While a rising sophomore at college, my loving boyfriend and I got pregnant. It was a poorly timed pregnancy, as neither of us were in a financially nor emotionally stable place to parent effectively. Fearing backlash and possible shunning and eternal disappointment from our parents, we decided to keep the pregnancy and its termination a secret. I went to a local Planned Parenthood where I received compassionate, competent, and complete abortion care. The emotional repercussions, many of which were based in self-imposed stigma and a misunderstanding of my church’s position on abortion, were difficult and took time to go through. But the abortion made us, as a couple, closer, and it was the best decision we ever made together.
I testify because I should not be ashamed of my choice to have an abortion, nor should I feel compelled to stay silent. There are many women out there who were or are just like me—having found themselves in a situation they did not want to be in, got out of it, but keep that decision locked up inside. It’s freeing to be honest and open and there for other women who are going through a similar experience now. I testify now because I never did before.