I had an abortion, because I was pregnant at a time when virginity and chastity was still a virtue.
I was in a relationship with my high school sweetheart and found myself pregnant at the age of 17, a very immature 17 at that. We did not plan to have sexual relations. We were two teens, alone, with too much privacy. One thing led to another, and we “went all the way”, without protection. I grieved for my lost virginity immediately after and was terrified that I would get pregnant. I was panicked. I felt that I had let God down. I begged Him not to let me get pregnant. I was ashamed and embarrassed and sorry I had let my parents down. I didn’t want anyone to know I was pregnant. I had plans to go to school to be a nurse and did not want to put that off. I just wanted my life back to normal.
I had been to my family doctor a couple of weeks prior to having sex for the first time, because I had found a lump in my breast. The school had taught us about self-breast exam. My mom was with me at my follow-up appointment. I had to tell my doctor that I had not had my period and broke down in tears. He ran a pregnancy test. It was positive. He asked me if I wanted to have the baby. I told him no. He left the room and came back after a few minutes with the name, address, and phone number of an abortion clinic in New York.
My boyfriend was supportive when we found out I was pregnant. He wanted to marry me. I thought I loved him, but I was too embarrassed and afraid to have the baby. I didn’t want to embarrass my parents, and I wanted to just get on with my life.
Meanwhile, I finished the last few weeks of the school year. I attended the prom and my graduation pregnant, an upcoming breast biopsy and abortion hanging over my head. Little did I know that that breast biopsy would develop into cancer, and I would undergo a mastectomy and chemo twenty-two years later, a fact that is never mentioned in medical journals.
I was still dating my boyfriend. We continued seeing each other, even after the abortion.
Mom and I both bought the lie…that It’s just a blob of tissue until the second trimester. The sonograms were not as detailed then. We didn’t have such a clear image of embryos in 1971. But Daddy was against it. He said he would not go with us. Mom told him we would go without him. There was not much arguing, but Daddy did go with us. It would forever be our “dirty little secret” Once I had the abortion, we NEVER spoke of it again.
When we got to New York, the neighborhood where we found a motel was not a great neighborhood. The motel was more like a no tell motel.
My parents took me to the clinic. I’m not sure if they stayed and waited, or if they went for breakfast. While I was there, I was treated with respect. I was taken to a room with a small clean bed, and someone came in and explained everything to me. They told me they would send me home with a Rx to keep me from bleeding too much and not to let my parents see it. I told him they were with me, and he seemed shocked. I don’t remember anything about the procedure.
I was not awake during the abortion procedure. I didn’t have any pain or hear anyone talking or suctioning. When I left, I had some cramping but no out of the ordinary or alarming blood flow.
My parents and I went to Atlantic city from there and took a few quick photos as proof we went to Atlantic beach for the weekend. That is what we told the family when we asked them to check on the dog while we were away. It would forever be our “dirty little secret” Once I had the abortion, we NEVER spoke of it again.