Draw the Line

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Felicia

Texas

Topics: Abortion, Access and Affordability
Area of Life Affected: Education, Other Children

A Hard-Working Mom

When I found out I was pregnant at 20 with my son, I was told how stupid I was. That I would be another statistic. That I would never finish school. One of my college advisers told me that I should just drop out of college because that’s what I would eventually do after having a baby. But I always knew I would finish, even with a baby.

“I knew that if I made that decision, I would never finish school.”

So when I found out I was pregnant for a second time, I knew that I had to make the right decision, not only for myself and my future, but for my family. I was 23 years old, working and going to school full time, raising a 2-year-old. I was about a year and a half away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree and engaged.

My fiancé’s employer was making layoffs in San Antonio. He found another job, three hours away in Houston, Texas, and wanted me to follow him. I made the decision to stay in San Antonio with my son, to finish school. My fiancé visits just about every other weekend and it has worked so far. To avoid paying rent for just my son and me, I made the decision to move back home with family.

Two months after my fiancé moved to Houston, I found out I was pregnant. From the moment I found out, I knew I wanted to have an abortion. I couldn’t talk to my mom; she would go and tell the entire family about my decision. My fiancé wanted to keep the pregnancy, and told me to move to Houston with him.

But I couldn’t. I knew that if I made that decision, I would never finish school. I was working 40 hours a week, taking 15 credit hours, and had my son that I needed to worry about. My fiancé was upset and told me to do whatever I wanted. He said he didn’t want to hear about it and wouldn’t help me pay for it.

It hurt. He’s my fiancé. The father of my son. My high school sweetheart. We had been together for five years already, but I knew what was right for me.

I decided on the abortion, but didn’t have the money to pay for it. This all happened weeks before Christmas, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. A good friend of mine lent me the money and told me: “Pay me back whenever. I do not believe in abortions, I think they’re wrong, but you are a smart woman. You are a wonderful, hard-working mom thinking about you and your child’s future. This is the hardest decision you’re probably ever going to have to make, and even though I do not believe in this, I know you are making the best decision for your son and his future.”

I cried. I didn’t know what to expect. I was grateful for an amazing friend, and felt horrible that she was helping me do something she didn’t believe in.

I told myself that I needed to do this to give my 2-year-old the very best life possible, with his hard-working mom who was able to finish school and proved everyone wrong.

On Saturday, December 12, I pretended as if I was going to work, and instead, I drove to Planned Parenthood to have my abortion at 8am. To my surprise, no one judged me. No one looked down on me. They listened, held my hand, and told me everything would be ok.

The procedure lasted about five minutes. They offered medication for the pain, but if you take it someone has to drive you home. I refused it so that I could drive myself home and wouldn’t need to explain myself to anyone.

This all happened while I took a new position at work where there was a mandatory two-week training. I would make up excuses about illnesses because I didn’t want anyone talking about my decision.

It’s now a year later, and I am planning my graduation party for this May, from Texas A&M University–San Antonio. My son will turn four this year and start school in August, and I’m planning my wedding to my fiancé.

It was the best decision for me at the time. With more and more clinics being shut down in the state of Texas, there are fewer women who are able to make the right decision for themselves without having to jump over obstacles to do it. I do not regret my decision at all. I made the best decision for myself and my family.

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