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I got pregnant when I was 19. We were engaged, and neither of us wants to ever have children. I had been using birth control since I was 16, long before I ever even had sex. I had switched from the "patch" to the "pill" and apparently we didn't wait long enough before having sex without a condom.

I knew immediately that I would have an abortion. We had talked about it before, and we knew what we would do. When I mentioned this to some people, they have said it's sick to think about things like that ahead of time. I think it's responsible. I wouldn't marry a man who wouldn't support my decisions and definitely wouldn't consider sex with someone who wouldn't agree with me on this.

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, we told our parents we were getting married. My mom asked if I was pregnant. I lied. She'd told me when I was 18 that she had an abortion when she was about 16 or 17, I think. For some reason I didn't want to tell her -- I think because we have never been very close. I didn't want to confide in her. Maybe someday I will tell her. I think knowing that she had done it made it seem less scary and more acceptable.

I had to drive to and from the hospital. We got there and there were some people with signs outside, by the street. I couldn't read what they said, but one looked like a list of names. A security guard let us into the room. We got there at 9:30 in the morning and did not leave until after 6 pm. There was a lot of waiting.

I was shocked at how many girls were there. I really was not expecting that many people. I was also surprised at how many of them were older -- not just the typical single teenagers we might imagine, but older married women too. The rooms were all packed, sometimes they would walk someone to the door of the room I was in and realize there was no more room. That was kind of sad. No one talked to each other. We watched Nickelodeon. I thought it was kind of weird to be playing children's cartoons to a room full of women about to have abortions.

A few hours later, they told me to go into a room and get undressed. The doctor came in and a few nurses and they held my hand. They told me to breathe, and helped a lot. It was loud, painful and kind of scary. I just kept reminding myself that having a baby would hurt a lot more and be much worse, so it wasn't that bad.

When we got home, my husband waited on me for a few days, bringing me snacks, hot pads, water, whatever I wanted. He made me feel a lot better and I didn't mind the cramps anymore.

I haven't told anyone in person, but I am not ashamed. I am just scared of the people who want me to be ashamed. I hope someday I will be able to speak out to them and anyone else.