NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is collecting stories from women about their experiences with reproductive rights.
I was a college student in 1994 when I had my abortion. It was the right choice for me because I was single and it was an unplanned pregnancy. I assumed getting my abortion would be a simple doctor's visit but I was wrong.
It was 1979. I was sweet sixteen, a high school junior. I was pregnant. He was in the navy. I did not want to be his waitress wife. I wanted to be the first in my family to go to college. So, first we told his family. We knew they would not kill him. Then, we all told my family. We all decided that I would have an abortion, though he said he would marry me. His parents promised my parents he would-but I wanted to go to college. I knew I could not be a good enough mother or he a good enough father. I did not even want him for my husband. He was relieved.
I'm stunned. I'm utterly, completely stunned. I'm shaky and anxious and shocked beyond belief. I live in rural Ohio and I have been denied EC.
I knew I was probably going to keep the pregnancy, but I didn't want to be preached at about my choice. All I wanted was someone to talk to. I called around to find a place that would offer me the counseling I needed, but it was difficult. Eventually I called Preterm, an abortion clinic in Cleveland, and found out I could get counseling there. I went and had a great talk with a wonderful women, which helped immensely.
After two days my doctor became concerned and prescribed birth control pills to me and let me know that when I began taking the pills my body should stop the bleeding (I was now getting dangerously anemic). A friend went to pick up my prescription and my health insurance company refused to cover the prescription, because it was for birth control pills, regardless of the fact that it was to save my life, to stop uterine bleeding.
I'm a rape survivor. If I had become pregnant, by Ryan's logic, I would have had to give birth at age 11. For nine months, I would have had to carry to term the child of a man who with intent and malice aforethought savaged me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Even though abortion was legal in 1974, that was at a time when pregnancy outside of marriage still carried a scarlet letter. I didn't tell anyone about the rape until I was 24; to whom would I have turned to about a pregnancy at 10-going-on-11? I can say, without doubt or hesitation, that I would have committed suicide rather than let anyone know that I was pregnant, even though the "method of conception" was horrifically violent, excruciatingly painful, and without my consent.