The college athlete thought nothing of missing her period for a month. She was active in sports, and this had happened to her before.
But after two months went by, she went to Planned Parenthood to get checked out. There, in December 2015, the abortion center staff confirmed that she was 12 weeks and four days pregnant, the anonymous college student told The Cornell Daily Sun this week.
The Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Ithica, New York, told her that she had to make a decision soon – the cutoff for a first trimester abortion is 13 weeks, and the Ithica site only did abortions on Fridays. Feeling an “enormous weight on my shoulders,” the college student said she decided to have an abortion.
An athlete and an active student with campus organizations, she said she did not want to give up sports or summer internship possibilities or burden her parents with the medical expenses of having a baby. She said her boyfriend also supported her decision to abort their baby.
Before the abortion, the student said she asked to see the ultrasound of her unborn child. She described it as “more than just a blob” with a “spherical head and oblong body.” She wrote:
Perhaps this came through earlier, but I strongly desire to be a mother. I want to have kids and give them everything I can. My heart throbs when I see pregnant women or parents walking around with their children, and when I imagine my future family.
But I looked at the ultrasound image … and felt nothing. This was not meant to be my child. This was not my future. I know, I know that people can learn to love their mistakes. Maybe in another three months that image would have made my heart throb, too. But in that moment it made no difference and still doesn’t to me. I realized that having a child now, when I am in absolutely no place to support it, is the biggest risk to the future I want to give my children.
She said the 10-minute abortion was “safe and easy” but she hoped that she would “never need to have it again.” After her abortion was over, she said she spent the rest of the weekend working at her job and preparing her election campaign for an executive board position in one of the organizations that she is involved with.
Despite her attempt to make her abortion seem like a good thing, her heartache comes through clearly. She attempted to shrug off the tears and pain that she felt for weeks afterward by making excuses that the abortion helped her “regain control over my life and my body.”
“There is only one lingering effect from my abortion,” she wrote. “While driving yesterday, I saw a car with a ‘Choose Life’ license plate background and started crying. It’s not due to sadness or regret. It’s that my alternative reality, what truly could have happened to me, is all too real.”
The Cornell student seems to be desperately trying to convince herself that she made the right decision to abort her baby. She said she dreams about being a mother someday, but the timing was not right for her now. She said she was just not ready to give up “her future” for her baby.
Tragically, the misconception that a baby will prevent a woman from pursuing an education and/or career leads many women to have abortions. But many brave college students are proving that women are strong enough to do both.
Student pro-life groups across the U.S. are boosting their efforts to make campuses more welcoming to pregnant and parenting moms and dads. The Students for Life Pregnant on Campus initiative offers numerous resources to pregnant and parenting students so that they can choose life without sacrificing their goals. The program has helped to made it possible for many students to avoid the heartache of abortion – and choose life for their babies.