Growing up in a religious household meant I made promises as a young girl that I didn’t understand, and promising that I would stay a virgin until I was married was the biggest one. I was expected to make better decisions than my parents did.
My mother was once a single mom, and she knows firsthand the consequences of being with the wrong person. So, because of her horror stories, I vowed to be a virgin until I was married. Then, I met my boyfriend.
He made me feel safe and loved in a way I had never experienced. I had never been in a long-term relationship with someone I felt truly connected to. A love like that could only come from God, right? So we had sex. I was ready to take that step with him because we had talked about the future of our relationship.
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I Was Shocked to Learn I Was Pregnant After Taking Plan B
At that point, I hadn’t told my parents much about my boyfriend. They didn’t even know he was my partner, let alone that we were sexually active. I was used to keeping secrets from my family to maintain the peace. They wanted to know every aspect of my life, but I chose not to share much of anything because they could be very pushy. I couldn’t be open with people who tried to force conversations out of me.
In July of 2021, I felt off. I had just taken a Plan B pill, and I knew those messed with my hormones and could affect my PMS. This wasn’t my first rodeo, but it was a bit more intense this time. My nipples were sore; I was extremely tired; and I had body aches. Like every other time we’d experienced the side effects of Plan B, my boyfriend reassured me that I wasn’t pregnant. Even though I was only a day late, I knew that I should take a pregnancy test.
We went to his apartment after we bought the test because I didn’t feel safe doing so in my parents’ house. It seemed like it took no time at all for that little stick to tell me I was pregnant.
All the stress and worry rushed on me at once. I fell to the floor and started screaming. My boyfriend ran to me and tried to calm me down. “It’s going to be OK.”
No, it wasn’t.
At that moment, I knew I had to make a decision. My boyfriend was supportive of whatever choice I would make, but I knew he would prefer for me to get an abortion. And that’s what I wanted too.
I Couldn’t Tell My Parents I Was Pregnant
I knew if I told my parents that I was not only having premarital sex but I was also pregnant, the news wouldn’t be received with an open mind. My parents are both leaders in the church, and I saw how people treated the pastor’s daughter when she was having a child out of wedlock. There was so much guilt and shame put on her pregnancy that I wasn’t prepared to take on. However, if I were to get an abortion, I wouldn’t be able to tell my parents that either out of fear of rejection. In Christianity, abortion is a sin, and telling my parents would lead to that same guilt and shame.
I had a choice to make, and I chose abortion. I never thought I would even be in a situation where that would be a choice. Because of my upbringing, I was pro-life. I was young and didn’t have any experience. I’d never had to make a grown-woman decision in my life.
That decision hurt my heart. All I’ve ever wanted was to have a baby and a family. Being a mom is such a high honor. I saw all the pain I went through as a child, and I wanted to be able to give a person more love than I experienced. And choosing to abort my baby just seemed like the exact opposite of what I would want to do to my child.
But I didn’t want to feel unsafe in my own home. For a lot of my life, I have felt like the rebel of the family. While I do consider myself a Christian, I am more liberal and free-spirited than my parents. I didn’t always feel accepted and seen by my family. And giving them a grandchild before I gave them a son-in-law felt as if I was giving them a reason to treat me differently.
To Keep Peace in My Family, My Abortion Has to Stay a Secret
I got an abortion even though I believe in God. In the week I had to wait for that abortion, I cried every day. I had to remember who God was to me, not who I was taught God was. God already forgave me. God loved me and was going to be by my side, despite what I felt about myself.
On August 13, 2021, I got an abortion and kept it a secret because my religious family wouldn’t accept me if they knew. I think secrecy is the only way I can keep my autonomy. It is the only way to keep the peace between my mother and me. I even scheduled the appointment when they would all be out of town. I couldn’t face them. I was in so much pain during and after, and I told my mom that I just got my period earlier. My boyfriend and I have a code name for the abortion: “the appointment.”
Since my “appointment,” I have gained confidence in my religious beliefs and my adulthood. I am my own person, and I decide my life choices. I don’t know if I will ever tell my parents. Their judgmental nature keeps me from being honest about a lot of things. My parents’ opinions do not send me to hell or get me into heaven. I am an adult, and I am allowed to make life-changing decisions without consulting another adult.
And now I am pro-choice, and I understand the importance of my own body’s autonomy.