“Why are they gross? If this were any typical medical procedure, would you find the images as appalling?” I replied.
“I’m not sure,” she admitted, “I don’t really enjoy seeing blood.”
The same girl began to explain to me a very specific scenario, saying that there’s no reason a sixteen-year-old should be made to carry a baby when the father isn’t involved, and for that reason, abortion was okay. Our conversation progressed to topics like rape, bodily autonomy, etc. and her two pals jumped in as well. After a few more points, I saw her face visibly change.
I asked for their thoughts: “Do you agree with what I’m saying? What do you think?”
“No, I understand where you’re coming from,” she whispered thoughtfully, “this makes a lot of sense.”
“How old are you guys?” I inquired.
In unison, they replied, “16.”
My mind began to put the pieces together; was this young woman’s first objection more than just a hypothetical situation?
We started to get off topic. Our chat went to their lunch plans, what they wanted to do after high school, and so on. I gave them each a Created Equal pamphlet, informing them that if they know someone who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, or needs help after an abortion, we have resources and hotline numbers on the back of our literature. The whole time I was speaking, the bold girl was intently staring at her reserved friend standing next to me.
Nothing was said after that except goodbyes, and I’m not sure if one of these young women were facing the very issue I brought to their attention. I do know, however, that their stances on abortion had shifted, and that they left reflecting upon new information. I know that they now have resources if help is needed. Greater, though, I know those kids left understanding that they were loved by a stranger, and cared for by an unexpected group.
– Victoria Neal, Intern, Created Equal