There was not question in my mind about what I had to do. “I’m pregnant and I can’t have this baby…” She said with a tremble in her voice. I looked into her eyes, embraced her with understanding and love.
“I will do what ever you need me to do”
I was 14 at the time, when my friend Cari asked me to help her get an abortion. I knew what an abortion was, but I didn’t know what was in store for Cari and for myself. We began her journey with taking another pregnancy test, you know, just to be sure. She was sure.
She didn’t come back to school the next day. I skipped class and found her at home. Cari had been crying all morning. We called the abortion clinic together and made an appointment. It was a week away. Cari new she had to tell her boyfriend. He was supportive of the abortion because he didn’t want to risk his wrestling career.
Cari and I hung out each day until the day of her appointment. Joe and I drove Cari to a clinic an hour away. This was in a county that granted early term abortions to minors 16 years or older. Cari was 16. We walked into the clinic. Joe stayed outside. What seemed like hours later, Cari walked out. The look on her face. The way she carried her self. The quiet, stillness that followed her was one I will never forget.
The next day, I was at the mall with my mom and we saw Cari walking around with her mom. We saw each other and hugged. Cari started crying. We never talked about it after that.
This was my first experience with the process of a woman making this most difficult decision. I know that I’m not alone. Many of you reading this right now have had similar experiences or have had abortions yourselves. This “taboo” topic, if it remains taboo will only continue to instill fear and shame into women who are faced with this decision. This is a legal and moral right that we have as women to be able to take care of ourselves and make the best decisions for our health, our families and our futures.
COLOR serves as a safe space for young Latinas, your queers and our families. We work with our young people to educate them about contraception, safer sex, respecting your self and others, healthy relationships and how to say no. We do this so that our young people can stay healthy, free from STI’s and don’t have to be faced with this decision. We will always advocate for safe and legal abortion. We will always advocate for insurance companies covering abortion procedures. We will always advocate for young women to be able to access this right in confidence.