I will always remember the day I found out I was pregnant and had to tell my boyfriend at the time. I was not in a good relationship at the time, emotional abuse was the least of it, and none of my friends or family members liked the male I was involved with at the time. No one supported it, and that should have been my first sign.
I was absolutely terrified to tell him, and he did not take it well. There was no other option but abortion. This pregnancy was a wakeup call for me as I could not imagine spending more time with him and I could not imagine being a mother in my very early 20s.
In North Carolina, there are strict abortion laws and very few places to get an abortion. The first place I sought help actually turned out to be an anti-choice place in disguise and they would not even discuss options or procedures for abortions. I finally figured out I would have to drive over an hour away to Planned Parenthood for help.
We made an appointment and drove to Planned Parenthood for the first appointment. They confirmed the pregnancy and reviewed North Carolina laws with me. When I got my abortion, and still now, the North Carolina law requires an ultrasound prior to the abortion, state-directed counseling that included information that seemed to discourage an abortion AND a 72 hours waiting period after your first appointment before having the procedure. It all felt like a punishment designed to make me change my mind.
An even more absurd NC law now exists that requires doctors to send the ultrasounds of women seeking abortions to state officials.
It was very restrictive when it was my decision and, to me, it felt very much like the state was trying to persuade me against my own decision, which I should have a right to with my own body.
Ultimately I chose the Misoprostol route, which was very painful with the cramping induced for me, but that was the best choice for me. I paid out of pocket since it’s not covered under insurance and, being under my mother’s insurance at the time, I would not have wanted it on any record my conservative mother could see.
I took the Misoprostol pill and went through all the steps and experience in my single occupant college dorm room. I was miserable, I felt tremendous pain from the cramps and, with all the heavy bleeding, I was very nauseous.
Does the guilt still get to me? Yes.
But I will always remember it was the best choice for me at the time and I do not regret my decision. I hope to help other women by sharing my story.