When I first found out I was pregnant, I was age 25. At that age it isn’t terribly taboo to be pregnant or be a mother. I was, at that point, working as an executive assistant for a incredibly wonderful and financially stable hedge fund. To most people, I could technically support this child. During this time some I was in the middle of a break up with my on-again-off again boyfriend and living a bit recklessly and going through major bouts of depression. I had no idea at the time that I could be pregnant. I was always safe, though not on BC – birth control makes me very bipolar – I also had very irregular periods so thought nothing of it. I started getting awful head aches and stomach aches in the morning and noticed my boobs were sore and growing. Note: I’ve got small boobs and they never get sore – even while PMS’ing. I thought okay this might be weird – I should note I was also spotting. I knew something was not right. Finally I took an at home test to confirm what I knew. I was about 2 months pregnant. My then off-on BF was away on vacation. I should note he is now my current BF and its been 3 years since this all happened. I told my 2 best friends who I knew had previously had abortions. I was crying and freaking out. How could this happen, why did this happen, man this is expensive. Luckily for me, my employer offered an expense program that covered the cost of my abortion. When looking at abortion providers I knew that I could go to Planned Parenthood. That day, I went in – they were all so supportive, kind and understanding. I sat in the waiting room and was sitting next to two young girls I’d say about 15 & 16 respectively. We started chatting, when they asked how old I was, when I told them they were shocked and asked why I wasn’t keeping it – I simply told them, “girls, I might be 25 but there is no way I am responsible enough to take care of another life, to give it everything it needs.” I think I calmed them a bit – both were upset and nervous, maybe being older and seemingly like them calmed them down. I was alone – my friend dropped me off before work ready to pick me up when I called. My boyfriend was away. I didn’t want to tell him – this was my battle but with convincing from my friends knew it had to be done. He was upset but understood and respected my decision, available to support me. The woman called my name, I went in and explained my situation, they asked every question thoroughly – who knows? do you need assistance? are you having doubts? etc. – I answered each and they performed the sonogram. I saw it, my baby, I called it a baby gerbil – it’s what it looked like. I feel like most people get upset or confused at this point, choosing to not look fearing it will change their mind – for me, it was bittersweet. I knew I could not keep this child, but was excited and relieved to know my body was capable of producing this life. I went through the procedure surrounded by supportive, lovely women. Holding my hand, stroking my hair, and repeating calm words. When it was over and I sat in the waiting room with my crackers and ginger ale, I was relieved. I never felt guilty and I never felt judged. Planned Parenthood provides this ESSENTIAL form of care and love to women going through what might be the toughest decision a woman can make. Without them I may have backed down, or felt bitter about my situation. I am 1 in 3. my mother who was born in 1944 who got pregnant in 1963, and was forced to go to a private Doctor six states away to receive the same treatment as I did without the comfort, is 1 and 3 and she has no shame. Thank you Planned Parenthood and to all offices who provide this delicate service.