I was sixteen, wasn’t on birth control, and the condom broke. The Plan B pill was only available if you were seventeen or older, and I didn’t have anyone I felt I could ask to buy it for me. When my my period didn’t come, I had a sinking feeling.
“There was someone to hold your hand or comfort you every step of the way.”
I took four tests, all positive. I wasn’t shocked but I just remember that my heart was racing and I could see my potential future crumbling. I knew immediately that I was going to get an abortion, but how? In Florida you have to be 18 to have an abortion without having to have parental consent or a judicial bypass. I couldn’t tell my parents; they were religious, and I had grown up listening to my father saying horrible and negative things about abortions and sex before marriage.
I opted to try for a judicial bypass. When calling, I found out that it may take months to meet in a court and then you potentially receive the bypass. I read online that it may take so long that you could no longer legally get an abortion. I was not okay with that.
With some support from a teacher, I finally told my mom. I had never seen her so angry in my life but I saw in her face what I had realized too, my future was crumbling before her eyes.
She got me to see her gynecologist who then recommended a clinic in town. There, I was treated with such respect and kindness. They had someone to hold your hand or comfort you every step of the way.
Seven years later I still look at this situation as a positive one. I have had no regrets. I have been able to accomplish so much in my life but I have also worked to advocate the importance of sexual and reproductive health. Now as an RN, I hope to continue the push for both women’s and men’s reproductive rights and be an education resource about sexual health. Without so many amazing women in history, that line wouldn’t have been drawn for me. So today I’m drawing the line to stop our rights being taken from us now.