Something real. That's what we want you to experience through this series of conversations with women who have chosen adoption, abortion, or parenting—women like you who found themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy. Women who weren't sure what to do when they saw those two pink lines. Women who wanted to make a good decision and went through difficult things to do what they felt was the best decision at the time.
These stories are real, raw, and honest. There was no persuasion or coercion—just questions and listening.
We share these stories to help you see some of the realities as you make your decision.
The following conversation is with a woman who chose abortion.
How old were you when you found out you were pregnant?
I was 21. I was in college. I wanted to do child psychology, and an African American studies minor. I was able to finish school. I had a plan and a vision for my life.
How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
The reality of the positive test was shocking. My first thought was this sinking feeling of, "What am I going to do?" I was on birth control, but I felt nauseated when I took the pills, so I wasn't super consistent about taking them.
I went to a place—maybe a crisis pregnancy place. The woman there talked to me about options.
When I told my boyfriend, he said he would be there for the baby but not for me. That would have been a mess because I was paying his bills. I was so hurt. It was devastating.
Did you consider parenting or adoption at any point?
I think I was leaning toward keeping it, but I had a lot of voices around me telling me what I should do. It was between adoption and abortion. I thought if I chose adoption, I would always wonder what they were doing and how they were being treated. I didn't know if I could follow through. Would I change my mind when I held the baby in my arms? It was all selfish, all about my future.
What influenced you to choose abortion?
I feel like I let everyone else make my choice. My boyfriend was telling me to do it and said he would pay for it. My parents were telling me to do it. I thought my parents knew what was best, so I should just do it. My dad ended up driving me to the abortion.
Did you have a support system around you? What did that look like?
When I told my parents, my mom was quiet, and my dad said I couldn't keep it. He said I would have a hard time raising a racially mixed baby. Plus, he was paying for my college and thinking about my future.
My professors were very supportive of abortion.
One friend was supportive in that she talked with me and was supportive of whatever decision I would make. She was there for me, by my side, listening, not judging or guiding me one way or the other.
After the abortion, I saw a psychologist for a while for depression and all of that. I wasn't eating.
What was the hardest thing about choosing abortion?
The hardest part was feeling like I let everyone else make my choice. This was a turning point in my life. Maybe it broke my spirit. I look back to who I was before, and I wasn't the same person afterward. I have a lot of anger issues. I think a lot of that stems from the abortion.
Initially, after having it, my mom let me use their bed and rest. I could only cry out, "I just killed my baby." I was bawling and asking a lot of "why" questions. "Why did I do that?" "Why did I have to get pregnant?" I had a golf ball-sized blood clot and had to go back for a second procedure. The bleeding and everything was devastating—me being alive but having just killed my baby.
What helped you work through those hard times?
I just pushed everything away. I met another guy and started hanging out with friends. It was like it wasn't there anymore, and I was just in another world. I just went on with my life.
Was there a time you stopped pushing it down?
It was God. There was a billboard on the highway; I don't even remember what it said, but it was enough to look into. It was for post-abortive support. I didn't do anything with it, though.
A few years later, a table was set up at my church for the same kind of support. I asked the woman if she knew of anyone else at my church who'd had an abortion. She told me there were others. I didn't know anyone else who'd had an abortion. I didn't realize I wasn't alone until that moment.
What would you tell a woman today who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy?
The world is swirling around you, but what do you want?
Adoption will bring pain, scars, and physical changes, but at the same time, abortion doesn't solve that or make it go away. All the what-ifs are still there. No matter what direction you choose, really take time to think about it. Think about what's in your heart. You are the one who will have to deal with it, not everyone else.
You'll live with the decision for the rest of your life, no matter your decision. If you can, try to think through it logically and not emotionally.
Think through it and beyond it.