I was 21 years old, living in New York City on my own, and dating a guy named Nathan how was a few years older than I was. Nathan was a very sick alcoholic but I never had any exposure to alcoholism growing up so I honestly believed I could save him and help him get sober.
(I later learned that I couldn’t). When I got pregnant, Nathan had been sober for a few weeks, which was a long time for him. At first, I was excited when I learned I was pregnant because pregnancy has always been something I wanted. That excitement was almost immediately shattered with an enormous sense of terror. I knew that I could not raise a child with Nathan because he was extremely unstable and not well. I also knew that I could not raise a child on my own; I was too unstable and immature to give that child the life I wanted to give it. I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood in lower Manhattan when I was 7 weeks pregnant. Every person I encountered at that clinic made me feel so supported and cared for. Although I was judging myself the whole time, I never felt judged by anyone at Planned Parenthood. I chose to take “the abortion pill” because it seemed far less invasive and scary to me. After I took the pill, I spent a whole weekend locked in my apartment in terrible physical pain. Miraculously, Nathan stayed with me that whole time; he went out to get me crackers and fruit, he rubbed my lower back when I was keeled over in pain. Two weeks later I had a follow up appointment at Planned Parenthood and Nathan came with me to the appointment. He said he was going to go around the corner to the deli to get us sandwiches so I had something to eat when I was done. He never came back from the deli and I don’t think he ever actually went there. Instead, he found his way to his favorite watering hole and got drunk. That relapse turned into a 4 week bender. I knew I had made the right decision to have an abortion when Nathan relapsed. If I had had that baby, I would forever be tied to Nathan, as would the baby, and I never wanted that for my child. It has been 3 years since the abortion and I have successfully left the relationship with Nathan. I am now in a healthy, stable relationship with someone I know I would love to raise children with someday- when we’re ready.