I had an abortion the summer after I graduated college when I was 21.

Before I decided what I wanted to do, I went to a religious clinic to make sure I was pregnant from an ultrasound and because I didn’t have healthcare at the time. When there, all I heard were reasons why I should keep or give the baby up for adoption. They even gave me pamphlets on every possible thing that could go wrong with an abortion(which was pretty terrifying of course). I’m Catholic, and graduated from a Catholic University, and I was highly aware of why I should and shouldn’t have done what I did. However, what gave me the most sleepless nights were the nights thinking about keeping the baby.

Although I had a degree, and was 21 years old, I still had barely any job experience in my career field, my boyfriend of 3 years also had no job or was finding any luck with finding a job. We were both living with our parents. I was aware that what I pictured for my first child isn’t always what happens in life, but I also strongly believed although the baby would’ve gotten all the love in the world, it still wouldn’t have gotten the life it deserved. We only wanted the best for our child and nothing else. Choosing to go through with the abortion was not my initial choice though. When I went to the abortion clinic the first time and saw my ultrasound at a little over 7 weeks, I had this gut feeling that I couldn’t end the precious life inside of me. I personally told myself if I wasn’t able to do the medical pill abortion, I wasn’t going to do it. So the money that I had from graduation gifts, I spent so I couldn’t change my mind. Later, I ended up talking to a relative, and he ended up supporting my initial thought about continuing the abortion no matter what. He ended up loaning me the money, and I planned the day for the procedure. My boyfriend didn’t even have money to drive up to that appointment, so I had to ask a friend who I hadn’t seen in years to take me (who he actually took his ex gf for her abortion also). The day of the abortion, I was a little over 10 weeks, and the aspiration procedure happened very quickly. The day of the procedure, I took some pills right before, when in the operation room they gave me a mild sedative to calm my nerves, the doctor came in and did what he had to do and it was over in less than a minute. It felt like all the pressure was released from my stomach, and morning sickness went away immediately also. When I was moved to the waiting room, I just started crying because I had such mixed emotions. I was sad for myself choosing to really end the life inside of me, and at the same time I was relieved this entire process was over. The doctor who did the procedure came back to check on me, and I couldn’t help but tell him thank you. Later on that day, physically I was perfectly fine. Everything healed properly, all I had were leaky breasts for a week. Emotionally, I was weak. I cried almost every night for a week. I was mad and felt distant with God for awhile because I wondered why the only time I had sex unprotected after 3 years with the man I planned on marrying when we had the money and the career, why was I ready to have the baby then? Why couldn’t He just not have had the egg and sperm meet? But even now, I still am trying to ask God for His forgiveness, and ask my unborn baby for their forgiveness. To this day I’m still sorry for what I did, but I still know in my heart it was for the best. Before my abortion, I was against abortion the moment the organs formed, but when I had my abortion, the organs were already formed and I could see distinctive shapes at my 10 weeks ultrasound right before I did my abortion(that’s what hurts the most). Currently, I support abortion and woman’s right to choose, because without my choice, I wouldn’t be able to continue the education that I need for my career and bettering myself for when my bf and I are financially ready for a child. I am now aware that any abortion is never an easy choice, no one really ever wants to have an abortion, but there needs to be more support for the after care of an abortion. I know so many women that advocate that if you have an abortion you will go to hell and you should die since you’re a murderer but that’s not the case! I’ve been Catholic my entire life, but just because of what I did does not make me a Catholic, in fact it’s going to make my connection stronger with God, knowing that no matter what decision I decide to do, He will be with us along the way. My advice to people in a similar situation, having a baby is a lifelong commitment and will be hard and the most precious gift you can receive, and having an abortion will also be something difficult you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life also. But in your heart, you know what you really want, you know what you believe will be the best decision for your life and the baby’s.