The summer I got pregnant with my oldest son, Trast, I had registered for college, competed in a pageant, recently left foster care, and was spending most of my time partying my face off. I suppose I was just practicing for college. And after a few crazy weeks in Madison, Wisconsin, I went back to Woodstock, Illinois to pack my things and head south.
Me, as a pregnant teen.
But I also had a nagging premonition that I was pregnant. I knew exactly when and how and at the time it happened, I thought, “I’m pregnant. It’s a boy.” I am a science-believing person with a brain filled with skepticism about anything that isn’t supported by evidence, but I still swear that with myself and with other people, when it comes to sensing pregnancy, I’m like one of those water divining sticks, but the water is babies.
And, because I was 18 and had important things like weed and tarot cards and funny bumper stickers to spend my money on, I looked in the phone book for “Free Pregnancy Testing”. And the phone book was full of spots. I made a few calls, and the guy I’d been seeing drove me to the nearest place. I remember being so moved that they’d come in late at night just to help me confirm that I was pregnant.
When the two of us showed up, the two women who’d gotten out of bed to help me looked really uncomfortable. They told him that he needed to leave, and could pick me up after. He didn’t much feel like being there, so he took off, and I went off to pee on a store-brand pregnancy stick.
While we waited they asked me about my plans. I told them about college, how I planned to study English Education with a minor in Radio & Television. I had a four-year full ride, and I was eventually going to be a producer, like Tom Hanks, and then I’d be a teacher.
Before they’d show me the test results, they asked me if I could just watch a short video. It started off fairly pleasant, showing a life as it developed inside the human body. “Did you know that at (insert # of weeks of gestation) your BABY can (insert very adorable baby thing). But, soon the video got dark, showing images of dumpsters filled with fetus-parts, little baby hands sticking out of trash bags, women talking about how much they regretting their abortions. Abortions ruined their lives and once they tried to have children they couldn’t and then they had to admit to their husbands that they’d had an abortion and because of that they got divorced.
And then it got light and friendly once more. They eased up on the body parts, instead showing happy, large, wealthy families with shiny teethed white parents. There were sweet little babies, and young kids missing teeth talking about how much they love their parents. These kids had all been adopted by loving, Christian families. There are options. Don’t ruin your life. All that stuff.
Now, I was a teenager, but I wasn’t entirely stupid. There was nothing in their ad that made this place seem religious to me at all. Their ad didn’t mention adoption at all. I wasn’t prepared to deal with them. At all. I was a little bit preoccupied with the embryo hanging out in my insides.
I’ve always been bad at saying no, and I felt like they were ogres who wanted to nab my baby. I begged them off, took their card, took my positive pregnancy test results out to my boyfriend’s jeep, and then went on to give birth to my kid. Not, like, right away or in the jeep. It was a while later. And, by the way, deciding to stay pregnant had nothing to do with their disgusting video.
This letter is my way of thanking you for your recent decision to remove a variety of ads for “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”, which contained false and misleading information to people in order to get them in to those centers and treat them to an experience similar to mine. You are saving masses of females from being unduly bullied at a time when their whole lives are already changing as rapidly as their hormones.
As for you, misleading Crisis Pregnancy Centers of the world, piss right off. If you were so secure in your message, you wouldn’t need to use scare tactics or trick people into coming through your doors.