Medical Abortion Walkthrough

by A (Utah)

One year ago I found out I was pregnant at 24 years old. I was not in any serious relationship at the time and had slept with 3 different men in the past month, so I had no idea who’s baby it was. The one thing I did know however, was that if I didn’t even know who the father was, I was obviously not ready to be raising a child. It was a harsh reality check knowing there was a little human growing in me that I didn’t recognize. It was depressing as hell. I knew what had to be done, for my sake and the baby’s. I knew I wanted to be a great mom someday, not a mediocre mom today.

I called clinics around town and I found some private funding for the abortion. Clinical abortions were about $400 and the abortion pill that can be done at home was about $450 at the time. That was a lot of money for me at the time so I found help. My roommate even gave me $50 (bless his heart). I don’t exactly remember what the number was, but it was simple, like 1800abortion or something.. (obviously that’s not it, but my roomie had looked some information up for me and found the number).

Anyway, I went the the clinic, decided the best abortion method for me was the at home pill. I had a pap, so see if everything looked good and how far along I was. They told me I was 7 weeks, however I knew I was 5 weeks along. In Utah, they make you wait 1 weeks after the clinical checkup to have your abortion and they are supposed to make you watch a video “to help you understand what you are about to do” but really it was a scare tactic to try and persuade you into adoption. Utah is very very conservative. Anyway, I went back a week later, got my pills and info, took the first pill at the clinic and went home. I took the second pill around 8pm with some Vicodin or whatever pain killer was that they gave me, and by midnight I started having cramps. They were pretty painful, but nothing unbearable. I was able to fall asleep and I woke up about 2am with some serious cramps that were super uncomfortable, so I went and sat on the potty. In just like 5 minutes I expelled the little birth sac into the toilet, it was about the size of a golf ball, but gooey. I was pretty sure that was the last of it. Not a terribly large amount of blood either. After that I felt completely fine, my cramps subsided and I was able to sleep. The next day I felt AWESOME. Not pregnant, sick or tired anymore. I just felt like myself again and not like a stranger was living inside of me.

From that point on I think I realized I actually do want kids and I needed to make some changes in my life to get to that place where I could be a parent if another “whoops” were to happen. I realize that was my one get outta jail free card and I knew I never wanted to have to make that decision again. Sometimes when I would think about the situation I would be sad and cry, it was hard for a few months, but all the while I knew what I did was the right choice. Now I am in a healthy, committed relationship and we are working towards being stable, responsible adults together so that one day soon (we think within the next few years) we can have kids when we choose. I am SO happy with the decision I made, if it weren’t for my abortion I would not be the person I am today and I would not be with the amazing man that I am with today. I’m so happy with the way my life is unfolding and I have my health clinic to thank. I’m so grateful for my right to choose. Thank you abortion!

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One mistake

by Marie (Nevada)

I got pregnant in high school at 16, by a boyfriend I was with for about 4 years in total (11 months at the time). I remember feeling so numb when I found out, it was as if everything around me stopped. It was all I could think about, and all I could do to try to hide it from my parents. I was so completely ashamed! My sister had gotten pregnant in high school (twice!) and could not adequately care for her baby. Her careless mistake had already become a heavy burden on the family and I couldn’t imagine doing that to my parents.

I honestly never felt any sort of emotional attachment. This was something that I looked at as a problem that I needed to somehow figure out and fix on my own.

I went to a local clinic and while they repeatedly made sure I wasn’t being pressured into this decision, they really made me feel less like I was the only girl who has ever found herself pregnant in her teens. Sometimes it feels that way.

My boyfriend was pretty emotional about it, but at the same time, he had big military plans and wasn’t about to change them for anything. He did have a bit of the “women belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” type of mentality. Even though we did stay together for another 3 years after my abortion, I never had feelings of regret or any “what if…” moments.

I did have some friends who found out and really bullied me mercilessly about it. The pregnancy itself was embarrassing, but for some reason, getting the abortion was almost empowering. It felt good to know that I had control over my life, my decisions, my reproductive health. I could decide what happened next and just because I made one mistake didn’t mean I was doomed to pay for it for the rest of my life. I can only imagine how much having a baby would have held me back, even today! Its nearly 10 years later and I’m married to a wonderful, loving man and we still have put off the decision to have children. There’s so much I want to accomplish that I know I never would have been able to if I didn’t have an abortion.

