Ebony | Middle Tennessee

I don’t think it has to be a scary experience for everybody. I think everyone has their own individual story.

When I had my abortion, I was 22. It happened out of the blue. I was late, but I wasn’t stressed out about it. In fact, in a previous relationship I thought I was pregnant because I went a whole month without having a period. I went to get a blood test and found out that I wasn’t pregnant, but that stress could really push back your period. So, I woke up one morning and thought that was what it was again. I thought, “Let me just go get a pregnancy test so it can be negative and then I can stop stressing about it. Then it’ll just start.” I went to the grocery store around the corner and bought a pregnancy test. I went home, took the test, and saw that it said positive. I looked at it and thought something must have been wrong. But I was like, no, that’s definitely a plus sign.

So I immediately called my OB/GYN, who was a family friend of ours.The first thing I said was, “Hey, I took a test.” And she said, “It’s positive, isn’t it?” I said, “It is, it definitely is.” And she told me, “Go to Planned Parenthood, walk in there and they’ll take care of you, you can get everything taken care of.”

And that’s what I did. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth for the day. I literally was in pajamas, I looked probably the most a mess I could ever imagine myself looking. I went to Planned Parenthood first, but they hadn’t opened yet. So, one of my friends worked at Pinewood Social here in Nashville and they open at like 6 a.m. and she worked the morning shift. I went in there to her, sat by myself, and asked her to pour me a drink because I was pregnant and was about to have an abortion.

I actually had to work that day. So, I called my boss, who is also someone that I developed a friendship with and asked her, “Hey, this is the situation, I can’t come in, just please kindly don’t mention this to anyone right now.” And she didn’t. One of our other coworkers who we were friends with covered my shift and everything was fine.

And so, after I had my drink at Pinewood, I went into Planned Parenthood. I went in, and went through the entire process. Towards the end of the appointment, I did the pill. So I did the at-home abortion. But what I think is interesting about my story is that for me having it wasn’t traumatic at all. I felt almost nothing.

To me, the hardest part of my abortion story was the guy that got me pregnant. When I realized I was pregnant, I knew he was the last person I had sex with. And the last time I had sex, I knew he knew he did this. He knew he did this. Because I thought he possibly did it, but normally whenever we’ve had slip ups, he always notified me, and gotten the morning after pill…but he didn’t say that this time. Once I thought about it, I realized that he knew what he did and just did not say anything to me. In fact, one of the reasons I was so adamant about it was because I always knew that I would have an abortion. I think for me, the reason why it was not very hard of a decision to make, and I didn’t have to think about it, and I wasn’t sad, was because this particular guy was a piece of shit. So much so that he lied to me about having a child for a year. So, as you can image, not that hard of a decision to have an abortion.

But, I also felt like he needed to know. One, because I felt like he needed to help pay for it. When I told him that day, he answered my first text, and then I told him that I needed him to call me. I was like, “I need you to call me, I don’t want to talk about this over text. We have to talk about this through the phone.” And he wouldn’t do it. Another friend of mine, who I was also texting at the same time, she said you need to just tell him. So, I did. I did not hear back from him for the entire day. For the entire day. It was my good friend, the one who I went to go see at work, who helped me pay for the abortion off the bat. I did not have the full $450 it cost at the time to have the abortion done. So, she met me in the nick of time, right before I had to make that payment, and gave me the remaining cash. Then waited there with me. I think I was there, I think the entire process of being there was at least like…I got there pretty early…so I think they open at like 8 or 9…I don’t think I left there until 2 or 3 o’clock.

I was very much bothered by the fact that I hadn’t heard back from him. It felt like a very huge sense of abandonment, you know what I mean? Someone not helping you through this. Despite what it is that I might be to him. It’s like, be a man. Be responsible. Take care of this. But I was very thankful to have my friend there with me, and she was so much there with me that the next day, when I had to do the at-home miscarriage, she let me stay at her house and her other roommate took care of me through the entire process. I was there all day. Which I was very grateful and thankful for. I will never, ever forget about that. That’s such a big thing, to be there for somebody through that experience. You never forget something like that.

So, for me, that’s pretty much my story when it comes down to what happened. I never told my parents. I still haven’t told my parents. Which is something that I probably will do. I’m now 25, I feel like I’m old enough to where I don’t feel the need to lie about something like that. Especially when it comes to, not just what’s going on in this country at this point in time, but also just the things that I’m involved in and the views that I have. That’s the type of information you have to divulge in order to gain some credibility when talking about such a serious topic. So, it is probably something that I will tell them, but it’s never something that I’ve been ashamed of.

