Jasmine's Place Issue No. 19 - September/October 2017 - Page 14

My first abortion happened when I was fifteen years old. At the time I had recently moved in with my mother and step father after living with my father and step mother since my parents’ divorce when I was five years old. My mother insisted I have an abortion, if I chose not to, I would have to go back to my father’s house and tell him. I felt trapped as neither option was something I wanted. The second abortion happened when I was eighteen years old. I was married and within six months of our wedding, I made the decision to get pregnant. I was battling guilt and shame over my earlier abortion and I thought having a baby would soften my husband and end the emotional, physical, and verbal abuse that plagued my marriage. I was wrong. I was faced once again with doing what others wanted me to do, in spite of what I wanted. My third abortion came several years later after my husband left and wanted a divorce. I was a single mom raising our five year old daughter. I found myself falling back into co- dependent behaviors. The moment I realized I was pregnant, I was gripped with fear of the consequences of being labelled as an unfit mother and set the appointment. But as I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for my turn I felt the immense weight of guilt and shame, wondering, “how did I get here?” 14 JASMINE'S PLACE