I've participated privately over the years, updating my Livejournal and Facebook, with my thoughts on the day and sometimes talking about my experiences of becoming a feminist and how pro-choice became a part of my persona. I'd like to share this with all of you and encourage you to share your stories about why you're pro-choice.
Back in middle school, I got involved in an abusive relationship with a male friend of mine. It was the worst experience ever. I felt like I was walking on egg shells, hoping that I could make it through the day without a bruise or feeling like dirt. I was depressed and felt like nobody could help me. Abusive relationships weren't talked about much then - that would come later in high school. Nobody imagined that I was harboring this secret, a secret so bad that it nearly killed me. One afternoon he tried to choke me when I upset him and slapped him across the face for grabbing at me. After pinning me down, he finally let go after he saw that I was scared as hell. That's when I knew I had to tell someone.
I started high school a few weeks after that horrific day and eventually told my counselor. The physical abuse stopped but he continued to stalk me and taunt me in school. When I started telling people he knew, he got really angry and came to my house one day when I was alone. He pushed past my door and threatened to rape me. I shouted so loud to get out that he finally did. When I knew he was finally gone, I bolted the door, went into my room, crawled into a ball and just cried for over an hour. I should have been thankful that I was safe but I kept thinking what if he did rape me, what if I got pregnant, even resorting to thoughts of suicide.
Ever since that day I started digging more and more into subjects like abusive relationships, rape, and reproductive choice. If I came from a conservative family, I may have been expected to carry to term if I indeed become pregnant. My life would be so different now if I had become pregnant at fourteen, especially if it was by a violent assault.
Being pro-choice is not just about having abortions; it's about having control over your body and destiny.