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I’d just gotten engaged at Christmas, and I was starting the second year of treatment for third-stage Lyme disease.

The treatment (IV antibiotic several times a day) was brutal, but the neurological Lyme disease was worse. I’d begun having tics, twitches, and seizures that terrified my friends and family. After a solid year of treatment, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, but I wanted my life back. I wanted the wedding my family was throwing for me and my fiance in October.

Instead, I got what seemed like impossible news. I was pregnant. I’d had an IUD inserted 6 months earlier to prevent pregnancy, because I’d been advised that IUDs were safe and more effective than condoms. I couldn’t take birth control due to all the antibiotics I needed to fight the Lyme disease. Yet somehow, despite the IUD and all the drugs, I was pregnant. Several doctor’s appointments followed, but the final recommendation was unanimous: the only way I could stay pregnant was if I ceased all treatment. If I ceased treatment, I could end up with lifelong neurological impairments. If I tried to carry a pregnancy with Lyme disease, there was a terrible possibility that the child would be infected in utero.

My abortion probably saved my life, and I’m grateful every day for that.

Lawenda T.
NARAL Member

I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I had been fighting so hard to beat the bacteria. My husband-to-be and both of my parents went with me to the termination appointment. The anesthesia made me sick. I threw up over and over on the way home. Even still, I’m so grateful to those healthcare professionals who took care of me that day. I spent three full years battling Lyme disease and the co-infections that accompany it, and was hospitalized multiple times. But I survived. I got married. I have a beautiful son.

My abortion probably saved my life, and I’m grateful every day for that.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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