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Reproductive Rights

This August will be make two years since I had my abortion. It was two weeks before my 18th birthday. Up until that time I personally never thought I could do such a thing. I had considered myself pro- life [until I actually was put in the position]. My boyfriend had told me he would support whatever I wanted to do, I thought he was being supportive of me, yet now I just see it as not wanting to take any responsibility and laying all of the burden on my shoulders. My mother doesn't support what I did either, it seems like almost every time I'm with her she'll comment on it. On mother's day I went to my parents' house - I was in the kitchen with her [My mom] and my baby cousin who was eight months old at the time, I said how I loved infants and she asked how it felt to know I killed one.

Currently I have sole custody of my 11 year old sister, the reason I'm mentioning this is because since she has moved in with me I can't stop thinking about what I did. I don't regret it, I know things would have been different had I had him/her, and being a teen parent was not something I ever wanted to be. My ex told me that after that summer of my abortion I became a better mother to my sister then I was to our child. I just don't understand why everyone wants to make me feel horrible for what I did? If it weren't for them I don't know how I would feel but certainly not like this.

 

I don't think of what it would have looked like, I have a pretty good idea, but for some reason I'm asked that question constantly by close friends. I read some of your other posts and I read that you had one. Do you find it hard to be around pregnant women or young children? I used to when I first had the abortion and now I find myself feeling that way again. I just don't understand why everyone wants to condemn me, am I alone in feeling this way? - Michelle


Thanks so much for your note to FEMINIST.COM and for sharing your story with me. I read your note and kept thinking "I have to tell her about my experience, which was very different." Then I got to the end of your note and realized that you already knew that I had an abortion. I had my abortion when I was 19--10 years ago--and I have never regretted it--nor have I ever felt any guilt about my decision. If anything, I felt guilty about getting pregnant in the first place--I should have known better--but never guilty about the actual abortion.

I know that it's next to impossible to ignore the feelings/comments of those around you, so I know that is never a realistic response. However, what you can do is to be firm in your decision and not be influenced by their thoughts. For instance, you have to think of what your life could possible be like if you had chosen to have the child:

1.) Your boyfriend might not be in the picture anymore.
2.) You would be too busy to have custody of your younger sister.
3.) You would be confused--and maybe even bitter--because you would have made a decision not so much based on your instincts, but on the guilt and pressure from your mother and others around you. You might even take this pressure out on your child.

I know that those are only conjecture, but I hope it helps to point out that if you had had the child maybe your mother and boyfriend wouldn't be so "unhappy" with you, but maybe you would be the unhappy one.

With all of that said, I hope you feel better. You sound like a very genuine, sincere, caring person--I'm sure you made the best decision. Thanks for writing and good luck.


Amy

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