Jennifer's Story

It was about 8 years ago. I was 19 and about to be a junior in college. There was no way I could support a child, and I had recently realized that my boyfriend, to put it plainly, was a lying, manipulative, jerk. I couldn't imagine having a baby and giving it up for adoption. I was adopted and it wasn't exactly the fairy tale people always tell you. I had always been pro-choice, but never thought abortion would be a choice I'd have to make.

My boyfriend and I hadn't been very good about using birth control, which was stupid, of course. When I told him I was pregnant, he asked me what I wanted to do and didn't show any reaction when I told him I didn't know. "Let's have lunch" was his response. I couldn't tell my parents because they are anti-choice. I didn't want to tell anyone, but I didn't have a car and needed someone to take me to the nearest abortion provider. The very few friends I told were very helpful and supportive. My boyfriend didn't want anything to do with any of it and broke up with me.

At my first appointment, I found out that I was 13 weeks pregnant and needed to have a two-day procedure. I was so upset. I just wanted it to be over. Since I couldn't come back the next day, I had to reschedule for the weekend.

The doctors and other staff were kind, friendly, and supportive. There was another woman there for the same procedure and we talked a little bit. She was in her thirties, married with children. She was in an abusive relationship and knew having another child would make it even harder to leave. I think we were both glad to talk to someone.

I was under anesthesia for the abortion procedure, so I didn't have any pain. I was pretty groggy and out of it. They gave me 7-Up and crackers. I slept a lot that day. I had to go back in six weeks for a follow-up appointment and everything was fine.

The next time I saw my ex-boyfriend he called me many nasty names and told me what a terrible person I was for ending the pregnancy. I felt awful. He never said anything against abortion before I had one, and I didn't understand why he hadn't asked me not to have an abortion if he felt so strongly about it. I never got an answer to that. I still felt that I had done the right thing for me. In an act of stupidity I can only think was related to poor self esteem, it took me several months to kick him out of my life completely. His reaction has only made me more sure that I made the right decision. He would not have been there for me or our child financially, emotionally, or in any other way. Having to be in any kind of contact with him for the rest of my life would have been a nightmare.

I completed my college education. I am happily married now to a wonderful man and we have beautiful children. I know I made the right decision.

8 April 2001

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