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Rye, 20

Choosing inspiration. That's how I think of my own experience of abortion. Not that at the time, or even now, did I ever really consider having a child. I myself was still a child at 17 when I found out I was pregnant, I still am in many ways.

Of course I knew of the controversy surrounding the issue and I had seen it firsthand every month when I went to buy my pill pack from the local Planned Parenthood (local being a 45 minute drive one way). I had always sympathized with the other women who had to endure the ridiculous and unnecessary behavior of the angry people on the sidewalk who had nothing better to do with their time than hold deceitful pictures of bloody fetuses (nothing at all like what a first trimester fetus would look like) and scream their scripted propaganda. It enraged me that they lacked the human decency to let a woman walk from her car to the door unmolested when they could have no idea why they were there.

When it was my turn to be that woman showing up for her appointment, the man on the sidewalk with his bullhorn seemed to me to be the most horrible human being on the planet. Could he not see how young I was? That I couldn't even fix the busted front of my car, much less provide for a baby? Apparently not, because he yelled anyway.

Sitting in the waiting room with the 6 other women who were there for the same procedure as I was, I was struck by the diversity of our group. A few were like me and didn't even look like they should be out of high school much less having a baby. One woman had her toddler with her and the others looked to be in varying stages of life and social/economic status. We traded shy glances and awkward conversation until the mother of the toddler broke the tension by saying 'well everyone here can see why I'm here! I thought that idiot outside was going to have a coronary!' We all laughed and responded with 'I know!'s and 'what a jerk!'s. I think we all felt relieved that, regardless of reason, we had made the same choice and were not alienated here in the waiting room like we had been walking to the front door. This experience and everything that followed inspired me to change my mind, my awareness, and my life.

I'm now married to the same boy I was with then, my first and only. My best friend.

My life is driven by my passion for women's care. I am in school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and am determined to move to a state where I can get my license to provide abortion services.

My dream is to have my own practice and to give women a warmer, more personal experience of family planning. I absolutely cannot wait!! Bring on the future!

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