5.4 Editor's Pick
May 28, 2024

I had an Abortion while the Supreme Court met to Decide why I Shouldn’t be Able To.

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I am 27 and had never been pregnant.

Well, not until Tuesday, March 12, 2024, when I realized I was three days late for my period.

I was home from work on my lunch break when it occurred to me that I had one test left under the bathroom sink. I didn’t have the test because I was trying to get pregnant; a year earlier I had decided to get off hormonal birth control after being on it for over a decade. In that year, I had a couple of late periods and this would be my third time taking a test.

I assumed (as I had twice before) it would simply give me a negative response resulting in peace of mind.

As I sat there for what felt like the longest two minutes of my life, I somehow knew it would read positive, like I had already accepted defeat. Then there it was: a blue plus sign staring back at me.

A barrage of WTFs assaulted my central nervous system. I went through the 5 W’s while I sat on my toilet practically holding my breath. Although I already knew the answers to the who, what, where, when, and why, I was kicking myself for doing this on my lunch break as I was expected back at work in 15 minutes.

I took a picture of the positive test, immediately moving it to the “hidden” folder in my phone—a folder that was previously used for much more fun adult things…the kind that can lead to the dilemma I found myself in. I cried the whole drive back to the office.

I used to want children. I wanted four kids to be exact. I wanted to be the kind of mom who selflessly poured her time and energy into little humans who would have no doubt in the unwavering support and infinite love I’d show them. It was the age-old sentiment of doing better for your own kids to add greatness to the next generation.

I didn’t want to raise a kid who was as emotionally distressed as I’d felt lately. Anxious, self-critical, striving for perfection that always seemed just out of reach. Maybe that’s part of the reason 20-year-old me and 27-year-old me had different opinions on having children.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never quite been financially stable. This I could blame on my lack of financial literacy from childhood or on my $15k in student loans. Or I could blame it on the fact that I live in Florida, where making $36,000-$40,000 annually is actually not enough to support the cost of living (read: late stage capitalism).

Maybe its because my long-term partner and I have grown to mostly resent each other. A few years ago my best friend brought it to my attention that I was in a potentially unhealthy relationship, and in the last year, we’ve dealt with some big issues. Ever since, part of me feels like I’ve got one foot out the door. The worst (and best) part is that we love each other tremendously. But I am pretty sure our relationship has fully matured into a codependent mess which neither of us wants to leave.

My aforementioned perfectionistic ideals do not accept these circumstances well. I am coming to realize I am the one to blame for allowing these circumstances and I am the one accountable for changing them.

All of these things have built up to a screaming crescendo: I knew I could not bring a child into my world. Not with this man, who I can love until it hurts and it still isn’t enough; not with this career I’ve worked toward for a decade that can’t cover my individual expenses; not with this life I’ve persevered through just to make it this far.

Two weeks later, I found myself an hour away from home in a dingy waiting room with 13 other women who were probably also cursing their uterus. I was shuffled between rooms to pee in this cup, prick your finger in this room, ultrasound down the hall, now sit in this other room, then later you’ll get a shot in your ass.

It was in the “other” room—the inside waiting room, a purgatory between diagnostics and seeing the physician—that I stared blankly at the news featuring an outdated talkshow clip about some mother-daughter duo and a puppet. As the news transitioned to a commercial break it advertised “and later, the Supreme Court meets to discuss the controversial abortion drug Mifeprex.”

I was a bit bewildered this was playing on the waiting room TV at the abortion clinic. Nothing like reality kicking you while you’re already down.

I can’t say this was a huge surprise considering Roe v. Wade was overturned almost two years ago, in June 2022, but the idea that I was doing something that could very soon be considered illegal shook me to my core. It could be punishable by law to terminate a pregnancy—and in some radical states, it already was.

But just because I can bear a child doesn’t mean I should have to. Not when women are only fertile for about 24 days a year and men are for all 365. Not when the wealth disparity between upper and lower class is widening and inflation is at an all-time high. Not when there are almost 400,000 children in foster care. Not when our TV celebrity ex-president is a convicted criminal who is currently running for re-election and has commented on the idea of states implementing “pregnancy monitors” to ensure pregnant women carry to term, regardless of the circumstances.

Am I the only one who is incensed with rage and fear and resentment for a system that is set up to fail?

The definition of morality is as follows: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. So I must ask, if morality can be looked over in so many other aspects of American politics, why can’t it be in the abortion debate? Good and bad makes it all sound black and white, leaving no murky grey area to consider or debate nuance.

It will never be an elected officials’ job to dictate what is right or wrong for me and my life. Nor for anybody else. Life is full of grey. With other people’s circumstances being so convoluted, we could never truly understand unless they were our own.

I do not at all regret my decision to terminate my pregnancy as it was the right decision for me. I do resent my country for the societal bullsh*t and moralistic implications that come with having (what appears to be fleeting) access to a medical procedure that 67 other countries around the world agree is a fundamental human right.

After going through this experience, there is only one thing I am sure of:

If I was still pregnant today, I would be horrified to raise a daughter in a country that supports a cadaver’s bodily autonomy rights more than my own right to make a medical decision on behalf of my womb.


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