by Debbie (California)
I was 17 and in my senior year of High School when I had unprotected sex with a boyfriend who was much older than me. It was only my second time having sex, so I was a little stunned that it could happen that quickly. I was so naive. I grew up in a Catholic home where sex was not talked about and you were expected to wait until you were married. I felt a lot of shame over being pregnant. When I told my boyfriend he denied that he was the father. I was so hurt.
I had a sister that also got pregnant in her senior year of High School and my mother had forced her to get married because “nobody else will want her.” I remember my sister crying on her wedding day. (That marriage ended in divorce) I clearly remember that I did not want that for myself. Abortion had just become legal the year prior, but you needed parental consent. I went alone to a remote clinic and lied about my age. I paid for the abortion with my own money that I had saved up from working part-time.
I went on to complete college, get married, and have two wonderful kids. I have no regrets. I consider it the best decision I ever made and a turning point for me because it was the first time I took control of my own life.