I can't exactly remember how I told my boyfriend at 16 that I was pregnant...

“I can't exactly remember how I told my boyfriend at 16 that I was pregnant. I do remember that he was a jerk with a fast red car and me being pregnant was not something he could handle at the time.

I grew up conservatively with a family who didn't talk much about well, anything really. Birth control was out of the question and it was something I didn't know much about.

My world stood still. I was scrambling, trying to grab ahold of something solid, some answer or solution to what felt like a whirlwind inside of me.

I can't recall how I learned about planned parenthood but I sure remember how they impacted me once I did. I peed in a cup and it confirmed that I was in fact pregnant at 16. I guess reality didn't really hit until that point. I broke down. I.was.so.scared. For my future, for my safety, for this baby inside of me.

I walked out in my white sundress into the beautiful sunshine and my life was forever changed. My story about how I got my abortion is a long one. I remember feeling safe. Taken care of. But it's something I think I emotionally had to block off. The real story is how it all impacted my life.

The jack ass with the red car dumped me soon after and I vowed after everything I had endured that I would educate myself on MY BODY and I was given a chance to be a teenager again. Although I made this life-changing decision and I knew I would never be the same again, I was still just a 16 year old kid. I dated a few more jerks with fast cars (and shitty trucks) and had my heart broken a few more times. I even broke a few myself.

I graduated from high school and then college and I ran into that jerk with the red car some years later. Turns out, he grew up a little bit himself. I had forgiven him for I knew he was just a kid himself. He wasn't such a jerk anymore and I knew he carried a scar like I did. Today, we're married with a beautiful two year old son.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the decision I had to make and what was lost, but also what was given back to me. That's the thing with abortions, it's never something you "want" to do. I don't know what my life would look like if I hadn't been helped by all the people that I was.

I decided shortly after my son was born to go back to school to become a nurse. I hope to help girls like myself one day and give them a chance like so many did for me when I was 16.

I want to end stereotypes. I want to end the silence. I was not an "evil, irresponsible" abortion seeker. I was a kid raised in a family who didn't talk about sex.

I don't walk around with a sign saying, "I've had an abortion" but if it's ever something discussed I share my story. Not in shame, not in regret, just as a chapter in my life. Now, it is more important than ever to end the stigmas around abortion and to STAND up.

I want to say thank you to all the men and women that stood by me at 16. You gave me a chance. You gave me a choice.” —Anonymous

#relief #prochoice

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