I got pregnant in high school at 16, by a boyfriend I was with for about 4 years in total (11 months at the time). I remember feeling so numb when I found out, it was as if everything around me stopped. It was all I could think about, and all I could do to try to hide it from my parents. I was so completely ashamed! My sister had gotten pregnant in high school (twice!) and could not adequately care for her baby. Her careless mistake had already become a heavy burden on the family and I couldn’t imagine doing that to my parents.

I honestly never felt any sort of emotional attachment. This was something that I looked at as a problem that I needed to somehow figure out and fix on my own.
I went to a local clinic and while they repeatedly made sure I wasn’t being pressured into this decision, they really made me feel less like I was the only girl who has ever found herself pregnant in her teens. Sometimes it feels that way.

My boyfriend was pretty emotional about it, but at the same time, he had big military plans and wasn’t about to change them for anything. He did have a bit of the “women belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” type of mentality. Even though we did stay together for another 3 years after my abortion, I never had feelings of regret or any “what if…” moments.

I did have some friends who found out and really bullied me mercilessly about it. The pregnancy itself was embarrassing, but for some reason, getting the abortion was almost empowering. It felt good to know that I had control over my life, my decisions, my reproductive health. I could decide what happened next and just because I made one mistake didn’t mean I was doomed to pay for it for the rest of my life. I can only imagine how much having a baby would have held me back, even today! Its nearly 10 years later and I’m married to a wonderful, loving man and we still have put off the decision to have children. There’s so much I want to accomplish that I know I never would have been able to if I didn’t have an abortion.

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Having a baby in an abusive relationship would have been a terrible mistake

By Kim (Quebec)

In 2006, I found out I was pregnant. I was in an abusive relationship and I knew that having a baby with this guy would have been a terrible mistake.

Having an abortion, was the absolute right decision for me.  I was starting my career, in a crappy relationship and at 25, I wasn’t prepared for pregnancy or motherhood.
Afterwards, I did not feel sadness or regret. I felt relieved. I was able to continue pursuing my dreams.

When I confided in some of my closest friends, they were very supportive. Some of them had also gone through the same thing.

Six years later, I am in a happy marriage (not with the abusive guy), I have a rewarding career and a beautiful new daughter.  I often think of the abortion, however I have never regretted my decision. I feel lucky to live in a place that protects the reproductive rights of women.

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I felt ashamed

by Lee (Denver)

I got pregnant my Senior year of college in the midst of senior finals because I started my pill pack two days late.  I really didn’t think it was a problem to start the pack late… but knew I was pregnant before my period was even late.  I felt numb.  Even when I saw it on the ultrasound screen something in me was disconnected from it.  I was afraid that I was in denial and I was afraid to make a mistake so I waited to make the appointment.  And I had finals to focus on anyway.  This freaked my boyfriend of a year out, he never thought I’d consider having the  baby.  And his reaction then freaked me out.  The way it stood I likely had no boyfriend, I’d graduate and have no health insurance, no job, no apartment, no car.  My parents would have helped me but they are poor.  Nothing was right.  And I felt numb. Although sometimes I felt like I had cancer because this thing was growing inside me that was going to destroy my future and I was helpless to stop it.  Or was I?

I told my parents and a few close friends.  Unfortunately those close friends blabbed to other friends.  It’s like I’d been such a perfect goodie two shoes for so long they were waiting for the chance to gloat over my mistake.  Overwhelmingly I got “if anyone could do it you could” statements, even from my Dad who had been so pro-abortion which surprised me.  But what surprised me the most was my Mom’s reaction…I thought she’d want me to have the baby but she burst into tears and told me “That having her children has been the best and the hardest thing in her life and she didn’t want me to make those sacrifices in life yet.”  That is all I needed.  I didn’t want to make the best of it or prove I could do it.  I wanted to be a Mom someday but preferably when I was financially stable and married.   I made the appointment, as soon as school finals were over, made boyfriend pay for it and told him I didn’t want him to come with me.  He hadn’t been supportive lately.  Instead I took my Mom.

The clinic was sterile and the atmosphere was stressful.  I hate doctors and hospitals anyway.  One girl kept pacing around inside and outside trying to make up her mind.  Apparently it was the last day for her to do this.  I was nervous.  I had prayed to the baby to forgive me.  That I was not ready to be a mother and to come back later.  That I promised to be ready then.  They called me back and put me in a gown.  The drugs they gave me made me start crying, the first time I had since finding out.  It gave me the hiccups and the doctor had to do the procedure while I hiccuped.  It was painless and over so fast I couldn’t believe it.  A short observation period to make sure I wasn’t bleeding and then they sent me home with a little blue pill that was supposed to help my uterus cramp and clean itself out.  I promptly threw up the little blue pill.

