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I had an abortion on June 23, 1999. I was 21 years old, spending my summer at college along with my boyfriend and friends. We'd been in a crazy intense relationship for two years, and the whole time I'd felt insecure in how he felt for me. I was on the pill, but not always the best about taking it on time, and had recently been on antibiotics -- but we never used condoms because he didn't like them. Part of me wanted to have a baby with him, as sick at that probably sounds, because it would bind us closer. This makes me feel even worse for how it all turned out.

I was in my dorm when I took my first pregnancy test. It was surreal seeing the result. I ended up going to one of those crisis pregnancy places nearby, before I realized what that it was really a front for a pro-life group, and took another test -- surrounded by plastic fetus models and posters of smiling babies.

I told him -- he didn't want to have it, but he wasn't mean about it. I spoke to his mom on the phone and it was clear that she didn't want me to have it. I spoke to my mother and she wasn't angry with me, but clearly she was heartbroken about my circumstances and encouraged me to get an abortion. She came to school and we went to Planned Parenthood and arranged everything. When I went to have it done, she took me, and it was just the most odd experience of my life.

I remember the inspirational posters on the ceiling of the room, the doctor, the sound of the machine sucking the life out of me. I was saying Hail Marys the whole time, thinking what a total failure I was for not having the strength to have the baby.

Afterwards I went back to campus and had to pretend like nothing happened. I locked myself in my dorm room and drew the curtains shut, lit candles, and made attempts at saying Novenas (multiple Rosaries) over and over and over. In a way I never felt closer to God. I was just so empty. I was raised Catholic but wasn't from a really religious family. I wanted forgiveness though. It's still something that bothers me to my core.

I broke up with my college boyfriend a few years later because it still wasn't working out, he never seemed like he'd commit to me. So I left. I graduated from college, from graduate school, got married to a kind man who knows what I went through and who doesn't judge me (though I judge myself). I still have no career, no focus. I feel guilty. I would've been a good mom. But I can't blame anyone because it was my decision in the end.

It's hard now hearing of friends who have had miscarriages because they get so much support from their friends. But having an abortion, I suffered alone.