This is the generation that will abolish abortion

My Abortion Story – A feminist perspective from the teen of a teen mom.

In a half-asleep daze, with my abdomen in knots, I stumbled to the bathroom, fell to my knees, and began throwing up into the toilet. After a few heaves jolted me fully awake, I sensed someone standing behind me. Before I could turn my head to confirm my suspicions, my mother’s delicate hands swept past my cheeks and lightly pulled my hair out of my face.

In that moment I felt like a little girl again – cared for, watched over.

No matter how bad things were growing up, my mother always gave me as much unconditional love as any two parents combined. Oftentimes, our unshakeable familial love was all we had.

She helped me up to the sink. As I began rinsing my mouth, she eyed my midsection as if expecting to see something. I rolled my eyes and assured her it was just a bug, probably something I ate the night before. “I am not pregnant!” I said.

In my mind though, I knew she wasn’t the only one I was trying to convince. I was only 16, and my on-again, off-again boyfriend had started using drugs again – this time more than just recreationally. As I stared into the sink, my hand nervously jostling the toothbrush around my mouth, my mother disappeared.

I wanted nothing more than to shut down my brain and push these anxieties as far out of my mind as possible. I climbed back into the reassuring comfort of my warm bed. As my eyes grew heavy, the hum of my fan lulled me back to sleep.

What must have been hours later, since the sun was shining through my window, my mother walked back into my room and gently placed her hand on my arm. “I need you to get up and pee,” she said. What? When did I suddenly become a toddler again, in need of reminders for this sort of thing? That’s when I rubbed my eyes open and noticed the Dixie cup and tiny white stick resting in the palm of her hand.

Immediately, my heart plunged down to the base of my spine. No! Was this really happening? I reassured myself that there was nothing to discover, and so with the last sliver of blissful ignorance I would ever have, I scooped up the cup and did as I was told.

When I returned from the bathroom, I handed over the paper cup and I found my way back to the warmth of my bed. I could only see the lower half of my mother’s body as she leaned over the sink. And just as my head rediscovered the pillow I saw her rock back on her heels, letting out a slow and steady sigh. Surely, she couldn’t tell anything yet.

“How long do those things normally take?” I asked.

“Three and a half minutes,” she replied.

But before I could relish my relief, she finished, “But it only took 30 seconds.”

And then, my world imploded.

As I wailed into my mother’s embrace, all I wanted was to rip my stomach out of my body, or better yet leave my body behind all together, for someone else to deal with.

How could I have done this? I knew better. I knew better.

I knew the damage being a single teenage mother would do to a child, because I was that child. My mother was only 19 when she became pregnant with me. She was a sophomore at the University of Texas with such a bright future ahead of her when I came along. Because of me, our lives were racked with hardships. Was I prepared to put an innocent child through that, seeing as I was little more than a child myself?

The following days were a blur, and so many choices lay ahead of me. Being single and 16, it seemed only logical to have an abortion – at least to other people. Every time someone suggested it, though, I would flinch. Didn’t they realize all of the reasons they were giving that I should abort were the very same reasons my mother should have had an abortion? Didn’t they realize every time they said I’d be better off without this baby, they were saying the world would be better off without me?

I was spared from death and, while life hadn’t always been perfect, it was much better than the alternative. Who was I to take the life of this child, brought into the world by no fault of his own? I felt like I would have been a coward to make such a choice. And if my mother had taught me anything, it was how to be strong. No matter how many times life kicked us down, we got right back up.

This was no different. I wasn’t going to let the world tell me how weak I was, how this precious child was going to ruin me, how miserable we would be because of our circumstances. I knew since my mother was strong enough to choose me, I was strong enough to choose him.

Thirteen years later I look back on that time and I see how much I’ve grown, how much this child has changed me for the better. It’s hard to remember that day’s fear and the panic now. The only time I feel those emotions is when I realize how easy it would have been to buy into the lie the doubters told me and lost my child forever.

I panic when I imagine my life without this kid.

I feel scared for women going through crisis pregnancies with less support than I had. My heart breaks for the girls who choose abortion because, rather than believing they are strong enough, they’re told, “You can’t.”

If you want to know where the “stigma” surrounding abortion comes from, it is from pregnant women being told they are not good enough, strong enough, or woman enough to be a mother. It’s not the pressure society puts on women to carry children in less than desirable circumstances; it’s the fact that they know when they make the choice to abort they are accepting defeat. They are denying the biological awesomeness their bodies are capable of, and the inherent strength they have to turn “a mistake” into the best thing that will ever happen to them.

So, until you find a way to rid us of the sense of our own feminine strength, you will never be able to remove the stigma of abortion, which denies it.

*Oh, and as you can probably see, not all abortion stories have to end in abortion, some can end like this…

Destiny Herndon-DeLaRosa – New Wave Feminists 

17 Comments

  1. Mary
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful testimony. I pray that sharing your story inspires countless young woman who find themselves in similar circumstances. Blessings on you!

