It’s my body and my decision

Anonymous

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According to research conducted by Guttmacher Institute researchers Rachel Jones and Jenna Jerman, by the age of 20, 4.6 percent of women will have had an abortion; by the age of 30, that percentage rises to 19 percent.

Despite recent declines in abortion rates, abortions are still a common procedure in the United States; nearly one in four women in the U.S. will have an abortion in her lifetime, according to research done by Jerman and Jones. The abortion rate among low income women is the highest of all groups examined in the study, and women between the ages of 20-24 account for the largest number of abortions in the U.S. Research also showed that black women had the highest abortion rates; white women, the lowest.

Growing up in the Bible Belt my entire life, abortion was always a taboo subject. In my household, abortions were never really discussed and I assumed that if I got pregnant, I would raise the baby and that would be the end of the discussion. But life happens, and for me it was not that simple.

In August of 2019, I began to feel the undeniable signs that I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and I was in complete shock when I saw the two lines on the test. I told no one except my boyfriend. A week later, I had a miscarriage and I was heartbroken. There are no words to describe the physical and emotional pain I felt.

In the months following, I felt like my life was completely falling apart; academically, financially and personally. For some reason I could not get over having a miscarriage and it ate at me. Three months later, in November, I took a pregnancy test and once again it was positive. I was shocked, but mostly I was disappointed in myself. Without going into too much detail, I knew that I could not have this baby. I called my local Planned Parenthood and scheduled a medical abortion for two weeks out. It was the hardest decision I have ever made, but in my heart, I know that I made the right decision for me. I was so blessed to have family and friends who supported my decision without any judgement.

For women who have faced or will face making a decision on whether or not to have an abortion, I would encourage them to make the decision that is best for them because they will be the ones who have to live with that decision.

For those people who are so judgmental about abortions, in my experience, abortion is not a black or white issue. There is a lot of gray area, and there are several reasons people choose to have an abortion. For some people, they cannot physically carry a baby to term. For others who were sexually assaulted, they know that they do not want to have their rapists’ baby. Just because someone chooses to have an abortion it does not make them a bad person or any less worthy of being a mom in the future.

Abortions should be legal in all 50 states, available worldwide and affordable to all women. Men should not be allowed to make decisions on what a woman can and can’t do when it comes to her body. Most importantly, people need to be educated properly on abortions. Women, and women only, should be able to decide when they want to have children without judgement from others.