Kept me financially secure

by Hidden Name (Florida)

Having an abortion kept me financially secure enough to leave the abusive man who got me pregnant!

Thanks, abortion!

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My medical termination story

by anon29
I had my medical termination yesterday and I thought I would write down my experience incase it helps anyone in the future.
I had to be at the hospital for 9am yesterday, I had hardly slept the night before and was so nervous about it!
At around 9.30am, a nurse inserted 4 small tablets into my vagina, this was fine and I hardly felt a thing.
I was then shown to my bed, I was able to keep my own clothes on and I just sat in the chair next to the bed and read my book.
Nothing really happened then for a few hours until about 11.30am when I started to get bad pains, like period pains. I tried to ignore them but they got quite bad and I started to shake so I called for the nurse and she gave me 2 pain killers which kicked in pretty much straight away and I was just left with a dull ache.
At 12.30pm, they came around and asked if I wanted any lunch, have to be honest and say that I was starving by this point so I had cottage pie and then sponge pudding with custard!
Shortly after lunch, I started bleeding, it wasn’t as horrific as I was execting, it was just like a period. I went to the toilet and this is when I felt 2 clots ‘plop’ into the toilet. I didn’t look, I just put the seat down and called for the nurse. She looked and said it was hard to tell if it was the embryo as I was very early (only 6-7 weeks pregnant) so it would only be tiny. In my heart, I really think that was it though.
I went back to my chair and just read my book until my fiance came to pick me up at 3pm. Last night, I bled but only like a period and I have had some dull aches but nothing as bad as I was expecting.
I wanted to write my story down because it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, I had read so many horror stories about what would happen and how much blood I would lose and how much pain I would be in etc etc but it was honestly fine, not pleasant but not a horror story like I was expecting!!
I feel ok today, physically I am fine but I do feel very emotional and weepy today. Saying that, I don’t regret my decision as I know it was for the right reasons.
Good luck to anyone else going through this difficult time xx
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I helped Teenagers get Secret Abortions

by SteelRigged, for

I spent my first year as a law student helping teenagers get abortions.   I worked the phones at a small non-profit called Jane’s Due Process, which as far as I know, is the only organization in the country that helps teens navigate the judicial bypass process to get abortions without parental consent or notification.   (You should Google it and make a donation right now.)  I am now a volunteer attorney for them.  It is righteous work.   I am  paranoid about telling people I about it.  I often leave it off my resume.

Bill O’Reilly may snarl that the “left wing” is trying to silence him, but he has a TV show.   Its people like me, and the girls I work with, who have truly been silenced.   We are the ones who are staring down the barrel of a gun.

Everybody loves parental consent laws for abortion.  They are an easy sell. Who wouldn’t want parents involved in the medical decisions of their daughter; and as the pundits are quick to point out the vast majority of teens approach their parents first anyway, so this law only affects a small number of young women.  What that means in practice is that the only people truly affected are the people you would least like to see affected: abused teens, abandoned teens, and teen in situations of novel dysfunction.

Judicial Bypass is supposed to be the safety valve on parental consent/notification laws.  It’s supposed to be a way for abused and abandoned teens to opt out.  Of course, it’s often a spectacular failure.  Several county and district clerks in my state flat out refuse to accept teens’ applications to speak to a judge: a completely illegal act.  These are often the same people who accuse clinic staff of disregarding the various restrictive laws that have been woven like a web around them.  There are also a fair number of judges in my state, who have publicly declared they will reject any applicant that comes before them, and then do so.  (They are elected after all.)

The people who help, the clerks and judges who make an effort to listen before they judge, they don’t speak up much.  Discretion, moderation, even humility about personal fallibility, are all anathema where abortion is concerned.  If you can’t concede the ethos and pathos of the argument to those who “truly believe” it’s always murder, it’s best not to say anything at all.

The very first call I took at Jane’s Due Process (again: Google and money) was from a 17 year old who said bluntly, “My mom’s in jail and my dad’s in Iraq” she was living with her older sister who was 22, but the clinics were not allowed to accept the sister’s consent because she was not the legal guardian. Both sisters thought they could get either of their parents to consent, but there was a timing issue.  My state only allows abortions up to 21 weeks.  It routinely took two or three months for mail to circulate from the base address the girls had to the frontlines where their father was, and then back to them. Their mother, they said, couldn’t receive registered letters at all.  So, by the time the permission form got back, a legal abortion would be unavailable.  We set her up with a lawyer to try and get a bypass.

I received more than one call from grandmothers who had been turned away by the clinics.  They had often been raising their grandchildren from the time they were toddlers.  The parents were MIA, but the relationship was informal. They’d been allowed to enroll their granddaughters in school, to claim them as tax dependants, to get them vaccinated, to make every medical decision before this one, but not a decision about abortion.

These of course, were the easy cases.  Abuse was much trickier.   First off, though abuse was a reason for circumventing parental consent/notification, if a teenager admitted that she was abused, the judge was required by law to open a protective services case.  This then triggered an investigation, at which time parents generally found out that she had gone to court and obtained an abortion.  (Defeating the whole point of a bypass.)  You might think that getting an abused teen out of the household would be a universally good thing, but these are older teens, 15, 16, 17, and the system hates them.  There is no good place for older abused teens to live when they are removed from their family.  Often they are sent to juvenile detention centers.  Rarely is the effort made to ensure that they stay in the same school and receive the continuity of education that is necessary to graduate.  They are low priority.

Secondly, these are kids who have survived abusive households for more than a decade and a half; they often think it’s normal.  We were trained to ask these young women what the worst punishment they had received was.  I still remember the 16 year-old who scoffed at that idea that she was abused and then when asked about punishment said “well, he once threw me through the bathroom wall.”