  2. lindsay
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Just a beautiful love story! Kudos to how eloquently you explained your decision. You’ve put many of my feelings into words for the world to see and I personally thank you for that. I had my first out of two children as a teen and fourteen years have now passed. I STILL feel the stigma and judged often. However I will never be ashamed of my life. After all, some people live their whole lives without ever getting to feel the most powerful love in the world. I’m nothing but grateful for my. …. our lives! I could go on forever but I think you are on the same page as I am :) peace & love from Canada <3

  3. Anna
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful story, and beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing this :)

  4. Anne
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    MAY GOD BLESS ALL THREE GENERATIONS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!

  5. Laura W
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    This is such a wonderful story, and it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing!

    God Bless!

  6. Bdub
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. Good for you, your son, your mom, and for everyone who is lucky enough to have been born and given the chance to read this.

  7. Savannah
    Posted June 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I was 16 when I got pregnant with my daughter, and she will be 13 this year. She is beautiful, and amazingly smart, and the world would be less bright without her. I was lucky and her father manned up, he and I have been married for 13 years and have 3 children together.

  8. Posted June 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your courage and your wisdom.

  9. Trudi
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Your gift is not only your son but your talent in writing. May both your gifts bring about the end of abortion. I am so proud of you. GB

  10. Cassandra Kelton
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    This brought tears to my eyes. I saw the link to this article on Facebook and read it – fully expecting to be upset over you having an abortion. Very pleasantly surprised! You are lucky to have each other!

  11. Lindsay
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on making the best decision for you, however if this is supposed to be from a feminist’s perspective, how can you argue that all abortions are from women or girls who did not got enough support? There are people who chose, of totally their own volition without outside influence, to abort. They are making the choice, as should be every women’s right, what their body does and does not do. In a world where society dictates so much about women – what our career aspirations should and shouldn’t be, what our bodies should or shouldn’t look like, how we should or shouldn’t dress – why are you also taking away a women’s right to her own choice? Some women don’t think that pregnancy is the best thing that will ever happen to them.. Not in their teens, not ever. Your choice was the right choice for you, and anyone who is really a feminist respects that. But what is right for you is not right for all, and telling someone what to do with their body is never right. Having an abortion is not defeat. Having an abortion is a choice that should be made with much consideration and women who do go through with an abortion deserve as much respect and love as those who don’t.

    • Posted June 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      The time to decide against life; is before one has created another one. After that it is no longer an issue of “my body, my rights.” A second body, male or female, resides within yours and that individual has the same inherent rights as do you. Not what you wanted to hear, I’m sure. But true.
      ~Pro-woman/Pro-life

    • Sara
      Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree whole heartedly with you Lindsay. I had an abortion 8 years ago and although it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, I don’t regret it. I would not be the strong woman that I am today if it were not for that choice. I am now married and have a wonderful and amazing family that would not exist if I had not had an abortion.

  12. Mal
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous boy! :)

    Thanks for sharing your story – I just wanted to add that that same pressure, “pregnant women being told they are not good enough, strong enough, or woman enough to be a mother”, also makes some mother’s think they can’t raise their children themselves and should place them for adoption.

    I don’t mean that as an attack on adoption (I’d be honored to be an adoptive mum one day) but I have heard stories of regret from birth mothers who would have kept their baby if only they had someone supporting them (especially the dad) and saying that they could do it.

    Watching the show “I’m Having Their Baby” recently, and I can see many of those birth mum’s would have been capable, loving mum’s if they just weren’t so fearful of being able to provide for their child.

    Anyway, just wanted to share as this has been something on my heart & mind lately… :)

  13. Payme
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for choice. But not the choice to abort. The choice should be whether or not one gets pregnant. Why go through all the decisions and judgement and trauma, guilt or not, of aborting when there are so many options to avoid pregnancy? Of course, there are times when the choice to become pregnant is not available. Like when I was date-raped and became pregnant. Abortion never ever was an option for me, even then. A child has no choice in whether or not s/he lives! It is a selfish thing to deprive a child of life. period. And wow!! my daughter has made this world a much better place, has been a blessing to many, is a wonderful nurse at a world class children’s hospital, mama to an amazing little boy, happy wife, generous friend. She has enriched many people’s lives in so very many ways.

    Blessings to anyone who does not abort, who raises their child or who gifts him/her to another family.

  14. Sara
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes a woman gets pregnant and simply doesn’t want to have a child or be a mother. That’s okay too. A woman should never be coerced into having an abortion if she doesn’t feel that is the right choice for her. However, a woman shouldn’t be coerced into giving birth to a child that she doesn’t want either.

  15. Julie
    Posted June 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Your story made me cry. I was 20 and in college and working full time what I got pregnant. I had just moved out on my own. I took 3 pregnancy tests in my apartment and then went to the university clinic to take another one. The nurse tried to give me abortion information, and I wouldn’t take it. I’d already looked it all up online. The father asked me to have an abortion and stood there waiting for an answer – and I could only say no. No way. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a mom or what I would do, but still no. It wasn’t easy, but I can’t imagine my life without my sweet son.

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