I was 15 when I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t understand it, how the hell could this have happened to me?
Don’t get me wrong, I knew how babies were made, but I had only had sex twice, my boyfriend used protection both times and I had been on the pill for a month. I was devastated, and saw the life I had planned go up in smoke before my very eyes. I KNEW I did not want to get married, hell I had always known I never wanted to get married, especially at 15 years old, and I had never, ever wanted to have children. I’m one of those women who was born without a single shred of maternal instinct, and that has never changed in the four decades since.
It wasn’t until I went to PP that I found out that the pill usually takes three months to be effective and sadly, condoms don’t work 100% of the time…news to me at the time and a very scary wake up call. I knew then what an animal felt like when it was caught in one of those leg traps; I was frightened, ashamed and horrified that people would find out and think that I was a “slut”, even though I knew I was no such thing. I still think of myself as one of the lucky ones, I had a boyfriend who stood by me and let me make the choice as to what I wanted to do, and when I finally got up the nerve to tell my mother, she shocked the hell out of me by being as supportive as any mom could be. I’m still in awe of her and what she did to ensure I didn’t have to have a child that I was in no way prepared to have. She had a bit of money saved (a just in case fund that was probably meant for a few extras for us kids) which paid for a bus ticket to Buffalo NY and for the fee for the procedure. Abortion was illegal in Canada in those days, so I had no choice but to travel to the US; how sick it makes me to this day when I think about a society that forces a young girl to travel to another country in order to do what comes down to controlling her own destiny.
In no way, and not for a single moment since have I ever regretted my decision. I have always known that I was not meant to be a mother and I am forever thankful that I was not forced to bear a child just because I, like so many other teenagers, acted upon my own natural sexual urges with the first love of my life.
Many years have passed since then, but I’ve never forgotten the kindness and caring treatment I received from the staff at my local PP and the clinic where I got my abortion. It is for this reason that I will never stop fighting for the rights of every woman to be able to make the same choice that I was lucky enough to be able to make.