When I was fifteen, I had my first real “boyfriend,” or so I thought. This man (he was 20) was homeless, so he stayed at my house.

A few weeks into the relationship, he began to belittle everything about me, from the size of my breasts to the way I acted during sex.

He was emotionally and sexually abusive, having sex with my friends in front of me, and pressuring me into other activities I did not want to do. He refused to wear a condom, and even though I was at the time unable to stand up for myself, I know when I became pregnant that I needed to have an abortion. The physician I saw refused to give any kind of referral so I ended up finding a clinic in the phone book. After the experience, I wanted birth control but my mother refused to allow that. This man acted angry about the abortion but continued living in my house. I eventually required a second abortion.

He finally left after a year when he joined the Navy. I believe that I made the best decisions available to me at the time, even though I did not have the support or emotional resources to advocate on my own behalf. There were no parental notification laws at the time, so I was able to obtain my abortions on my own confidentially. My parents would not have allowed me to have an abortion, and would have pressured me to marry this man.

On a whim, I looked his name up on the internet and found out that he was sentenced to ten years in Federal prison for child pornography. What would have happened if I brought those children into the world? They would have been raped, and I would not be graduating with a Master’s degree.