I had an abortion when I was a senior in high school in the early 2000s. It was a terrible time to come of age as a woman because our bodies didn’t belong to us. Our bodies belonged to all the boys that told us they loved us while they pressured us, deceived us, encouraged us to become incoherent so there was less resistance. Our bodies and those practices were being marketed to these boys on a continuous loop of late-night television commercials that reinforced this behavior. Our bodies could be purchased for $9.99 and included a bonus DVD.
Consent was implied by existing in their spaces. Rape was subjective, and when it inevitably happened to you under these circumstances it was your fault because you were there.
I wasn’t given the choice to conceive that night because I wasn’t conscious. I wasn’t even given the choice to make a bad choice. Choice was only afforded to me in the aftermath, and I was steadfast in my decision.
I watched in real time as the disapproval of me grew on the faces of those in my circle. I was acutely aware of the sympathy they gave to the rapist, when he announced that he didn’t want me to abort his baby. “He should have a say.”
I never wavered, and in the 19 years since I have never once regretted my choice…because the day that I was finally allowed to have a say in what happened to my body was the day my body belonged to me again.