Hi, my name is Ariel. I am 22 years old. In October of 2011 I had an abortion. I was about a month into my freshman year of college and I had maybe $90 to my name.
I slept with one of my best friends twice and I accidentally got pregnant. It’s funny because I never understood what women meant when they said they could feel when they were pregnant. I knew as soon as I missed my period that I was pregnant even before taking a test, and I also knew right away that I was going to get an abortion. I took a test confirming that I was pregnant and that following week I made an appointment at a local clinic. I told the father that I was getting an abortion and he wasn’t against my choice, but he didn’t support me the way I needed him to. He didn’t help me pay, and he didn’t check up on me – he ended up not being the friend that I thought he was. Inevitably, the whole situation ruined our long friendship. It’s okay though, he is in a happy place now as am I, and I wish him nothing but the best.
In Texas it’s required that you receive a sonogram 24 hours before getting the abortion procedure performed. I’ll never forget how wonderful the doctor at the clinic made me feel during my sonogram. He’s reading through this packet of worst case scenario outcomes of abortions, and half way through he stops and looks straight at me and says, “I just want you to know that you’re an adult, and you’re mature enough to know what’s best for you right now. I am not passing judgment on you, I am here for your medical health no matter what decision you make… I’m only reading through all of this nonsense because I could get fired if I don’t.” Then he continued reading and I wanted to cry, because for a sheer moment during this dark time another person was kind and compassionate towards me and what I was going through. I found out I was about 5 or 6 weeks along and the baby was only an embryo, it looked like a dot on the sonogram screen. I had the abortion two days later and I was fortunate enough to have the company of my best girl friend through it all. The medical part of the abortion I had prepared for, but I had no idea how to handle the emotional part.
I was lucky, I had a pretty decent support group. My parents and my close friends all supported my decision and even helped me get through it. I wasn’t a lonely person, but I’ll admit that I felt alone, almost isolated. I felt as if nobody I talked to about it could really understand since they hadn’t been through it themselves. I went into a pretty dark depression. I felt hideous, I felt ashamed, I felt guilty, I felt mad, I felt sad, I really lost all control of my emotions. I even considered taking my own life over it, and I then I snapped out of it. I realized how many people I would hurt if I committed suicide, especially over a decision I made to help better another’s life in the first place. I got through my deep depression and taught myself how to love myself again through staying motivated by school and work. I realized that I only felt that way because of the terrible abortion stigmas created by society.
People say women who get abortions are selfish in making that decision. I was anything but selfish when I decided to terminate my pregnancy. I considered how negatively it would affect not only my life, but the life of the father’s and his family. Most importantly, I considered what the life of that unborn child would be like. That baby was made out of lust, not love. How could I ever explain that? My mother had me when she was in high school and even though she never made me feel unloved for a second, I know that my existence caused some extra struggle in her life. I didn’t want my child to ever feel unwanted or like a burden, but I knew I wasn’t fit to become a mother and I honestly wasn’t ready to. I also know I would’ve had to make a ton of sacrifices that I wasn’t willing to make at the time. Another major fear I had was one day resenting my child for making me live a life I hadn’t planned for. I know life hardly ever goes as planned, but I believe it’s my personal right to be able to plan my future family. I’m very spiritual and I believe that I gave that life a second chance at living a life that it deserved. It was by far one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my whole life. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through physically and emotionally.
I am not trying to change anybody’s opinion on abortion by sharing my story. I realize that most people who are pro-life won’t ever change their perspective on the subject, and that’s okay. You have every right to feel however you want to, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That is the beauty of this country; we have the freedom of choice. Having said all that, sometimes changes in opinion do occur. My boyfriend of almost three years now was highly against abortion when we first started dating. I remember one night he literally told me, “Women who get abortions should have the doctor end their lives while they’re still on the table.” That was the first time someone I genuinely cared about said something so negative to me about abortion. Even pro-life strangers weren’t usually that brutal about their opinion. I was hurt, not just at what he said, but because I realized for the first time that my abortion would affect my relationships with others for the rest of my life.
No matter how the pregnancy goes, when a woman becomes pregnant her life changes. Whether a woman gets an abortion, gives the baby up for adoption, has a miscarriage, or carries the baby to term, that woman is forever changed by the experience. I carry that weight with me every single day, I made my bed and I will always have to lay in it. I knew I had to tell my boyfriend that I had an abortion. I felt like if we had any chance at a long term relationship, then I needed to be completely honest with him in the beginning. I sat him down one night soon after he expressed his harsh opinion on abortion, and I told him my story. I was able to remain calm; I told him that I totally understood if he wanted to end things with me. His response took me completely by surprise. He thanked me for being so honest, and he explained to me why he was so against it. Someone he loved dearly had gone through a horrible miscarriage. I shared another part of my life with him and told him that someone I am very close with also went through a bad miscarriage, and in my opinion miscarriages and abortions are totally different subjects.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t have sex with the thought that if I did happen to get pregnant on accident then I would just get an abortion. Most women don’t think that, and the women who choose to terminate their pregnancy have their own reasons for doing so. We are not spitting in the face of women who have struggled becoming mothers. I know there are thousands, if not then millions of women out there who want to become mothers more than the air that they breathe and can’t. I feel for all of those women, I would never wish a miscarriage on my worst enemy. What’s more offensive to those women struggling with fertility though, aborting a baby because you know you’re not ready to raise it, or keeping that baby and not cherishing it? Adoption was simply not an option for me, I know I would never be strong enough to do that and it would only cause more heartbreak if I backed out of the adoption last minute. My boyfriend is pro-choice now and we’ve even talked about our options if I ever become pregnant unexpectedly. When people ask me if I would get another abortion I can honestly tell them that I don’t know. It really would depend on my situation at that time. If I still wasn’t ready then I probably wouldn’t have the baby, but that’s something I would have to go through to really know.
I do not regret my abortion, if I could go back in time I wouldn’t change my decision. I know deep down in my heart that I did the right thing for that being. I am sharing my story because I remember how desperate I was to talk to someone who had an abortion so I could relate to them and feel some sense of unity. I needed closure from someone with experience; I needed someone to tell me that I was going to get through it. I wish I had found this website years ago when I was going through my abortion, the stories on this site inspired me to share what I went through. Thank you to everyone who was courageous enough to share their experiences, they made me feel stronger than I ever have before. To every woman going through this I just want you to know that you are not alone, you are not a monster, you are valuable, and you are not your abortion. Don’t let your abortion define you, you define your abortion. You are strong, you are beautiful, you are courageous, and most importantly you are never alone. Please feel free to contact me whenever you feel like you need extra support: firstname.lastname@example.org. I know it may seem foolish for me to send out my email after admitting that I had an abortion, but I feel if I can help another woman who just needs a friendly ear, then I am happy to do so. You can send me all the hate mail you want and I’ll eventually stop reading it, but if you send me your love then I promise that I won’t ever stop receiving it. I didn’t choose to share my story because I’m proud and seeking praise, but I’ll have you know that I’m not ashamed or looking for approval either. I am sharing this part of me for the 1 in 3 women who are no different than anybody else and deserve a little compassion and kindness in their lives.