15 weeks Surgical (aspiration) abortion with Misoprostol I had my abortion or got my abortion pills from a local hospital or independent health clinic
When did you discover you were pregnant? The day after my 23rd birthday.
Was the pregnancy planned? No
What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive? I was told the year before that I may struggle to fall pregnant. I was shocked and also completely in awe of my body.
Describe how you felt in the days after you realized you were pregnant. Deep sadness and heart break. Because I knew I had to make an impossible choice.
What factors did you consider when making a choice? The life that child would of had. She would have been very loved and cared for. But she would not of had the life I so badly want for her. I also considered my financial circumstances, my age, the fathers presence.
Did the person who got you pregnant support you during your abortion? Yes
What is the nature of your relationship with the person who got you pregnant? Friend
Who was the most supportive or helpful person or resource during your choice-making process? My father. I told him in the same hour I found out. He was my pillar of support during the entire process. Along with my mother, who I hesitated to tell. But when I did, showed up for me in just the way I needed.
Who was the most supportive or helpful person in your life during and after your abortion? My mother. She drove me to the clinic, picked me up afterwards. Cared for me in the week after by checking in with me emotionally and getting me out of the house when I was riding the hormonal comedown.
Describe your overall abortion experience using three words: Supportive, safe, traumatic.
Please Describe your abortion experience. I woke up at 530am. Took a shower and washed my hair. Had a coffee and went to the clinic. After scanning me to determine the gestational age of the fetus, they advised me I was further along than the initial scan had informed. And that I would have to take medication to soften my cervix to make it easier for fetus to come out. I waited in a hospital room for 2 hours for the pill to take full effect. It felt like bad period pains and I held my lower belly the whole time. They took me in for the surgical removal at 1215 and I woke at 1pm. I bled heavily the day after. Spotting lasted a week afterwards.
What were your expectations of yourself and others? I expected my care providers to be supportive and informative and judgement free. Which they were. I didn’t have expectations of my family/friends at all. But I was met with kindness and support by all of them. Which I am eternally grateful for.
In this section, describe your feelings at the time you had your abortion. Guilt, heart break and a lot of shame.
What about after the abortion? Did your feelings change? The first few weeks after my abortion, I was upset, angry, guilty at my choice. I felt that I had disrupted nature and was deeply ashamed by this. I am only not beginning to accept what happened and understand that abortion is part of my story. And was always meant to be.
"What about the feelings of others? While you might not know exactly what they were feeling, can you explain what you think they might have been feeling? I think the man who got me pregnant didn’t know how to best support me and struggled. I shut off and dealt with it emotionally on my own. And he didn’t know how to get through to me.
In what way did the choices you made meet your goals for yourself? Were the choices you made aligned with your goals? My highest value is family. My decision to terminate was based heavily on the fact that I want my children to be raised by parents who love each other deeply. As devastating as terminating was, my vision for my future is more clarified now.
What other choices were available? Why do you think you did not choose them? I could of kept the baby and raised it with him. But I do not love him. At all. I believe that child would have experienced more trauma because of that.
What do you feel now, looking back on the event? If your feelings have changed, how have they changed and why do you think that is? I am grateful. That abortion is so accessible for me. That i was able to make private reproductive decisions without having to jump through hoops. I am grateful that that little soul loved me so much she wanted me to be her mother. My feelings changed because of the unconditional grace and support and understanding of other women.
If you were able to go back in time, what would you do differently? What different choices would you make or different actions you would take? I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
In what ways has your abortion experience changed you? It has brought more depth into my life.
Have your goals changed as a result of your abortion experience? Yes, my abortion experience was a catalyst for new goals and a new outlook on life
What have you learned about your ability to make choices? That I always know what is best for me.
I have a greater appreciation for the value of my own life.
I have a greater feeling of self-reliance.
I have a better understanding of my spiritual beliefs.
I more clearly see who I can count on in times of trouble.
I established a new path for my life.
I have a greater sense of closeness with others.
I know that I can handle difficulties.
I can do better things with my life.
I can better appreciate each day.
I have more compassion for others.
I am more likely to try to change things that need changing.
I have stronger faith in myself.
I discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I was.
I learned a great deal about how wonderful people are.
I better accept needing others.