Because I was raped, and I got pregnant.
I was raped in my sophomore year of college. I was at a prestigious women’s college in New York City. I was living in a building 25 blocks from campus and was abducted and raped on my way back to my dorm.
I barely escaped with my life – but was able to get someone to call an ambulance and get me to a hospital. I had no support, no advocacy, nothing. They let me keep my cigarettes, because I remember walking out in scrubs – no shoes, no clothing, all taken for evidence – to get the subway and lighting a cigarette.
No cell phones in 1987, just pay phones and nobody was answering the phone when I tried to call. It was 9 0’clock on a Sunday morning. The only reason I’m alive is because I begged for my life, calmed down, and then said I had to go to church. I WAS supposed to meet my brother at church. Still.
My crackhead rapist decided that church was enough of a word to let go and collapse. My rapist – such a funny term. The person who raped me – a man – tried to kill me. I escaped.
Not dying carries its own weight. I was “seeing” someone at the time. I did what I wanted to do when reunited with my lover – I asked him to make love to me. Without describing the actual pain of that encounter I can only say that I asked him to heal me and that could not possibly happen.
I know we were able to make love in some weird way. So, when I had morning sickness six weeks later, I had to think about which experience it might be and fortunately come to the conclusion, on doctor’s advice, that my body and my soul were not ready for a pregnancy.
I was violently raped – that’s how I probably got pregnant. Not from my lover trying to gently make love to me. I guess we didn’t use a condom – that seemed so after the fact at the time. It was so horribly painful the time I tried that I have to assume I was impregnated by the violent criminal who raped me.
There was no thought that had to go into my abortion. None.
I wish there was Emergency Contraception or RU486 at the time, so I could have had a private choice, or even better, a choice after someone forced their violence into me over and over again.
I don’t care what your party affiliation is as long as you stand by programs that not only advocate for victims and survivors, but help those survivors in the many choices they might have to face.
If you’re a Republican who thinks that rape and its consequences should be legislated then I suggest you talk to your sister, aunt, niece, wife – the most convenient holder of a vagina near you – and have a conversation.
What you might find out is that they are part of the huge percent who have been assaulted but don’t talk about it.
The other 25 percent.