Paige

I was 18 and in my last year of high school.  I was living with my parents and I was in an abusive relationship.  The fact that I was in an abusive relationship was not a factor in why I chose to have an abortion.  In fact, quite the opposite.  This person wanted me to have a baby and it was terrifying to tell him that that was not going to happen.

My boyfriend at that time was very hostile and very anti-choice.  I had to deal with him calling me a “baby-killer” and other unkind comments.  I also remember a friend of his making a snide comment about his wife having had an abortion.  I felt certain that his comment was made to make me feel guilty.

I remember another friend of mine (a teacher’s aide that I had become close to) who became very upset with me when I told her that I was thinking about an abortion. She told me that I “had no right” to do that and that I was “playing God.”  Even at 18, I remember thinking that I, in fact, had every right to do this and that God had absolutely nothing to do with my decision.  However, at that time, I didn’t have the bravery needed to tell her that.  It’s funny, I had forgotten about that incident until just now.  Thinking about makes me feel rather irate.

I had a lot of support from my mom who is very pro-choice.  I had some support from friends, but like many women, I didn’t tell many people because of the shame.  As well, I and my friends were young, so I didn’t know who to ask for support and my friends didn’t know how to give it.  As an adult, when friends of mine were faced with an unplanned pregnancy, I have been sure to ask them what kind of support I could provide them.

There is still so much stigma around abortion.  Women are already made to feel shameful about their sexual selves and then when we “get ourselves into trouble” we are made to feel that it never would have happened if we had just stayed “chaste” to begin with.  How can we talk about abortion, when we don’t even have permission to really talk about/have/pursue/enjoy sex?

Sexual women and women who have had abortions are still painted as “easy” women, “dirty” women, women with Low Moral Standards, women who “no one will marry.”  Our sexual freedom has improved, but when you look at places like the current US government and the Christian right, you realize that in many ways, it is still in the dark ages.

How does this make me feel?

Really fucking angry.

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