I had arranged to house sit for my older brother and it was perfect.  It gave me a week alone to deal and figure out what was next.  Where would I live?  I needed to look for a job.    I admit that the first time after I was finally alone and I thought of the baby I realized I was alone, and that I felt alone.  I hadn’t realized how despite the emotional numbness it had been “us” for 8 weeks.  It was lonely and profoundly sad and I cried.

If I have any regrets its that I told as many people as I did that I was pregnant.  Because in retrospect I am ashamed of the abortion.  I am ashamed I got pregnant at all and had to do what I did.  But I don’t regret the decision and would do it again.  The price is that I will carry a shame and sadness with me for the rest of my life.  I can’t say that I could ever do it again…I guess I’d have to be in those shoes to know.  That said it took me and my husband (the boyfriend!) a year to get pregnant 15 years later.  I was worried that it wouldn’t happen and maybe that had been my only chance.  Or maybe I deserved infertility somehow?  But now I’m the mother to a perfect little girl, born at the perfect time in our lives.  I know how hard motherhood is.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I firmly believe that those that want it are better prepared emotionally.  And being better prepared financially is the best.

I am thankful that I had the option to terminate the pregnancy and will fight to assure that my daughter will have the same rights.  I will share my story with her though and hopefully she will protect herself from every having to make the choice.

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You can be strong enough to do it on your own

by Lily (UK)

I want to share my story for other girls reading this that are or feel that they are all alone.

I’m 18 and I’ve just had an abortion today. Becoming pregnant to my best friend during our first year at university was never the plan, although I can’t say it was a surprise. I’m being honest here so I’ll admit we didn’t use contraception, we just didn’t think it would happen to us.

I unluckily enough figured it out even before I missed a period; stomach cramps and being exhausted etc. So after I’d confirmed it with a home pregnancy test I rang the family planning clinic immediately (I’m not saying that you can’t change your mind but I’ve always been of the opinion that if your having sex you should already know what you want to do if you get pregnant).

The clinic told me that I was able to refer myself to the termination of pregnancy centre in my city. Although when I rang I was told I’d have to wait 2 weeks (as they could scan at the earliest of 6 weeks).

This was by far the hardest part. Obviously the pregnancy symptoms were setting in which meant I was exhausted and getting spotty in my case. But that was not what made it so hard; it was because I was keeping it a secret from everyone. My parents started to ask if I was depressed because I slept so much and I struggled to keep the bodily changes (bigger breasts) from my friends whilst shopping.

However the day of my first appointment finally arrived. I was given a scan (just like in the movies but you don’t see your child or hear the heartbeat) and I was confirmed at 6 weeks and 3 days. I was then offered to come in 2 days later to take the first tablet of the medical abortion and then return a day after that for the rest of the tablets.

Taking the first tablet was non-descript for me, although it did cause a temperature and vomiting. However I was relieved that the process was finally underway.
Returning a day later I had nothing but a numb feeling (I think this comes from doing it in secret, although I’d been emotionally preparing myself for 2 weeks it felt very much more like a task than a life changing procedure). I inserted the rest of the tablets into my vagina, sat in the hospital bed and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long before the bleeding started (akin to the first heavy day of a period). Upon going to the toilet I felt what seemed like a solid ball about the size of a ping pong ball drop out. I was it considerable pain by this point and sick so I rang a nurse who brought me some pain killers. They were immediately effective and I can say those 5 to 10 minutes of pain was all I’ve felt through the whole process. The bleeding continued for about an hour after that until I passed something bigger (although you do not have to push at all). I read this when say thing when I was worried before hand and it didn’t make sense but I’m saying it now: when you’ve passed it you just know. After that I went and lay down and slept for about 3 hours. About an hour later a nurse came in and said I was free to go.

I walked slowly to the bus stop like nothing had happened. Some people may say that’s sad but that was my choice, I did not want a drunken mistake between friends to have an impact on my entire life so I kept it a secret and I don’t regret it. If you have someone to tell who will support you and most importantly not judge, then tell them, but my message is that if you don’t, don’t worry, make the choice that is best for you no matter what and most importantly remember that you are strong enough to do it on your own.

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