I was 15 when I got pregnant. My boyfriend at the time and I weren’t using any form of birth control — he was just pulling out. The one time he didn’t pull out was the time I got pregnant.

We both panicked, and waited three weeks for a period that didn’t come. I remember walking to the grocery store with a friend to buy a pregnancy test, and then walking to my church to take the test. I had some desperate hope that if I prayed hard enough, maybe I wouldn’t be pregnant. But I was, and I called my mom. She and my dad were furious. They asked what I wanted to do, and I said I wanted an abortion.

My parents scheduled the abortion. My boyfriend paid for the entire thing, and his parents never found out. We were afraid to tell his parents — what if they wanted me to keep it? My dad drove me to the appointment. He put my childhood teddy bear in the car for me, and it made me cry.

I don’t remember much about the actual appointment now, ten years later. But I remember sitting in the waiting room next to my dad, his eyes closed, praying the entire time. I remember afterwards feeling an overwhelming sense of relief. I remember there was a woman sobbing, and I wanted to comfort her, but I had no idea what to say.

I won’t lie — I worried for years afterward that I was going to hell, that I was a bad person. Every time I was in a dark room, or going to sleep, I would think about that day, and wonder if I had made the wrong choice. Nothing helped me more than drunkenly confessing my experience to a college friend, who told me that she had also had an abortion. That sisterhood, that bonding experience was the first step towards finding my peace.

Now, ten years later, I know I made the right choice. Because I made that choice, I was able to graduate high school, college, and graduate school. I know that I am still a good and worthy person, and that my God is not disappointed in me.

You are not alone. You are not a bad person — whatever you decide. And there are so many women who are right there with you, and who support you. You are not alone.