I was 15 when my boyfriend and I became pregnant. I didn’t even have a driver’s license, how was I going to take care of a child? I knew that an abortion was the only choice for me, and fortunately my parents were supportive. I had a surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood, and after the procedure I had trouble getting over it. Finally, when I was 20 I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (which I’ve had since birth), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (from the abortion), and Depression. Once I got the diagnosis I began seeing a therapist and taking an antidepressant. Since then, my life has changed completely. I was empowered when I realized that most women did not suffer from the reaction that I did, and I knew that if other women could move on, then I could too even if it took a little more effort. Even though I suffered from PTSD for years, I still do not regret my decision. I know that at the age of 15, and with the anxiety that I had already suffered, keeping the child or choosing an adoption would have caused much more trauma to myself, my child, and everyone around me. I was also fortunate to be able to have a safe abortion, with no protesters around to make things worse.
This year my boyfriend and I are getting engaged and I am graduating from college and I have not suffered any symptoms of PTSD for over a year. I stand by my decision, and I stand by all of the women in the US who deserve the right to make their own decisions about their bodies. I hope for the future that more Americans will stand up for our right to affordable contraception and the right to make our own decisions.