Tracy | East Tennessee
“We did everything possible…contraceptive wise…to prevent pregnancy but my contraceptives failed and I got pregnant. I did not want a child…I wasn’t married…I wasn’t financially able to take on this responsibility alone. I had never wanted children.”
When I was a child, I knew that I never wanted to be pregnant and I never wanted children. As young as 4 years of age, I started saying that I would never have children. I had siblings who grew up in the home with me, so I was not an only child. As I got older, I still knew…I did not want children.
In the late 70s, when I turned 18 years of age, I started asking, “Can I have my tubes tied”? Of course, women at that time, were not, and still are not, allowed control of their own bodies. The medical establishment responded to my request with, “No, you’re too young to make that decision. You might want children one day”. I assured them that I would not want to take that path. The physician, reluctantly, prescribed birth control pills for me with the admonishment that “these pills are not a license to have sex.” When I turned 21, I asked again if I could have my tubes tied and, yet again, the medical establishment would not approve the tubal ligation, responding that I was a young woman and did not know my own mind or body; that I might change my mind some day and want a child. I knew I would not.
When I was 29, I met a man whom I liked very much and thought that I might like to spend the rest of my life with him. I was not certain the relationship would result in marriage, but I was hopeful. It’s ridiculous to think that I wouldn’t want to have sex; especially with someone I thought I might like to share my life with. It’s a hard wired drive/need of humans. We did everything possible…contraceptive wise…to prevent pregnancy but my contraceptives failed and I got pregnant. I did not want a child…I wasn’t married…I wasn’t financially able to take on this responsibility alone. I had never wanted children. I discussed the situation with the gentleman I was involved with and he completely left it up to me. He washed his hands of it…”Do what you want”. So, I made the choice. I opted to terminate the pregnancy through abortion. I came here to Knoxville, December 15th, 1989…I still remember the date. I went through the procedure and it went well. The staff were kind, considerate and caring. I had a counseling session prior to the procedure. I was never pressured and felt safe in their hands. It was totally my decision to have the procedure. I was fine physically, mentally and emotionally. I would like to say at this point, that it was not an easy choice to make….I thought long and hard about it and I looked at all options available…but I knew my circumstances, I knew my heart and mind, and that heart and mind wanted no pregnancies and no children.
It was the only pregnancy I ever had. I don’t look back and wonder, “What if..”? I have never regretted my decision, nor, have I ever had any sadness or guilt. I did what was right for me. All women deserve that opportunity, the opportunity to make their own choices regarding reproduction and their health; and they deserve to make it without judgment or stigma attached. The only person who truly knows that woman’s needs…..is the woman herself.
Having an abortion did not “damage” me in any way. It did not “destroy my life”, nor did it “scar me forever”. I have done well post abortion. I had a medical career I loved, I’ve now been married to a wonderful man for almost 21 years, and I am enjoying my new career as an artist. I am thankful that I had the ability to do what was right for me and what I needed to do at that time in my life.
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