“The OBGYN told me I was not physically able to carry a child…”

In 1970 when I was 16 years old, I became pregnant. The doctor who told me I was pregnant said he didn’t do abortions but gave me the number of a doctor that did. I was appalled that he would refer me to an abortionist. I finally found the nerve to tell my mother. She asked me if I wanted a baby. I was hysterical. I told her I was too young to be a mother. My mother told me they had a new medical procedure where they suction you out and you’re no longer pregnant. This was the answer. My mom’s OBGYN examined me, sent me to a psychiatrist and scheduled a D & C. The OBGYN told me I was not physically able to carry a child. The psychiatrist said I was not emotionally ready. My mother never said another word. My boyfriend sold his motorcycle to pay for my medical procedure. I was ready for this to be done.

I checked into the hospital. I was in a ward with about six other women. The nurse came in and said to me you’re too young to be pregnant. Somebody in the ward used the word abortion and I just about fainted. I couldn’t believe I was going to have an abortion. I was there to get a medical procedure.

I laid in my bed and I prayed to God. I asked him to give me a sign if I was doing the wrong thing. I asked him to start a fire or something drastic. I asked him to make the doctor not show up. I wanted to change my mind. I wanted out but I was afraid to inconvenience the doctor. My boyfriend had sold his motorcycle. I was afraid I’d disappoint everyone. The next morning they woke me up, gave me an IV to put me out and killed my baby. I went home and became depressed. I didn’t want to go back to school. I finished the last month of 11th grade and never went back.

I finished high school at adult education. I felt my childhood was gone. I have had horrible unexplained depression. I am currently on 2 medications to prevent depression. I have had 3 wonderful children by the father of my aborted baby. But when I look at my family this is what I see . . . There will always be a space between me and [my oldest living child] because that is where my oldest child should be. I can never shake the horror of it all. I now work at a Crisis Pregnancy Center to try and help just one teenager or young woman who needs a hand.

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