I got pregnant while living in Guatemala as a volunteer teacher. My Mayan boyfriend was not a suitable life partner for me, and had once told me he was anti-abortion and that if I was ever in a situation where I wanted one I shouldn’t tell him–so I didn’t.
It was like a movie. I was living in a convent of nuns, sneaking around to get the tests, reading internet materials in English about deciding, and praying furtively over my decision. I had always been pro-choice, but “never thought it would happen to me.” Once I decided to have an abortion, which was a clear, wise, spiritually mature, right choice for me, I had to leave the country and lie to everyone about why. But I was so privileged to have that option and the money to come back to the US where it was safe and legal. My best friend, who was in medical school, helped find a clinic where she had worked. I chose the medication option, which was painful and scary to do at home, but felt good because I was in control. I was 27 at the time, and was able to go ahead with my plans to start seminary six months later. Today I’m an ordained Protestant Christian minister with a husband and baby and am active in pro-faith/pro-choice work. I finally told my parents after they heard one of my pro-choice sermons. This whole experience really rocked me, but I am a much more compassionate, humble, and whole person because of it.