I was 22 years old and two weeks away from my junior year of college when I found out that I was pregnant. I remember just taking the test on a lark. It was extra and laying around. I have endometriosis and have two to three periods a year. I had been told that my chances of getting pregnant were quite low, so I was in complete shock when the test was positive. I felt like someone had just jabbed me in the stomach and I couldn’t stand. I was terrified.

I knew right away that I couldn’t keep it. I was in college, didn’t have a job, and my boyfriend of two years was older and still living with his parents. I would be a single mother making minimum wage and wouldn’t be able to give my child what it would need. I also knew that I couldn’t put it up for adoption. The idea that my child would be in an abusive home or homeless on the street would haunt me forever.

My boyfriend wouldn’t help me with the money (even though he was excited that I was having an abortion). I had to use the money given to me by my parents for my books that semester for the abortion. So I had to go without books, quite creatively, for a semester.

Looking around the waiting room of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, I saw women just like me. Some of them had even brought their textbooks. They weren’t able to perform the abortion the first time because I was taking Prednisone. It was just a precaution, but it let me know that they really cared about my health. I felt safe for the first time. The only time I didn’t feel alone in the experience was when I was around the staff. They answered all my questions and made sure I was completely informed.

I’m not sorry I had an abortion. It was the right decision for me and the fetus inside me. Whether or not to have an abortion is a very personal choice. I wouldn’t wish any woman to find herself in the same situation that I was, but it does happen. It’s important that all women are able to make their own health decisions.