Hi, my name is Brittney, my story began when I was 17. High school had been great! I played multiple sports, was in band, and did theater. My social skills were great, life was great! Except in the boyfriend department. My boyfriend of one year at this point was emotionally abusive, we had been on and off for about 3 months, including during prom season. We agreed to be “on” for my senior prom. Prom came and went, then it was time for graduation. For the past month the stomach bug had been going around, I was sick to. I threw up every time I ate, I still partied though, drank, smoked cigarettes, as well as marijuana. The difference between my bug, and the other kids though, is that mine was a baby.

After being sick for three weeks, and my breast tinder, I decided it was time to take the test. I was pregnant. And me and my boyfriend were currently off. I told him and he immediately suggested abortion. He was 17 and already had a 8 month old son. I decided to not make any decisions until a week later, after I graduated.

The day of graduation my family meet at a nice restaurant and at this point I had been skipping meals. I rather not eat and feel good, then eat and be sick. Five minutes before we arrived at my graduation my mom just asked, “Are you pregnant? I won’t be mad if you tell me right now, but if your hiding something from me. I will be pissed.” You see, my mom was a teen mom. She saw right through me. She immediately suggested abortion. Graduation sucked.

The abortion was $300, my boyfriend’s parents and mine meet up and split the cost. The next day I went to the clinic. I saw my baby. Eleven weeks old, appeared healthy, although only I knew what I had put my body and my baby through. I knew if I had this baby there would be an extremely large change this baby would have mental disabilities.

I was seventeen. I wanted to go to college. I could not work at a minimum wage (minimum skilled job) and hope I get lucky and could live off someone else’s money. That’s not right. I would not want my child to make $7.25 for the rest of his/her life, and my mom did not want that for me either.

I did it. I’m not going to lie, it hurt like hell. I bleed for hours, I stained the backseat of my car with blood. Its been four years, and you can still see the outline from the blood.

I am 21 now. I am 24 credit hours away from graduation. I learned, I grew as a person since that day. No matter if I had decided to keep my baby, or if I didn’t I would have a small seed of regret festered inside of me. It will always be there, but I am proud of myself, my family is proud of me. Because I made this decision I will have a steady job, I will have my own home, I am getting the opportunity to grow up. I did not have that chance four years ago, I was clueless to the way the world works, four years ago I did not even know how to set up a bank account, or purchase my own car let alone a house!

When I get married one day, and have a home, I will have a baby. I will raise that child knowing I did my best. I could not have said that four years ago. Although I will never have another abortion again because I learned that prevention is protection. It was not fun to lose my baby, but I’m so lucky that I had the choice. And now one day, I can bring a child into a happy, healthy home. That every child deserves.

Every time I hear the debate on abortion on TV I become infuriated, who is our government to decide if I am ready to have a child. That is my rights. Next, the government will tell me when I am ready to eat dinner right? Abortion is not for everyone, but everyone deserves the right to decide how they want to live their life.