The night I got pregnant I was celebrating two things – handing in my master’s thesis and my birthday. It was a hot summer night, and a good friend introduced me to her friend. I told her I thought he was cute, but I wasn’t looking for anything. I was leaving in a week to return home. Hours later – after many, many drinks – we all ended up in his apartment. I remember lying down on the couch in the living room, just wanting to pass out and hoping not to throw up. But my friend asked what I was doing and lifted me back up, guiding me into his very dark room. It’s a bit of a grey blur, but I remember asking about a condom and I think he held one up. Which is funny, because a few weeks later, half way across the country, I found out I was pregnant.
I was unemployed. I had tried searching for jobs for the past 4 months with not even a single interview. It was several months into the start of the recession. I was broke. I owed my school tons of money. I was living in my parents basement. There was no way I could have a child and give it the life it deserved. I couldn’t even afford the $500 abortion.
I found out I qualified for support from an organization helping poor women get abortions. They paid for part of it. My sister and I paid for the rest.
I don’t remember the exact date, but I remember receiving static as I entered the Planned Parenthood doors, and telling the nurses I knew what I wanted. I remember going into the operating room and crying through the procedure. I had always wanted a child, but not like this, not broke, unemployed and as a single mother. An extra nurse came in and held my hand, trying to distract me.
I don’t regret what I did. My sister, who took me in for a few days after the procedure, became pregnant two months later by her husband. My best friend became pregnant two months after that, with her boyfriend who lived very far away. My child would be a few months older than my nephew. They would have been playmates.
But I don’t regret the decision to abort. I wasn’t financially ready to be a mother. I had a career I wanted to start, not put on hold. In the same situation, I would do so again.