I grew up in suburban Texas, where “sex education” consisted of little more than a Mean Girls-esque “if you have sex, you will get pregnant, and die”. We were told in Health class that condoms “didn’t work at all”, so it’s no great surprise that many of girls I went to school with became pregnant at a very young age. Myself included.
To spare you the more graphic details, I’ll just tell you the following: I was 18, it wasn’t safe, it was one time.
He wasn’t my boyfriend, just a guy I was crazy about. I remember everything about that night with him. I remember everything about the night I found out I was pregnant, too. I remember how I didn’t know who to call. I remember how he disappeared when I told him. I remember wondering if running the car in the garage would be a better alternative to having an abortion.
After deciding that asphyxiation wasn’t the best course of action, I remembered my best friend telling me that her mom had had an abortion when she was a young woman. She was the only person that I knew who was open about her abortion, so I called her. My own mom was out of the country at the time, so Mama T sat with me in the waiting room. In Texas you have to for hours upon hours to get an abortion. She sat with me the entire time.
I never questioned my choice to have an abortion at 18, yet I’ve kept it relatively secret for almost ten years. As I was typing this, I finally admitted the fact to one of my best friends. I’ve protested for Choice more times than I can count, but I’ve never publicly shared that the Choice was my own.
Since we’re being completely honest here, I have a little more to share. I’m afraid to post this on Facebook. I’m afraid my family will judge me. I’m afraid I will lose friends. I’m afraid that no one will want to date me.
But that’s why we’re all doing this, right? Because we’ve all been there. Because we’re the 1 in 3.