Cynthia

Kingsport, TN

I DISCOVERED I WAS PREGNANT WHILE SERVING IN THE ARMY.  AT THAT TIME,
        THE MILITARY DID NOT ALLOW SINGLE PARENTS. I ALREADY HAD A DAUGHTER
        WHO WAS LIVING WITH MY PARENTS. I KNEW THAT IF I CONTINUED THE
        PREGNANCY, I WOULD BE FORCIBLY SEPARATED FROM THE ARMY. THERE WAS
        LITTLE TO OFFER FROM THE SMALL TOWN WHERE MY PARENTS AND DAUGHTER
        LIVED.

        THE CHOICE WAS CLEAR IN MY EYES. IF I WERE TO REMAIN IN THE ARMY,
        CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR MY DAUGHTER, AND HOLD ONTO
        MY CAREER AN ABORTION WAS MY ONLY ALTERNATIVE.

        I TOOK LEAVE AND WENT TO A CLINIC A FEW HOURS AWAY FROM MY PARENTS
        HOME. THE STAFF AND THE DOCTOR WERE SUPPORTIVE AND KIND.

        AFTER MY RECOVERY, I WENT BACK TO WORK AND TOLD NO ONE.

        I'VE NOW BEEN MARRIED 25 YEARS. I HAVE THREE CHILDREN. I HAVE OFTEN
        LOOKED BACK ON THIS AND I CANNOT FIND IT WITHIN MYSELF TO REGRET THAT
        CHOICE. IT WASN'T AN EASY ONE TO MAKE, BUT IT WAS A NECESSARY ONE. I
        MOST CERTAINLY WOULD NOT HAVE THE LIFE I HAVE NOW WHICH I LOVE.

        I DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS WITH ANYONE. THE STIGMA IS JUST TOO STRONG. NO
        ONE WANTS TO HEAR THESE STORIES ABOUT OUR LIVES AND THE DECISIONS WE
        MUST MAKE ALONE.