I am 24 years old and engaged to marry the love of my life. We have been together for over four years now and I couldn’t be happier except for our two abortions. The first time it happened I was 19 and I had only been dating my fiancĂ© for barely six months. I don’t know how but I knew right away that I was pregnant and I only got the pee stick to confirm it. Instead of being happy seeing those two little pink lines, I was terrified. Even though I am pro-choice my family and most of friends are not and extremely conservative, so much so they don’t even believe in sex before marriage.

Knowing how they would think and how they would judge me and my new relationship terrified me so much. I didn’t want to have the label as a young mom or the girl who got knocked up. But part of me was still happy that I was pregnant. When I showed my boyfriend the results he was very clear in his desire to not have a child, so I didn’t listen to my small voice saying I was happy to be pregnant, I listened to the louder voice in me saying that I wanted to not be judged. We opted for a surgical procedure, and everyone was very nice at the clinic but there were protesters outside who said such horrible things to me…I can still hear them to this day. The procedure itself was oddly like an aggressive pap smear and was done quickly. And that was it. We went on with our lives and I was okay, sure I had some emotional baggage from it, but I was okay.

Until I got pregnant six months ago. It was different than the first time because I got through my first abortion because I knew it would only be the one time, but now I was pregnant again and I would be getting married almost at the same time my baby would have been due. And all the judgement of my family and friends came rushing towards me, “of course she’d have a shotgun wedding…” and I was terrified all over again. I decided again to have a surgical abortion and because I was awake for my first procedure I knew what was going to happen to my body and I was so scared. My fiancĂ© being in the room during my second abortion helped some but it didn’t eliminate the feeling of violation. There I was again feet in those stirrups with someone I didn’t even know inside me…I don’t know why she told me to relax as if I could, but the abortion was soon over. I have tried to move on with my life and not feel horrible, but I do.

In the back of my mind I feel like I murdered those two babies and I can’t shake that feeling. I want to be able to accept what happened to my body and that it helped my life move forward but it seems like an impossible journey. I just hope whoever reads this knows that they are not alone. You can be pro choice and still feel guilty after. I made my choice and I was grateful to be able to, but each choice should never be taken lightly because you have to live with them forever and for right now that’s all I can do is just live.