pregnancy test 5I just recently turned 19. I’m a Chinese-American girl (born and raised in the US) who just started college. I was raised in the typical Asian upbringing, expected to achieve the standards that my parents and family set. what’s more, my family is predominantly Roman Catholic (including me) and I was raised with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. with all of these expectations of me

I couldn’t bear to face my family with my terrible shame and felt that I had to deal with it completely alone. I couldn’t reveal what I had done, for I would bring great dishonor and shame to the family; something that is of the utmost importance to Asian families. I also felt that since I was Roman Catholic, it was expected that I be a quiet, obedient, well-mannered, virtuous, chaste girl. I couldn’t bear to break this mold that was set for me; I was too afraid and it would’ve been intolerable by my family. I couldn’t shame them after all they had done for me.. to let them down by showing the entire community that I was pregnant?  That was out of the question. my boyfriend didn’t want to face the consequences either; he’s Korean and also had the same fear of shaming his family for eternity.

I had unprotected sex one time with my boyfriend when I came back home from school for a visit (I used the patch until I went to college; he had made me take the patch off since we wouldn’t need it while I was at school). I had a gut feeling that I was pregnant when I didn’t get my period after taking the morning-after pill.. although I didn’t take it until five days after we had intercourse.  I waited a couple of weeks until it was the usual time for my period to start, and it didn’t come.

I went to Planned Parenthood to get a pregnancy test done and it came out positive. I was four weeks along and it was such a shock to me that I really didn’t believe it at first. I didn’t think of anything else other than just getting rid of my problem.. of getting out of this dilemma. the only thing the Planned Parenthood clinician said to me was, “it’s just a blob of tissue.”

I was scared and didn’t know what to do.  Adoption was out of the question for me since I didn’t want my baby to be raised by anyone other than me (selfish, I know), and if I even did choose adoption, I’d have to go home during the holidays and I’d be visibly showing more and more throughout the year; I couldn’t let my family know. I couldn’t face the consequences of my actions; I even seriously contemplated committing suicide to just get out of the situation.

My boyfriend and I just kind of made up our minds without really discussing it that abortion was our only option.  It was the only way to keep our lives on the path that they were currently on, as I was a freshman in college and he was getting ready to enter university with me the following year.  We were scared the entire time and it was a heartbreaking time for us.  We tried to go on with our lives and pretend everything was normal as my abdomen slowly and steadily got firmer each time I felt it.  It was surreal for us; we didn’t really think, “wow, there’s a baby inside.”   It was just a fear that we felt; a problem that we had only one way out of.  I had the abortion on 11/17/2007 when I was 10 weeks, 3 days along (from conception). 

The experience was terrible and I sobbed and sobbed after I got out of the clinic. I was so angry at my boyfriend.  I was so angry at the clinic staff, everyone.. at myself, finally, for what I had done.

My baby was due a couple of weeks ago on 5/16/2008, which is also my mother’s birthday. I never asked to find out the sex, and I didn’t ask to see the ultrasound monitor, although I did see a screenshot that was printed out of my baby a few moments before the abortion.

I regret my decision and grieve over my lost child.. I’m not the same carefree individual that I once was. I carry the burden of the consequences of killing my child forever in my conscience. Very few people know of what I did; it kills me not being able to tell my family and to know the ‘what if?’.  What if I had chosen to keep my baby? what would’ve happened? I believe that I would’ve faced the ridicule of the people around me, but I would’ve had my beautiful baby in my arms. 

Maybe they would’ve been proud of me for not getting an abortion.  I don’t know. I’ll always dwell on that ‘what if’ for the rest of my life.

I hope that one day, the lives of the unborn will be protected under the law, so that abortion is not even the terrible option that it was for me and millions of women around the world.