I was a sophomore in college when I took my first pregnancy test. I’ve always had irregular and long menstrual cycles. So it didn’t strike me as odd that it had been at least 6 weeks since my last period. But, it was strange that my small breasts started to feel extremely heavy. I decided to take a pregnancy test just for peace of mind. I didn’t think it would be positive. In fact when I saw two pink lines appear almost immediately, I assumed it meant negative. I thought they were minus signs. I was relieved. I had a few girlfriends in the room for moral support. I can’t remember which one was handed the instructions to me so I could read them again. When I did, I realized that this wasn’t the test on TV with the pink plus sign. On this test two lines meant positive. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I was calling planned parenthood immediately. “There must be a mistake, these home tests aren’t that accurate,” I thought. When I called Planned Parenthood they told me that the home tests were accurate. I could come in for a urine test but the result would be the same. My next question was: Could I come in for a abortion tomorrow? “Sorry” they said, “There’s a 48 hour waiting period and we don’t have an open appointment for two weeks.” Two weeks was too long. I was going home for winter break. This was something I could never tell my parents they are anti-choice. I couldn’t delay my flight home, they would want to know why. And I couldn’t think of a good story. This was before the abortion pill was approved in the United States so even though it was still the first trimester, the only was to have an abortion was through a clinic. I made an appointment in a city near my parents suburban home and waited 3 or 4 weeks. Those weeks were awful, I had finals and I was exhausted from being pregnant. I could barely study and my test scores suffered. I had only been dating the guy who got me pregnant for a couple months. Although it wouldn’t have matter if we’d been dating for a few years. Or if we’d been married for a few years. I wasn’t going to become a mother at 20 years old. He drove me to the airport and gave me half of the cost of the abortion in cash. I never saw him again. My appointment was Dec 28th or 29th. After Christmas but before New Years. I got my best friend to borrow her parents car and drive me to the clinic. The clinic was small and busy. I saw another young woman in the waiting area with her parents. Another woman was with her husband. I waited for a hour by myself. My friend was going to pick me up at a nearby mall in a few hours. When they called me I expected that I would have to endure a speech about my options. I was wrong. The nurse just asked me if I knew what my options were I said yes. And she didn’t say anymore about it. She moved on to explaining what to expect from a D&C procedure and handed me a prescription for some antibiotics. The procedure was painless. And I left an hour or so later unpregnant and relieved. I’m didn’t have what anti-choice advocates would say is a “good reason” for having an abortion. I wasn’t raped. My pregnancy wasn’t a threat to my health. I just didn’t want to be a mom back then. I knew what kind of challenges a very young mother faces. Too many of my cousins got pregnant in their teens. They lived with their parents far into their 20s. More than half never finished college. They didn’t date much and seemed to settle down with first guy who was willing to be a step-dad. They could travel to Europe for 10 days on spring break. They couldn’t go on a cross country roadtrip and camp on the side of the road. They couldn’t major in something interesting yet impractical and figure out what to do with it later. They couldn’t date for fun or take their time before things got serious. Those were all things I did after I had an abortion which would have been diffcult if not impossible with a baby. I didn’t want their lives. I like who I am now because I had an abortion. I would never take that decision back. I wouldn’t be sitting here 20 years later listening to a sleeping baby if I had. I became a mother on my own terms. Having an abortion was one of the best decisions I ever made. As someone who went through a difficult delivery and postpartum recovery I am more pro-choice than ever. Nobody should be forced to carry a fetus to term.