Nikki's Story

This story begins in my office about three years ago. I am a professional counselor at a small local college. I see hundreds of people a year for various reasons.

One day a very young girl came into my office and said she was pregnant. She was only 16 years old and had no idea how to go about making an informed decision. I got her hoards of information to look over as well as discussed her options with her. It turns out that this young girl graduated from high school early and began attending college at the age of 16 (which is relative). Here you have a child in an adult situation.

Well this girl went to an adult party where there were several students drinking and using drugs. She was date raped at that party and became pregnant. She decided not to press charges and to have an abortion. The girl did not want any more exposure within the community which was against my better judgment, but as a good counselor I bit my tongue. Time passed and the girl came back for a follow-up appointment. Someone at the school had gotten wind of her decision and a nasty group of antiabortion people came to her house and picketed against her decision.

They spray painted her house and her cars and left flyers around her neighborhood. Very unpeaceful, nonobjective, target protesting. So she decided to have the child. She just could not stand up to those people anymore. She continued to come in for appointments for quite some time and then just stopped all of a sudden.

About 2 years later, I was in a shoes store when I heard a woman yelling at a crying child. I peeked around the corner to see what was going on and saw a woman holding a very young child by the arm screaming at him. Then she grabbed him by the leg as well, yanked him up off the ground, and slammed him back down. This obviously hurt the child quite a bit because he began wailing. She shouted at him "sometimes I hate you!"

I had no idea what to do so I made my presence obvious. The woman looked at me with a snarling glare. Low and behold it was the young girl from my office. The girl who did not want the child to begin with, the girl who backed down because of pressure from others, the girl who could not make an informed decision.

As a good citizen I called Child Protective Services (CPS) later that day because I felt the child was at extreme risk of abuse. I'm not sure I made the right decision. I'm not even sure if they will do anything for the child. The one thing I am sure of is that a child could have been spared terrible pain and abuse by the right of a woman to have an abortion without harassment and pressure.

I hold the girl responsible for the abuse of the child, but I hold the protesters responsible as well. They like to shout statements like "murderer" or "killer" at women making a decision to abort, but it's like a band aid; you can rip it off quickly and have pain for a second, or peel it off slowly and experience agony for a long time. The protesters may think they are saving lives but they are really doing exactly what they protest against.

Life is too short and precious to waste peeling band aids. I realize that this is a somewhat skewed version of pro-choice, but it is my version.

Thank you!

December 1998

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"I dream of a day when all children that are born are welcome, all men and women are equal, and sexuality an expression of sincerity, pleasure and tenderness."
– Elise Ottesen-Jensen, International Family Planning Pioneer, Sweden