Andrea's Story

When I was 20, I had an abortion. Getting pregnant was a hard thing to ask for help with. I had tried the birth control pill a few times throughout high school, but even with the low dose kind, I had a great deal of nausea. I gradually became irresponsible with my boyfriend, using no protection when i thought I was "safe", so it was pretty inevitable for me to get pregnant. I had no business having a child.

The abortion was a surreal experience although the staff was supportive of my decision. My boyfriend at the time was emotionally abusive and was driving erratically on the way there and back. I think I nearly passed out during the consultation and felt very ashamed. Even though it was a very confusing and embarrassing time for me, I know that I made the absolute right choice.

Here I am, two years later, and I am planning to have my second abortion this month. It's been hard to find a way to justify to myself how I could have allowed myself to get pregnant again. I've had to have faith in my own truth no matter how uncorrect it sounds.

Even just after my previous abortion, when the doctor said that he thought he'd probably see me in his office again in a year or two, I had this feeling that somehow that he was right, that it would happen again. Even though I didn't want it to happen again, I still carried with me this lack of confidence about my ability to make choices that was reflected in my day to day life.

Since then, I have had a long journey towards being confident and having a relationship with my own self. Often in relationships I've allowed things to just happen to me instead of taking charge and directing my own life. I still have a long way to go in learning to take care of myself, and I hope that I never stop learning and can help other women be aware of their choices too.

I don't believe that any experience, including this one, is without purpose and light. I don't condemn myself.

I wish for every woman out there to have choices. I wish that every child have a strong mother who was given the opportunity to make mistakes and choices about her body and her life. I encourage people to consider and support, abortion and women's power with respect, so that fewer will have to go through this in years to come.

8 January 2003

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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu