It’s probably hyperbolic to say that my abortion saved my life when I have every reason to believe I would have had a healthy pregnancy. But I would not have had *my* life. I got pregnant during my senior year of college and knew instantly that I did not want to be a mother.
At my first scheduled appointment, I found out I was just too far along for a medical abortion and would have to have a surgical procedure. The staff at the clinic re-scheduled my procedure and I spent a week terrified that’d I’d be found or prevented from going through with it. I was very lucky that I was on winter break at the time and there was an equipped Planned Parenthood clinic within a 30 minute drive of my parents’ house. My best friend drove me to the second appointment and worked through crossword puzzles with me in the waiting room because I was too distracted to concentrate on the book I’d brought with me. After we left the clinic, she took me to get mac and cheese and candy. It was the best damn mac and cheese I’ve ever had. The actual food was crappy, but I was so relieved that everything was brighter. I’d felt invaded since I’d found out. That spring, I graduated at the top of my class and got a job. I started grad school the following winter. I got to start the life I knew I was supposed to have.
A year later, that same friend found out that she was pregnant. Her son is a joy. We’ve talked about it a few times since then–the way things worked out for each of us. She likes to tell me that what I did was brave and I think she’s amazing for the choice she made. She’s a wonderful mother. The thing is, we’re both lucky that we got to have our own say in the matter.