On tomorrow’s abortion

You said our decisions don’t matter, and I agree that’s true for most circumstances, but yesterday I found out that I’m pregnant.

Within 30 minutes of knowing, I scheduled an appointment at an abortion clinic. I’m 21, a junior in college, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years. I informed him and my best friend after already making the decision. I was calm and surprisingly unemotional. My boyfriend freaked out quite a bit, but he was calmed by my decision. I can’t decide if I should talk to someone, if I need to, what I would say, or how I feel.

PLEASE Coquette, I’ve been reading your stuff for years, and have written to you before, but this is debilitating. I didn’t go to class yesterday or today, which I never do.

My family is incredibly Catholic (my oldest brother is a priest and has protested outside many an abortion clinic). The majority of me knows that this is by far the best option, but I have this lingering undercurrent of guilt that I ought to be feeling guilty and ashamed. Please, Coquette. I never thought that you would be the person I turn to, but damnit I need you.

You’re still in shock, so don’t try to over-think your emotional state.

Everything you’re feeling is perfectly normal. The emotions will come in waves over the next few days, and most of them will be negative. There will be times when you feel all kinds of feelings, and there will be times when you’re just plain numb.

Don’t worry about feeling guilty for not feeling any guilt. (That makes a lot more sense than you think it does.) There will be guilt and shame involved in this decision, but you don’t have to figure it all out it yet. Just know, you’re definitely going to feel relieved when it’s over. (Then again, you’re gonna feel guilty about feeling relieved — that’s okay too.)

You’ll have plenty of time in the coming weeks to process your emotions, and yes, you should probably talk to somebody. If possible, find a neutral third party, preferably a school counselor or professional therapist who isn’t associated with your family or the church. (Don’t seek counsel from anyone who judges you for this decision.)

Remember, this is nobody’s fucking business but your own. Who you tell or don’t tell is entirely up to you. Don’t worry about missing a couple days of class, take care of yourself, and be strong.


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