I had an abortion in my early twenties.
It was not easy to afford. I was working 60 hours a week, in a fledgling business with a lot of overhead expenses. I was fresh out of a college education I had paid for myself, and was also caring for a parent at the time. There were no resources through public health in Chicago I could use to help with the expense. My partner was pitching in for half, but all the same, coming up with four hundred dollars was an additional struggle during an experience which was already challenging without any financial issues at play.
In the last week, a congressional committee began -- finally!
One of the more interesting (and by interesting, I mean ridiculously ignorant) responses I have seen in a few places discussing the I Was Raped project and my input was my statement on the news that the first time I was assaulted -- at the age of 11 -- I did not know what had happened to me and was without any language to even express it.
This is being met with some measure of disbelief by a few folks, or the assumption I was on drugs or had been drugged or that I was simply stupid.
I'll be honest: I don't approve of cosmetic surgery. I think it's incredibly important to love and accept our bodies for what they are, and to extend that acceptance to everyone's body. To my mind, surgically altering your body solely for cosmetic reasons is neither loving nor accepting.
My plans for last weekend were pretty mellow: I was going to work on my taxes, do a little housecleaning, maybe get started on my garden now that the sun is back out, hang out with my sweetheart, finish some writing, practice piano and play some Scrabble. I was going to tend to myself, for the most part.
The weekend I would up having was quite a bit different.
Today the Centers for Disease Control released a study concluding that approximately one in four women between the ages of 14 and 19 living in America are infected with at least one sexually transmitted infection, such as HPV (human papillomavirus), genital herpes, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The study also determined that the rate of infection was higher in African-American women than Caucasian women.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute and other reliable sources, a sexually active young adult who does not use contraceptives has around a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within just one year. That's not a new statistic or anything a lot of people don't know, but it's one that makes clear how important it is for sexually active teens to find, have and use a birth control method which works for them.