Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
Normally when I write my articles on Pro-Choice, they are about current and past legislation, empowering women making a difference, and why we must keep the right to choose, available to anyone, at anytime, anywhere.
This article however is a personal one. A few months back my husband of 16 yrs and father of my three beautiful children abandon us for a woman whose husband divorced her, after 20+ years, for you guessed it, cheating.
There is no chance of reconciling, and he has blamed his infidelity, on my passion for writing and my position at BellaOnline. The fact that I had supported numerous dreams he had, whether I liked them or not, meant nothing. It was alone my fault.
The reason, I am even writing something so personal, really has nothing to do with the end of my marriage, or the numerous deplorable things he has done to be vengeful since.
It is about one specific vengeful thing. A secret very few people on the planet knew, and something he had no right to divulge. Not only did he “out” me to all of his family, his friends and mine, and anyone who would listen but also he fabricated the truth, the entire truth, as if he had never known me at all.
Now because, my ultimate dream is to write a book about my story, I will not be telling it all here, in this article. Nevertheless, I am taking my voice back, owning my truth, without any of the shame he intended. I am "outing" myself.
As a teenager, who was in love, as much as one can be at that stage of life, I had sex with my boyfriend twice. Both times, we used condoms, but I cannot be sure of that completely. I was a scared kid. I did not look, I did not touch, although I was willing, I was terrified out of my mind.
Several weeks later, I was unbelievably tired. When the alarm would go off for school, I would cry, I just could not get enough sleep. Then when I missed my period, the panic set in. My boyfriend and I went to our school counselor who was amazing and compassionate, and gave us bus fare and a pass from school to go to Planned Parenthood to be tested.
I was pregnant. My boyfriend was completely supportive and although we were very young and naive, there was never a single doubt I was going to have our baby.
My biggest fear, was telling my mother. My boyfriend decided he would tell his mom first, and she would undoubtedly tell mine for me. I was sleeping, when the phone rang. I dozed back off, still exhausted.
That is, until my bedroom door flew open and my enraged mother went ballistic.
My life would never be the same. She kept repeating, how I had ruined her life. She used physical and verbal threats, and made it perfectly clear, that I was not having my baby, whether I went to the clinic or not.
I did not know I had rights, that she was violating them, or that her tactics were child abuse.
In the same week as Mother’s Day, my mother took me to the clinic, and because I had no knowledge that I had a voice, or a choice, I left that clinic, no longer pregnant. The first time my mother showed any compassion since finding out I was pregnant, was in the elevator, leaving the clinic.
She tried to put her arm around me. I jerked away, literally and figuratively. Our relationship never recovered. To this day, I have PTSD and severe depression. When I turned eighteen, I moved away from her, and never spoke to her again.
After an eleven-year estrangement, she died, while I was six months pregnant with my third child.
I am pro-choice, because I did not have one. It is a completely personal and individual decision.
Coercion and Forced abortions happen everyday. For those who feel their best option is abortion, than that should be your choice. If it is not the option you choose, no one should do anything to try to change it.
I will write that book, and I will advocate for each individuals right for women to make their own choice.
In addition, to the man who I devoted my life too for the past seventeen years, Karma will catch up to you.
Moreover, if you think that you leaving me for another woman was the worst thing that has ever happened to me, you never knew me at all.
If you or anyone you know is being coerced or forced against your will to abort, put up for adoption, or keep your baby, no matter what your age, you have rights. You can make your own decision. You do have a voice.
For help in these situations, I've included links below.