I was 18 years old when I faced an unplanned pregnancy. The college medical facility was banned from discussing any options and was only allowed to say: “It’s your choice.” Upon hearing the news, my boyfriend of two years panicked and broke up with me. I was raised Catholic, was in college, and the only thing I knew was that I was not ready or capable of becoming a single parent. As a child-victim of sexual abuse, I had a long way to go to healthy. I was terrified, alone, and fell into the decision that would haunt the rest of my life.
I took the only available avenue and had an abortion. It was the wrong decision for me. While I was on the table, I was informed that I was farther along then I had thought. Their only concern was getting more money for the procedure. I'll never forget how it felt - the tugging, the pulling. Afterwards, I was forced to bury the memory. Society demanded me to ignore that I ever had a child and live quietly with the shame to protect their allegiance to the illusion of a woman’s right to choose.
For almost two decades I numbed myself with alcohol and destructive relationships clinging to the idea that I had an abortion while keeping the knowledge buried that my child also suffered the abortion. I never became a mother, I never felt I deserved to be one. Over the last few years, I have broken the shackles of shame to reclaim my voice and my lost children.
The only way I can honor the children who never were is to speak out and gently share with other women that they are not actually supporting a woman's right to choose and that I do not thank them for inadvertently protecting those who benefit from abortion on demand. I am silent no more.