after the procedure. Weird, eh?
My parents found out because I left a slip with the name and address of the clinic on it on my dresser. They had prescribed antibiotics for me and I think this slip was the follow-up instructions. I have no idea why I didn't throw it out, but it was months later that my mom found it. She told my dad. My dad drove by the clinic and figured out what it was.
When my mom confronted me, I was mad. I don't think we ever talked about it. I was just so mad that they were going through my stuff that I never talked with her about it. To this day, my dad has never spoken with me about it.
When I was in my 20's, I was on ABC talking about my abortion-- there was just a large Supreme Court decision and they needed someone to talk about her experience and I volunteered. It was nice, not being judged.
I have come to terms with my decision. I do not regret it because the life I have would never have happened if I had not had an abortion. I only wish I could talk about it without being judged. I am not embarrassed by it, I just cannot stand being judged when I tell others about it.
In the 1990s, I worked for NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and it was the most support and least judgment I have ever had. I just hope everyone finds that sometime.