Our lives are created by the choices we make and those that are made for us. I don’t want people to read this and feel sorry for me. I made one choice that seems to be the concern of many in this country. I made a choice given all of my options, and today I still feel choosing abortion was the right choice for me.

I was a month shy of 16. My mom was a crack addict serving time in prison, my dad and I were barely on speaking terms. I was living in my mother’s house with a woman my mother’s boyfriend had moved in after my mom went to prison, but before he returned to prison.

It was the beginning of Christmas break, and I was at my boyfriend’s house, next door, as usual. He was that one person I could seek comfort from and confide in. We had dated off and on for three years, and we had sex for the first time.

Christmas break carried on but my period never came. The woman living in my house stole a pregnancy test from the local grocery store for me, and, as I suspected, it was positive.
After weighing many options, I decided to get an abortion. While facing zero assistance to cover my medical expenses, my water, gas, and electricity at the house was cut off, after my housemate left. I was only 16, leaving alone with no money. I considered taking matters into my own hands to end my pregnancy like throwing myself down the basement stairs.

Thankfully, with the help of my father and grandparents, we scraped enough money together to go to the Planned Parenthood health center. After my abortion, my father drove me home where I laid in my room in the house by myself for the next two days. I had no phone, and only one person came to see me.

The only thing that I regret about those few days, the only thing that makes me cry, is that a sixteen year-old girl had an outpatient surgical procedure, had made a life altering choice, and she laid in an empty house in a dark room for two days and only one person came to check on her.

Today, with the help of Planned Parenthood clinicians, my husband and I planned our family. I am a mother to two beautiful kids – a boy and a girl. I’ve used Planned Parenthood most of my life – from my abortion, my subsequent birth control options, to pre-pregnancy preparation, and my current screenings and contraception need. I am happy with the choices I made. I am happy I had a choice.

I want all choices and option to be available to every girl. With Planned Parenthood there to provide earlier education to young girls and boys about their birth control options, fewer will have to make the same choice I did. However, the option should be there for the girls like me who will have no one to come and check on them.