When I turned 16, I finally got the courage to ask my mother for birth control. I had been dating my boyfriend for a year, and I was ready to become sexually active—with protection. We were driving back from the store when I blurted “I need to go to the doctor.” Naturally, she was alarmed and asked why. I quickly whispered, “I need birth control because I have really bad cramps” (my friends had told me to do this to make sure she said yes).
I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and scared. What if my own mother was upset with me for asking?
That’s when she told me the story of her abortion.
“I don't ever want you to feel alone or unsupported in your decisions about your health and body.”
She was 17 and a junior in high school. She had been dating her boyfriend for a little over a year. And she found out she was pregnant. She knew she didn’t want to marry her boyfriend, and she knew she wasn’t ready to have kids. She knew she would likely have to give up school, soccer, and so many other things she wanted to do before she became a mother.
So she decided to have an abortion. She went to her local clinic alone, and had the process done that day. She told no one. Not her mom, her boyfriend, not even her best friend.
“I have never once regretted my decision,” she told me. “I was able to graduate high school, attend college and get a master’s degree in teaching, and successfully raise you and your brother—all of which would have been much harder if I’d had a baby. It was the right choice. But I was completely alone. I don’t ever want you to feel alone or unsupported in your decisions about your health and body.”
We scheduled the doctor’s appointment that day. I’m lucky to have a mother who understood and supported me. One day, when I choose to have children, I hope to be able to tell them the same thing my mother told me: I will always support you.