The last type of call  was often from immigrant kids, who protective services would never consider abused, but who faced dire consequences if their families discovered their pregnancies.  We had one Ethiopian 17 year-old, a girl with a full college scholarship, who faced being sent back to Africa, denied the chance to go to school, and “circumcision.”  She was quite forceful.  She told us about a beloved cousin, who when faced with the same situation had been persuaded to tell her parents by a “crisis” pregnancy center; the cousin was  gone.  Her parents had arranged for her “treatment” in Ethiopia and for her marriage there.

I even sent a girl to Kansas once; she was a marathon runner and a track star. She lost her period every year during training season and so really did not know she was pregnant until the middle of the second trimester.  Her parents were hard core religious, and she knew that they would turn her out on the streets no matter what happened with the pregnancy.  She didn’t want to be homeless.

None of these teens get to speak out, it wouldn’t be safe for them to.  We get to pass laws that endanger their lives, but they can’t protest.  I worked for them, tried to protect them, but have always kept a slight veil of anonymity because I’m afraid of the personal and professional consequences of doing the right thing, of talking about doing the right thing, in a world that bombastically declares it wrong.

I know I am helping the right-wing make something private into something shameful by being discrete.  But I don’t have a T.V. show, I don’t have security guards, all I have is the residual fear that somewhere there is a man with a gun, looking for our office, who is absolutely certain he has the right to shoot me, because I help teenagers get abortions.

When in this “debate” do my deep convictions get honored?

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Call it what you want… but it’s not your business

I was fifteen  years old when I first had sex, and sixteen when I got pregnant. Call it too young, call it irresponsible, call it whatever you want. I call it human nature and nobody’s goddamn business. I was going steady with a boy, and was on the pill, so naturally sooner or later it was bound to happen. I won’t tell you my life story or the significance of my relationship or any junk like that, I’m only here to say that abortion was 100% the right choice for us and there’s not a second that I regret it. That’s not because I don’t love children, either. Cause Lord do I… And even now at 17 (my current age) I can’t wait to have a few of my own! I have a whole picture painted in my head of the kind of a family I want and where I would like us to be, and after going through this experience it has taught me that when I know I’m ready for it, I’m going to KNOW. And I will never let it be anything less than I expect.

My want to have children of my own made this decision a little more sad, but not any more difficult. Because I know what kind of a world I want to bring a kid into (not one where they were an accident) and  the parent I want to be when that does happen, neither of which I’m capable of fulfilling at this point in my life. I truly loved the person I was with, and even now looking back I would want nothing more than him to father my future children. But like most first loves and young relationships, it didn’t last. And had I chose to keep the child because I was “in love” instead of following my heart and being realistic, I would now be stuck raising it by myself.

I agree that it is morally questionable, and there will, like for everything else, be a few in the crowd that ruin the sanctity and smart reasoning behind this decision. But I feel like people are letting the negative overrule instead of looking at the good it has done for people. When it’s the right time for someone, it’s the right time. Who are you to decide that and take the beauty out of that for them? Nobody should feel enough power or another human being that they obligate them to something of that magnitude. After all, will you be checking up on that child or paying for the welfare?

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Before because I was scared and after because I was relieved…

I was a very messed up teenager.  I didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol and I did well enough in school, but I had a much older boyfriend (4 years), who physically and mentally abused me.  He attempted to control everything that I did and tried to isolate me from my friends and family.

We dated seriously for 5 years (14-19).  As soon as I had turned 18, he started talking about marriage and that’s when that voice inside of me started screaming at me to ‘YOU DO NOT WANT THIS!’  And I didn’t.  I wanted a career. I wanted to travel.  I wanted a social life.  He could never hold a job.  Never had any money or drive.  He drank too much.  This was not what I wanted out of a life partner.

I found out that he had been cheating on me for years.  I ended it.  He made promises and blamed me for his cheating.  I went back to him.  It didn’t last long until he was beating on me again.

All that he put me through and the final straw had been something simple.  I was working and a work friend invited me to her apartment, along with a few other friends.  It was his night to play basketball.  I said yes and didn’t bother calling him because I knew that he’d be out.  When I got home (I was still living with my parents at the time), there were four messages from him, gradually escalating to abusive and demanding to know where I had been.  That was the final straw.  I called him and simply said it was over.

It didn’t end there, of course.  He came to my house, yelling and shouting outside, and kicked in my parents’ front door.  He called constantly for a few days.  I gave in and talked to him once and he played the same old brainwashing tricks to make me feel like I worthless and he was the only person who would “put up with me.”  I stood on shaky ground, but didn’t give in.

4 weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant.  I was on the pill, but had had a stomach virus for two days and never even thought that it would affect my dosage.

I considered all of the options, but the only one that guaranteed he would not be back in my life was an abortion.  I had the abortion as soon as I could at my local Planned Parenthood.  They were wonderful people, who helped me through it and held my hand before and after when I cried.  Before because I was scared and after because I was relieved.  I knew that I would never go back to him and that I was a stronger person for having lived through all of it.

Since then, I had the life that I always wanted – great job, lots of friends, and complete independence.

I’m 40-years-old now. I don’t have any children because I decided not to.  My husband and I (married 7 years) are happy being childfree.  We both have strong careers and we travel all over the world, both together and separate.

I’ve never – not once – regretted the decision to terminate the pregnancy.  I know that if I had planned to give birth, even if I had planned to give the baby up for adoption, I would’ve went back to him and the best thing that would’ve happened from that is that I would be miserable every moment of every day, and the worst is that he would’ve beat me to death.

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