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“I used to think that being pro-choice meant that I was being empowered. But since then, I have come to realize that I value few things more than I value the life of my child who was never born. My decision to have an abortion has changed my life into something almost completely unrecognizable and I now realize that choosing abortion did not empower me. In fact, it did the exact opposite. I have given up my right to be a mother and the most rewarding challenge that life has to offer. No one ever said it was easy raising children, but what is harder than raising children is knowing that I created something unique and special and miraculous and then destroyed it. Abortion is not a comfortable topic, but I live with the reality of it every day. I aborted my baby just over 2 years ago and regret it every single day. There is an emptiness there that cannot be filled by friends, boys, alcohol, hobbies, school, or anything else. I will live with this choice for the rest of my life and I would not choose to forget it even if I could.
What I did not realize when I found out I was pregnant was that I had already bonded with my baby. Its body was forming inside of my own even before I knew it. Having an abortion is not simply giving up something you never knew, or something that was never there, or something that doesn’t matter. Because no matter how early on an abortion happens, there is still a life that is being ended. In fact, every time an abortion happens, two lives are being ended. I will never be the same person without my baby. And I will also never be without that baby- even though I chose to have an abortion, my baby did live and still lives on in my heart. Each day I am acutely aware of the life that would have been. And it would have been beautiful and valuable no matter what.
If a young woman, or man, came to me saying that she was pregnant, scared, had no way to support herself, or had no support from anyone else, I would still urge her to keep that baby. Every woman doubts whether she is fit to be a mother, but that doesn’t mean we should extinguish the lives of the very people we were meant to create and protect. There are wonderful groups and individuals out there who are more than willing to help in any way they can and I urge you or anyone you know to reach out to these people and to get educated on the topic. Talk to people who can be honest and open about their experiences. Read, research, and be a detective. There is so much information on the subject but it is just below the surface. The realities of abortion are not usually presented to young people (like me and you) and the reality is a lot more painful than you would expect. That is why I am so grateful for the resources being presented here today and it shows me that there is hope for young women and men faced with raising a child and there really are people there for support.”
“At 17, I was a typical local surfer boy. As a surfer, I had an image to maintain. An image of a playboy…as a surfer, I was expected to sleep with as many girls as I could. It was all about quantity not quality. I was dating one girl in particular, and we decided to experiment with having sex without protection. When her period didn’t come when it was supposed to, we got scared and didn’t know what to do! If she was pregnant, her dad was going to kill me. We looked to the phone book for help. We found a couple of centers and called. When we called the Pregnancy Problem Center, the woman on the other end assured us that we were going to be ok and that we should come in to get a FREE pregnancy test. When we came in, we were welcomed with open arms, and made to feel comfortable and at ease. Our counselor assured us that everything was confidential and that our parents didn’t need to be involved. We took the test and spoke with the counselor about how our thinking needed to change regarding sex. The test was negative and we were both relieved. I left the office feeling better about my future. For some reason, I felt forgiven and in a way a sense of redemption came over me to really think about what I was doing and change my ways. I recently had an opportunity to visit the center on a job related venture. As soon as I stepped in the doors, I was taken back in time to that fateful day that in essence, shaped my life. I was so moved by my past experience, that I felt this was my opportunity to give something back to an organization that gave me so much.”
“All through high school I was extremely promiscuous and utilized the Pregnancy Problem Centers a lot. Of course I just wanted their FREE pregnancy tests, but I knew I had to go and listen to them “preach” about how I should wait until I was married to have sex. This coming from a grey haired woman who reminded me of my grandma. What did she know about being a teenager in this century! I kept on with my promiscuous ways and at 19 I found out at the Pregnancy Problem Center in Aiea that I was going to be a mom. I had my first child in 1995 and subsequently got married to her father in 2007 and we had our second daughter shortly thereafter. I wish I had listened to that grey haired grandma when she spoke about how wonderful it is to be married and having sex instead of just doing it with any Tom, Dick and Harry. Life with my husband and 2 kids is great, I just wish I could’ve given him that one gift that I can never get back…my virginity! The people at this center really do care about your life in the long run, not just where you’re at today. If only I could go back and do things differently, I would. But for now, I hope someone reading this can maybe learn from my mistakes. Listen to those who care, not just those people out to make a buck off of your pain. This is my story and if it helps just one person, it was worth sharing. I’m not a grey haired lady yet, but I do volunteer at the Center and share my story with those who come in and need a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, or just a pregnancy test with no one to judge them. I believe the Pregnancy Problem Centers have good counselors, who do know what they’re talking about and who really have been there. I know I sure have!”