I was just graduated from Michigan State University and I found out that I was pregnant after being on the birth control pill. I was on antibiotics at the time for a stomach ulcer and for a UTI and was not warned about back up birth control.

Being 23 at the time, I could have gotten married. In fact, the father said he would marry me if I wanted that but I did not. My boyfriend was younger than me and incredibly immature. He wanted to be with his frat brothers and to drink all the time and I just didn’t want to be tied down to him forever.

I went to the nearest “crisis pregnancy center” not knowing that these centers are usually run by the extreme fringe of the anti-choice movement. I asked for a test and was given one by the worker there. She read the results and didn’t really want to share with me when she read the results. She told me I was not pregnant. Almost a month more passed before I decided to buy a test at the pharmacy. Sure enough, I was pregnant.

I was about 12 weeks along and I was scared beyond belief. I was not mentally or emotionally ready to have a child and without a job, I was not ready to care for anyone much less myself. My parents were paying for my apartment, my car and for anything else I needed since I only had a part-time job that I used to pay for books and incidentals.

I am adopted so I was scared to go to my parents. We hadn’t had many conversations about abortion but I had an idea that they would support me whatever I chose. I told my mother and dad and they were both amazingly supportive. They told me that they too didn’t think I was in the position to have a child and especially with the sometimes emotionally abusive relationship that I was in.

My dad’s teacher’s insurance paid for all but $300 of my abortion and I was grateful that they were both willing to do whatever they could to help me out. I also had a doctor that I was a nanny for who counseled me and found me help in the university town where I lived. Unfortunately, the area would not do a late first trimester abortion unless the fetus had something wrong with it. I was just over 12 weeks at this time.

I found a wonderfully caring clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan (a very conservative town!!!) and I was treated with respect, dignity and kindness. I will never forget that day and although it was hard, I have never doubted my decision. Making that hard choice gave me self confidence because I knew what I could handle and I knew that I was not ready to be a mother.

I have since gone on to have two biological daughters and I have also adopted a dear son. I also had a miscarriage so I feel like I have experienced quite a few reproductive issues at a rather young age. However, even with all of my experiences, I have never doubted myself and the decision that I made for me.

When the time is right, I will tell my children about my experience and I will remind them that we live in a time where that choice may be taken away. And, I will fight for reproductive rights for all women. A person cannot know what they would do unless they have walked in a pregnant woman’s shoes. They may know what they would do for themselves but they cannot make that decision for others.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story.