17 and Pregnant – Betty’s Story

I was 17 years old when I discovered that I was pregnant. That made me scared and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was afraid to tell my parents that I was pregnant. I was the middle child of nine children in a Roman Catholic family. My family had an unspoken belief that we didn’t have sex before marriage. But I didn’t have the proper dating skills and was coerced by my first boyfriend to have sex. I couldn’t possibly tell my parents about being pregnant; I felt shame and guilt and needed to hide what I had done.

I couldn’t possibly tell my parents about being pregnant; I felt shame and guilt and needed to hide what I had done.

The father of the baby headed off to college for his first year. He didn’t want anything to do with a baby and I didn’t know what I would do. I asked the guidance counselor at school what he thought I should do. He recommended getting an abortion at Planned Parenthood.  

In September of the same year, I walked into the abortion clinic and had an abortion. Quite frankly I don’t remember much of the procedure. I was numb and in denial of what I had done. I stuffed all my feelings inside and went on with my life. However, I didn’t realize how wounded and disconnected I was. At one point after the abortion, I wanted to commit suicide. I continued to make bad choices and I used drugs and alcohol up into my early 30’s unaware of the hole in my heart.  

I stuffed all my feelings inside and went on with my life.

Looking back at my choice

It wasn’t until many years later that I saw all the destruction my abortion had caused. I became a believer in Jesus Christ and He helped me heal. It was over 30 years before I could tell my mom about the abortion; my father had already past away. He would have been very sad. Now I know that if I had told my parents they would have been disappointed, but they would have supported me.

It wasn’t until many years later that I saw all the destruction my abortion had caused.

I realize that no matter what other people advised me during that time, the burden of having an abortion has ultimately lain on me. If I had known then what I know now, I would have made the decision to give birth and make an adoption plan for my child.

If you are 17 and pregnant, let me suggest that you connect with a care center for help.