There is a lot of difficulty being a teenager. This could include, discovering yourself, bullying, drinking, drugs, or even having an abortion with your first boyfriend. Some of these issues are deemed more common or “acceptable” in our society. Abortion as a teen was not really acceptable or ever talked about to me. This is an underlying issue that us young women have to deal with and are ashamed to speak out about.
Today, I would like to talk about my experience being a sixteen year old dealing with pregnancy, abortion, and the trauma that came with it. The first reaction when people hear that a sixteen year old is pregnant is usually that it's her fault, she was irresponsible, she should’ve known better, blah, blah, blah.
What about the fact that my school lacked proper sexual education and never taught us the importance of contraception? How about the fact that I never had “the talk” about safe sex with my parents? What about the boy I was dating at the time who was only there for the easy parts? I felt like all the physical and mental pain was put on me. This is the main reason why I felt so alone during this period of my life.
At the time, being a teenager dealing with pregnancy, I was embarrassed. I felt that I was the only one this happened to but looking back, this is something that is more common than I knew. “3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.” Unfortunately, this sensitive topic is too difficult to be talked about by many people.
Two of my friends and I went to a few facilities to talk about my choices. There were three options, one was to keep the baby, two was adoption, or choose the route of abortion. All options seemed impossible to imagine. Thankfully I had the freedom of choice based on living in the state of California.
My ultimate decision came down to two questions. Will having a baby be a decision I regret for the rest of my life and was the father going to be a good dad? I felt that I would be raising the child on my own and knew that parenthood is the leading cause for dropping out of high school. My dream is to be with someone trustworthy, living together, getting married, and when ready…having my baby.
Even though this was a decision that I knew would haunt me in the following years, I knew that if I had a child I would find myself regretting the decision. Therefore, I decided to follow through with the abortion. Although I felt alone, I found the strength within myself, close friends, and my mother. They helped me through this process as I felt that they were the only people I could tell that wouldn’t judge me.
Another matter people fail to mention are the aftermath effects of being a teenager who goes through an abortion. From my experience, the initial effects after going through this process is relief. The reason why I say relief is because it's almost like a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders. And now your life can just resume like it was before, keeping this secret tucked away as if it never even happened.
Stay tuned for Part 2...