By Veronika Granado, Peer Support Leader at Jane’s Due Process
The summer before I left for college, I got pregnant. It wasn’t planned and I knew immediately that an abortion was the best decision for me. The reason I wanted an abortion was that I worked hard to graduate from high school at the top of my class. I had dreams and I wanted to go to college to become an engineer.
However, the process of getting an abortion was a lot more complicated than I expected. Even though I had already graduated high school, I was still 17. This meant that I was required by the state of Texas to obtain parental consent for my abortion or apply for a judicial bypass and get a judge’s permission to get the abortion without a parent’s consent. I chose to apply for a judicial bypass. I didn’t want to involve my mom in my decision. Also, talking to a judge about getting an abortion felt less intimidating than talking to my mom about being pregnant.
As a teenager with a strict parent, the process of being able to discretely get my judicial bypass granted and find a way to get to my nearest abortion clinic was hard. I didn’t have a car, money, or support from anyone in my family. It took 21 days for me to get my abortion from the moment I made the decision to get an abortion until I was able to get the care I needed. During the process, there were days when I felt I wouldn’t be able to get my abortion, but I pushed myself to keep going. And, when I finally got my abortion — I was relieved because it meant that I had the freedom to leave my hometown and pursue my dream of becoming an engineer. I didn’t want to start a family at 17 years old and being able to access an abortion meant that I got to prioritize my future on my terms.
If I had been forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, my life would have been completely different. I would’ve had to begin working a full-time job without the possibility of graduating from college by the time I turned 21. I would’ve been forced to stay at home and put my dreams on hold. Now, I am halfway through pursuing my engineering degree. Every day I’m reminded that having an abortion was the best decision I have ever made.
If you have concerns about your sexual and reproductive health, our volunteer advocates are available 24/7 at 866-999-5263 and by text 8am-11pm CT to support you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help accessing birth control, STI testing & treatment, or abortion in Texas.