I think that the hardest thing for me was not having that particular guy take responsibility. That was incredibly hard. Especially because I spoke to him later on that day after the abortion happened, and of course he had some excuse as to why he didn’t text back. Then he said he would help out and be there the next day and completely was not, completely bailed. That’s such a vital part of my story because it drives home the point about why I was so adamant about getting it.

And even sitting in that room at Planned Parenthood with some of these girls waiting to get that first initial pill to start the process, some of the girls were talking about how they were there, and why they were there. I was so desensitized and so not bothered by my decision that I asked how and why everybody ended up here. At first it was like, complete silence. I realized how uncomfortable people may have been, or maybe how difficult this process was for some people, more so than it was for me. But hearing all the different reasons as to why people were there, it wasn’t just about…for example, there was a woman there who was in her forties and was just like, “I have too many kids. I have too many kids. I don’t want another one.” And then hearing some of the girls talk about the process of it. For me, it wasn’t painful. Some girls said the at-home abortion was very painful. It was like cramps times ten, which I have absolutely horrible cramps so I’m thinking it’s going to be incredibly painful and it wasn’t really at all for me. But, I also think that’s because of how early I was. I couldn’t have been more than three weeks pregnant, honestly.

For me, it was a pretty painless experience besides the way in which I think I was neglected. That was really the hardest part. But I don’t regret my decision at all. That’s not someone I would want in my life, and I wouldn’t want to bring a child into this life with that person being the father, and him always being in my life. I don’t think I would want to have offspring with that person.

For me, my decision was very, very easy. I think it would have definitely been a little bit more emotional had it been with someone else, a couple of other guys I’ve been with in the past. Because I know they probably would have been a good father, but I just didn’t want to have the child. I still don’t want to have kids until I’m like thirty-something years old. If it happens again, you know, it is what it is. I know some people might sit here and say, “Well, were you using protection?” No, I was not using protection. Was I on birth control? No, I was not on birth control. Some people might say that’s incredibly irresponsible, and maybe so, but shit happens. That’s not an excuse, I’m just saying that shit happens and for me it just wasn’t a scary experience. I don’t think it has to be a scary experience for everybody. I think everyone has their own individual story.

I am so incredibly thankful that I had the resources and the access to Planned Parenthood so that I could do that, that day. I can’t really imagine today having the abortion and waiting 48 hours. I didn’t have to do that then. I got it done right then, that day, and I moved on with my life the next day. That’s exactly how I feel like, if that’s how somebody wants to do it, then that’s how they should have the right to do it. They should definitely be able to do it like that.

To this day, like I said, I’m very open about my experience. I’m open about it because I feel like there’s no need to hide it. But I also feel like, in a way it helps people better understand me and why I’m so hardcore as far as being pro-choice. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. I don’t think it’s a big deal. And I don’t think I would feel the need to share it if it wasn’t under such an attack. I don’t think I would feel the need to sit here and say, “Hey, I did this, it’s okay, I’m fine, I turned out fine.” If you didn’t have people who were so adamant about how bad of thing it is, or how negative of thing it is, or how maybe destructive of an act or practice that it is. I don’t think I would feel the need to disclose all of this information if people didn’t give a reason that I have to defend it. I think that’s what it comes down to, for me, which is why I think I am so vocal about it and not scared to share it. I feel like if you’re willing to judge me, then in my opinion, I think that’s very narrow minded. If you can’t really understand what it’s like, if you’re someone who I feel like if you say you would never do that…you know props to you to have that much confidence. I don’t have that much confidence in myself right now to raise a child. And I don’t think I could let someone else raise it.

We’re all different people. I think we forget that. We’re all very different people, we’re individuals, our brains work differently. The chemicals in our brains react differently. Our bodies are different. Therefore, we’re going to have different decisions. And I don’t think that you can run a country or make policies in a way where you think that people are all the same.

I want anyone who is against abortion to hear my story. I want anyone who can’t decide. My story is really not for the people who are already pro-choice. My story is for the people who can just really not decide, or are against it. I’m someone who will welcome discussion of that opposing opinion than someone who agrees with me, because I feel like the opposing opinion opens more of a space for both parties to learn, to grow and to develop. And for me, to do this is to show people who might be against it or also don’t understand it another perspective. And to just take a second, and think about the other side of the equation.

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