Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The below story comes from Marlene, of New Jersey, who shares her experience in a YouTube video posted to the website NotAlone, established to let people who have had abortions know that they are part of a community. Marlene describes herself as Dominican, an abortion counselor, and an aspiring nurse. She speaks to ignoring others’ judgment because “all that matters [is that] you make the decision that’s best for you.” Watch her full story online here.
“Hi everyone. My name is Marlene. I want to be the one of the first Spanish girls — Dominican to be specific — on sharing my story, my abortion story. I hope that more women — especially Latino women — are out here who are watching my story could feel comfortable and know that it is okay, although we’re told otherwise. Although they know no one wants us to share our story, because we don’t want to be “shamed,” and I’m here to remove that shame.
So, my story begins in 2011.…I found out I was pregnant. I was [at] six weeks, and after much discussion over with my boyfriend and my mom, you know, I knew right away that abortion would have been the best option for me at that time. I had [a] discussion with my boyfriend. We talked over all options; we knew that [at] the time [and] the predicament that we were in was not good timing. I wasn’t ready to be a mom yet. I don’t want to feel forced, like I had to be a mother just because I got pregnant. And I got pregnant due to failure [of] birth control. So I did take precaution.
You know, a lot of people think that, “oh, you just got pregnant, get an abortion, that’s it.” And it’s so much more complicated than that when it comes to making that decision. Although I work at an abortion clinic and I am an abortion counselor, I pray about it, and I knew I’m educated on abortion, it was still a very hard decision for me and I was very emotional about it at the time. I was very conflicted at first and I didn’t know if it would have been the right thing at the very beginning. I started thinking about names and what I could have done and how this could have changed my life.
But then, you know, reality set in and I had to think realistically. You know, “is this the best decision for me?” …Having a child, going through…not being married at the moment. Although I have [had] a long-term relationship for over five years, we’re still not married yet. So…I know what kind of future I wanted. I’m still in school and I’m going to actually be a nurse soon. And I knew that the life that I want to have is not going to happen how I plan it if I continued with this pregnancy…”