Taylor | East Tennessee

“It took me years to realize that choosing to terminate that pregnancy was the best decision for me. I would not be where I am today had I not chosen to have an abortion. I have two beautiful children, I go to school full time, and my life path is headed in a direction I never could have dreamed.”
I was spending the weekend at my boyfriend’s house. He was in the military at the time and I was 19 and he was 21. I was feeling super crazy. I was just mean the whole weekend and I was crying over everything, just really emotional. Finally, I was like “I think I need to take a pregnancy test.” I just didn’t know why I was feeling so irrational. When I took it, I was legitimately shocked by my positive result because I was on the pill. I just cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t believe it. I just kept thinking about how disappointed my parents were going to be, and how my relationship wasn’t really in a place where I felt it could survive pregnancy. I initially was going to continue the pregnancy. Before, when my boyfriend and I had discussed the what ifs of an unplanned pregnancy, I had always said that due to my goals and dreams, I would not continue a pregnancy. At the time I was in school and I wanted to go on to med school. My boyfriend had expressed concerns about fertility issues in his family, and had concern that he would experience issues as well, so he felt he would want to keep a pregnancy, regardless of timing. Well, when we were actually put in this position it was flip-flopped. He was saying “well, maybe an abortion wouldn’t be the worst thing.” I was feeling that I didn’t know if I could do that. I already felt such a strong pull and connection to this pregnancy and I was experiencing this maternal protection. I was plugged into something bigger. I felt very insecure and very unstable because he was getting distant. He then said, “Just know at the end of the day, I’ll always be there for my child.” Then I started to feel that I didn’t know if keeping the pregnancy was the best thing. I didn’t ever want to raise a child in a split home. I felt that if we weren’t going to be a team or a unit then I didn’t want to go into this. I knew that I could adult if I needed to. I could suck it up, make the hard decision, and figure out how to navigate this. I knew that I could do it. I didn’t know that he could do it. I felt, “I’m not about to force someone to do something they’re not capable of doing.”

So, I chose to terminate the pregnancy. I had looked into Planned Parenthood and the two locations local to me did not provide that service. So I used google and found another clinic in the area that did. I chose to do the pill procedure; the medical version. It was awful. So painful. So emotional. It lasted three weeks of just bleeding and cramping and crying. I was so miserable. I felt like the biggest piece of shit in the whole world. I was having these thoughts in my head of “You’re a murderer”, which was awful because I don’t believe abortion is murder. I would never say that to someone who chose to terminate a pregnancy. I’m very scientific about it, a cluster of cells, and the first trimester is just cellular. I had this message playing in my head that I didn’t even believe, but I felt it so deeply because I had felt the connection be severed with the life I chose not to bring into the world. It was intense. It was really a grieving process for me. It lasted a really long time. I’m very surprised with how I felt about it. I’m not a very religious person. I’m very pro-choice and always have been. Yet, I personally for myself felt awful. I regretted my decision for a long time.

It took me years to realize that choosing to terminate that pregnancy was the best decision for me. I would not be where I am today had I not chosen to have an abortion. I have two beautiful children, I go to school full time, and my life path is headed in a direction I never could have dreamed. It was definitely the wisest decision I could have made for the circumstance I was in. The mom I am now is not the mom I would have been at 19. I have a lot of tools now that I didn’t have at 19. I don’t think I could have been the same mom and I don’t think I could have given my heart and soul to my role in motherhood had I chosen to continue that path. It wouldn’t have been ideal for anybody. I think we made the best decision.

I find it shocking when I see women generalized, individuals making comments about women using abortion as birth control. I know lots of women who have chosen not to continue pregnancy and all of them have really struggled. It’s really expensive. Especially if you don’t have somewhere near that will provide that service. It’s scary. It’s painful. It’s emotional. Most of the women I know who had surprise pregnancies were on the pill, or had an IUD, they had condoms that broke, or they used Plan B and it didn’t work for them. It wasn’t really that generalization that you see played up by people who don’t want to give women full control over their body and their future.
Reflecting back, I really wish I had been able to not shame myself. I think it is so important for people to treat THEMSELVES how they treat others. I think that it’s so important even if someone is accepting of other people, it is also really important to be accepting to yourself when you’re trying to figure things out. You should just be as kind and loving to yourself as possible. Whatever decisions you’re making in your life.

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