Monday, January 21, 2013

Abortion: An Abrupt Change of Heart

Many people feel strongly about abortion-whether they are morally opposed to it, or strongly support the rights to it. I have really changed my views about abortion in the last few months. I was raised in a conservative Christian household, where abortion was morally opposed, even shunned. When I came to college, I had the opportunity to be a part of VOX:  Voices for Planned Parenthood. I was still learning about contraception and women’s rights when I joined, and being around so many strong women have really made me understand abortion and has completely changed how I felt about it. I had gone from being very against it, to viewing it as a personal choice that should be available to all women. Even though I had come to accept abortion as a woman’s rightful choice, I still held reservations about it in my personal life, viewing it as morally wrong for myself because of my religion. All of this changed on November 24, 2012.
 I had reconnected with an ex after a tough break up. I trusted him, and after a great night watching fireworks at the park, he invited me to his house to watch movies, because it was still early. My decision to go with him turned out to be a terrible idea. I was raped and abused, then left to walk home. I did not have money for Plan B, and had not been taking my birth control faithfully, so I was afraid, and felt like I had nowhere to turn.  If I was pregnant, I would have to drop out of college and move home. My mother would have made me keep the baby or even sign it over to her to care for. She has told me many times that she would disown me if I even considered an abortion, and that I always had the option of giving it to her or putting it up for adoption. I had a tough decision: Carrying a baby for nine months only to dump it on my parents or the government, or abort it. I was completely sure that I would not be able emotionally to have the baby and care for it myself. This was the first time that abortion became a reality, a reasonable choice for me.
Thankfully, I was checked out and was not pregnant. The birth control must have saved me from having to make that difficult choice. This scary event has made me realize that it is impossible to judge other women for wanting an abortion if you have never been in that position. I never would have considered abortion as an option for myself, but this incident changed my mind quickly. I felt that abortion was the only option, the only way for me to continue working towards my future with the support of my family. I am glad that I did not have to go through with the abortion, but being in such a vulnerable situation and having the option of abortion was a relief, to say the least. I now know how important it is to the women that are considering abortion to be able to legally and safely obtain one, and it only makes me more glad to be part of an organization that believes in giving complete information and resources to women in need of it, whether for STIs or unplanned pregnancy.

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