I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant. I hadn’t been with my boyfriend long and was having unprotected sex, thinking that it would never happen to me.

I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant. I hadn’t been with my boyfriend long and was having unprotected sex, thinking that it would never happen to me. I only told my best friend that I was pregnant; I was too scared to tell my parents as I knew they would be disappointed. I didn’t want to let them down although I had made the decision to continue with my pregnancy. Weeks went by and I began to put on weight and felt awful. Every time I tried to tell my mum and dad, something came up and I couldn’t go through with it.

I had made an appointment to see the doctor and went along with my best friend. The doctor was not helpful and made me feel that I was bad and making the wrong decision. She told me that I would not cope being a mum and so she went ahead and booked me an appointment to have a termination. Being only 16, young and immature, I listened to the doctor and did as she said. She was older, a doctor, a figure of authority, so I felt I had to do as I was told.

I went for my termination on 16th January 2002. I travelled by train all the way to Bournemouth with only my best friend. I still hadn’t told my parents yet I desperately needed and wanted my mum with me. My termination was awful; I was left on my own for hours. Lying on a bed waiting to be put to sleep, I was shaking. I woke up from the operation in tears, sobbing. I knew it had been the wrong decision and I wished I never listened to the doctor.

For weeks after my termination, I was still sore and bruised. I had told my parents that I had fallen down the stairs and hurt myself. Little did they know that I had had an abortion.

It finally came out when my mum found details of the abortion clinic in my room. I was relieved that they knew as a weight had been lifted but it opened up a lot of wounds. For a year after my abortion, I got more and more depressed. I hated myself, so to try to numb the pain I drank and slept with anyone. I wanted to feel loved as I hated myself so much. Eventually I couldn’t take anymore. I was emotionally battered, I hit rock-bottom. I went to the Basingstoke Pregnancy Crisis Centre to get help. There I wasn’t judged or frowned upon like the doctor had done. I was able to talk and share my feelings. I worked through a lot of different emotions and slowly felt myself getting stronger and stronger each week. It took a long time to feel 'normal' again but after weeks of talking and dealing with the trauma, I was able to explore and come to terms with my heart-breaking decision.

I am now 23 and have a daughter who will be 3 soon. It still hurts sometimes and I will never forget what I went through and the pain it caused but today, thanks to the crisis centre's support, I can say that I am able to deal with and cope with what happened and now I am ok.

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