After a very long walk and many tears, I finally felt relief when I knew that God has different plans for me; this choice was purposeful; he understood my choice and he loved me.
I have a 14-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. I have also had a miscarriage and know how painful losing a fetus can be. I had an abortion when I was 19 and in college. I am thankful that I was able to get an abortion because if I had not made that decision, I literally would not have had the two children I have right now. My children are the light of my life and no one can make me regret that I had them instead of giving birth when I was a teenager.
I did not take this decision lightly. I consulted with my boyfriend who was in medical school at the time and is now a heart surgeon. As a Southern Baptist young woman, I was shocked to learn that I was pregnant. I had planned to save myself for marriage and when that didn’t happen, I thought I was responsible enough to have taken every precaution to not get pregnant. I would like to tell you that my decision-making process was like making a pros and cons list, but it wasn’t. I took a long walk along the river and prayed and prayed and prayed for guidance. While I appreciated my loving boyfriend’s input, there was only one place I turned to know the right thing to do. After a very long walk and many tears, I finally felt relief when I knew that God has different plans for me; this choice was purposeful; he understood my choice and he loved me.
It would be dramatically useful to tell you that if I had not had an abortion, my life would have been terrible– I wouldn’t have finished school or I wouldn’t’ have been able to provide for my child. But I really can’t say that because I just don’t know. All I know is that this is the path I was meant to have. This is the life I thank God for every day.
Interestingly, we have fewer abortion rights now than we did right after Roe V Wade. States are removing access to abortion care and piling on restrictions, while at the same time, making it harder to get birth control and slashing billions from public education, childcare and health care. It’s time to hear from the experts: women. We know what we need and don’t need. We don’t need a state-mandated 48-hour waiting period to “make up our minds.” We don’t need to be told we must look at an ultrasound of our pregnancy. We don’t need politicians to force words into our doctor’s mouths.
If we don’t start speaking the truth, then the anti-choice propaganda will continue to take over, enabling the government to have more power over our lives. State politicians and our fellow Tennesseans need to hear women share their abortion experiences so that we may foster compassion, sympathy and respect for each other.
Francie, Middle Tennessee