This month, we are showcasing some selections from our first six months of stories. This story previously appeared here in ROAR.
Today’s story comes from Cedar River Clinics, has “a vision of a world where all women freely make their own decisions regarding their bodies, reproduction and sexuality – a world where women can fulfill their own unique potential and live healthy whole lives.”
When Bethany became pregnant at 17, she planned to have an abortion right away, but things got complicated pretty quickly.
At the beginning of my senior year in high school, age 17, I became pregnant by my boyfriend of over a year. At first, I planned to have an abortion right away and not tell anyone, but it quickly became more complicated. I was involved in cheerleading, and had a chance to qualify for State in another sport. I didn’t want to give up any practice time for either, so I waited until after State. I ended up qualifying but doing lousy, and I was upset that I had ruined a big part of my senior year.
One day my mom asked me if I was pregnant (I was about 3 months along and starting to show) and I answered yes. She made me go tell my father and they were both very upset with me. In the end, my parents agreed that I should have an abortion (I sometimes think so that their own reputations weren’t ruined) and my father took me to the clinic. I was there for over four hours and it was very uncomfortable.
Now, over a year later, I still haven’t gone a day without thinking about what I did. Even so I am sure that the decision I made was the right one for me at that time in my life, even if I made that decision for selfish reasons at the time. I know now that what I did was right, even though I still feel guilty sometimes.
My boyfriend was terrific through the whole thing. We are still together and we still cry together about our mistake and its consequences, but we are looking forward to the day when we can do it right.
4 February 1999