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Abortion Story: Kentucky

Submitted to Abort73 by a 47-year-old woman on March 28, 2013.

I was 19 when I had an abortion. I was in the Army. I was finally so happy after 7 years of being depressed and suicidal. I wanted someone to share my life with. I was dating someone who was abusive, and I didn't tell him I was pregnant. The people I was in the Army with were happy for me. My roommate had gotten pregnant and her whole family was happy for her. I had given the baby a gender so as not to call the baby an "it." I made the mistake of telling my sister-in-law. She told my brother who worked with another brother and my father. The next thing, I knew my family called harassing me, calling me a whore, a tramp, a slut, and a horrible disappointment. Then they called and switched their tactic. In a reversal of psychology, they asked me to come home to NJ, saying we would discuss it as a family; we didn't have to make a decision, we would discuss all options. I was duped. I got off of work at 5 pm and drove the 7 hours to NJ. I didn't have anything to eat during my drive home. I arrived home to a tribunal. One of my brothers, my mother and my father were sitting at the kitchen table. The house was completely dark except for the one light over the kitchen table where they sat. It was about midnight. They refused to allow me to eat (unbeknownst to me they had made an appointment for an abortion). No matter what I said, it was wrong.  My brother told me no man would want my child from another man. My father kept saying that my 8-week pregnancy was "nothing, just a clump of cells." My brother said the abortion was no big deal, that his girlfriend had one, and she was fine. I told my family I didn't believe in abortion. They threw my premarital sex in my face. My mother kept crying that I was a huge disappointment. They told me my oldest brother, whom I respected, would not talk to me; he was ashamed of me. They told me that if my grandparents found out, they would have a heart attack. I told them I could put the baby up for adoption and was shot down that no one would want the baby. They only cared about their reputation, since they believed that every girl in my position was a whore. There were no right answers and none of what I said mattered. This tribunal went on for about 3 hours; I was exhausted. I went to bed and every 30 minutes, either my mother, my father, or my brother would open my bedroom door and flip on the light and ask me if I "made my decision." The next morning, I was exhausted from lack of sleep and I was again denied food. I felt totally drained and defeated. I conceded just to get them off my back. They drove me to a clinic in Englewood Cliffs. I remember telling the "doctor" I was killing my baby and he told me to shut up. The medicine they put into my IV burned. I woke up in recovery feeling horrid. The nurse told me that I was not to use tampons, that the blood was not my period. There was a young girl in there, maybe 16. We hugged and cried. My parents and brother never apologized for their actions. Whenever someone would be dealing with the rigors and difficulties of parenthood, or a story would be in the news of a child being abused, my mother's response was, "They should have done something about that. They should have taken care of that"—meaning they should have just aborted that child. As if you have an abortion and just go about your business as usual. I'm 47 now, married with 2 children, ages 21 and 12. We are in the process of adopting a boy who is 13. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my first child. I work in public high school and I see many pregnant teenage girls. When they tell me how happy their families are for them, I thank God for that, and I tell them how truly blessed they are. I believe God works all things for good. So, my takeaway from my abortion experience is this: I can be compassionate and loving to girls and young women who've made a horrible "choice." I can understand where they've been. I can also tell my students (and have) that she isn't the first girl to get pregnant at 16 and she won't be the last. When my daughter was 19 she became pregnant. She was scared and afraid to tell me and her dad. I told her my abortion story and I was able to tell her that we are here for her. My granddaughter turned a year old yesterday!

Age: 47
Location: Kentucky
Date: March 28, 2013

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