June 27, 2012

Experiencing an Abortion

A few months ago in my English class we were discussing argumentative essays, which are essays that take one side of an argument and basically explains why the writer opposes or agrees with a certain issue. My instructor said she enjoyed a good argumentative essay but would never make us take sides on one issue: Abortion. I was ecstatic when she said that because I could never fully oppose or agree with abortion even after seeing one occur.

When I was a junior in high school, I was on the yearbook staff. Our class was small and intimate, so we pretty much shared everything together. A few months into the semester a new girl came on staff. She was nice, petite, and had a squeaky, immature sounding voice. Nonetheless, she blended in fine. She told us she was 17, from California, and had recently become emancipated due to issues with her mom. One day several weeks later we were all sitting at our computers working on yearbook stuff when she said quietly but out of blue "Ya'll I'm pregnant." I was somewhat shocked but given her history with men I wasn't that surprised. All the other girls gushed and started talking about baby names, who'd be the Godmother, etc. she seemed happy but unsure. After all, she already had a 2 year old little girl that her sister cared for primarily.

About a month later her flat stomach began to poke out and she started wearing a black sweatshirt over her uniform shirt to hide her baby bump. One Friday she told me she didn't want the baby, I wasn't sure why and I didn't pry, I honestly didn't think she was serious. The Monday afterwards when I saw her at school she no longer wore her black sweatshirt AND her stomach was flat again. I almost cried right then knowing that she had a life inside of her just Friday and now two days later it was gone. I asked her casually if she had the abortion, already knowing the answer, and she just nodded as if it was like a trip to the grocery store. She seemed totally unaffected while I was crying inside. I'm not sure why she got the abortion to this day, we never spoke of it again. I didn't treat her differently but I admit, I viewed her as a different person. Then, just as quickly as she came she left a few weeks before the end of the school year.

Even though I didn't directly experience an abortion I felt as if I did. It sucked watching her terminate a baby that could've had life but I do also realize that it was her body, her life, and ultimately her decision to go forth with the abortion. Who am I to judge her decision? Secondly, I had no idea why she did it. Her life story wasn't a very happy one so maybe it was so much more deeper than just not wanting it. Financially she couldn't take care of it since her sister already cared for her other child, who would take care of a new one? This is why I will probably never be 100% Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. You never know what kind of situation that person could be in. You also never know what kind of life a child can have if you abort it.

All in all, I'm not leaning to the left or right on this issue, abortion will always be a touchy issue even if you've never truly experienced it. I believe there's not one right way to look at abortion based on my experience alone.