I was seventeen, pregnant, unmarried and scared to death. I didn’t know about Sira or a similar place. So, I did the only thing I had heard about, made an appointment at an abortion clinic. The thought of telling our parents seemed way too scary. My boyfriend was a sophomore at a very good college. Everyone had high hopes for him. I, on the other hand, was just starting college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My boyfriend was pretty much the center of my world. I certainly did not want to derail his dreams with an unplanned pregnancy.
My boyfriend and I showed up for the appointment at the abortion clinic. What I needed was a grown up to hug me and tell me this wasn’t the end of the world. That I had other choices. But that did not happen. I was ushered back to the procedure room and told to undress. A nameless young woman. They had me lay on a table with a sheet draped over me. The only question they asked was if I wanted to pay extra for anesthesia. I said no. We were barely able to scrape together enough money for the abortion. They warned me that it would be painful and told me to put my feet in the stirrups and try to relax. With tears streaming down my face, I closed my eyes and braced myself for the pain.
But soon everything changed. It was determined that I was further along than they first thought and could not do a first trimester abortion. When they explained to me what a second trimester abortion entailed, I ran out of the clinic with my confused boyfriend following after me. (I did manage to get dressed first!)
And so began the grueling task of telling our parents. I come from a home of divorced parents, so I had two sets of parents to tell. It turns out, the very thing I was dreading most, was not nearly as bad as I had imagined. My parents were hurt and sad. They were worried about how we would manage financially. But they extended grace and assured us of their love and support for us. None of our families were very well off financially, so their support would mostly come in the form of encouragement and babysitting. And they were very generous with that!