Surgical (aspiration) abortion in the first trimester
I had my abortion or got my abortion pills from a local hospital or independent health clinic
When did you discover you were pregnant?
January 2016, I was 5 weeks pregnant
What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive?
I knew I had to tell my boyfriend (now husband) and I knew that I wanted an abortion
Describe how you felt in the days after you realized you were pregnant.
I have always wanted to be a mother, so I felt a bit sad that I was giving that up. But I was very sure I wanted an abortion - I knew we were not ready to have a baby at that time in our lives. I also felt guilty for giving up a baby when I know so many people try for so long to get pregnant, including my sister in law.
What factors did you consider when making a choice?
If we were financially ready, if we were mature enough to have a baby, if our relationship was ready for that. In the end the answer was definitely “no.”
Who was the most supportive or helpful person or resource during your choice-making process?
My best friend, who was actually the first person who knew I was pregnant and helped me through choosing an abortion - she had one when she was 16 and is a strong advocate for abortion access (now works for PP)
Who was the most supportive or helpful person in your life during and after your abortion?
My then-boyfriend, now-husband. He was 100% comfortable with either choice I made. I knew that he would parent with me if that was my choice, which made me feel even safer and more supported to be able to choose an abortion
Describe your overall abortion experience
Quick, relieving, clinical
I am Type 1 Diabetic so I had to have the first appointment of the morning because you have to fast beforehand. I showered, we drove over. There was one person holding an anti-abortion sign but the clinic had a guard to walk us in. It was very clinical after that. They called me in to ask if I knew my options, ask if I was safe at home, do the ultrasound. Was sent back to wait for a bit. Then called in for the procedure. I chose to be put asleep with anesthesia, so I thankfully don’t remember the process. I woke up in the recovery room crying and thanking the staff member who was in there. I remember her being very cold towards me. I was disoriented but I remember once I woke up she very quickly called my husband to pull the car around back, helped me in, and that was it. He helped me get home and get into bed and I slept and cried the rest of the day.
What were your expectations of yourself and others?
I expected my husband to help me make the decision and to support whatever decision I made. I expected him to bring me to the appointment and help me afterwards. I expected the staff to be a bit more caring and warm. I expected myself to be more upset in the following days, but I was only upset for that afternoon.
Describe your feelings at the time you had your abortion.
I was nervous beforehand, but I’m always anxious when I don’t know what to expect so I was able to handle it well. I was a bit upset that the staff wasn’t more warm - I expected them to be more caring, but it was very clinical
What about after the abortion? Did your feelings change?
I was a little sad that afternoon, but very relieved
What about the feelings of others?
My partner was also anxious not knowing what to expect. He was nervous when it was over because he didn’t expect me to still be so out of it from the drugs.
In what way did the choices you made meet your goals for yourself? Do you think the choices you made were aligned with your goals or were they different?
Yes, absolutely. I definitely think I made the right choices for my present and future. We are now married and planning on trying to get pregnant soon.
What other choices were available to you and why do you think you did not choose them?
We had the choice to keep the pregnancy. We chose not to because we knew it would be tough on us financially and on our relationship to have a baby, and we knew that we could always try again in the future at a better time
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 so glad I had access to a safe and easy abortion. I don’t regret it at all
What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this experience and the way you feel about it?
I didn’t set expectations for my feelings. My expectations for my partner were that he supported whatever my decision was, and he did that.
What would your expectations be now?
Pretty much the same
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?
Nothing! I am very happy with all of my choices
In what ways has your abortion experience changed you?
Our life would be so different had we not had an abortion. At the time we were living in a tiny apartment in Boston. We now own our home in Connecticut, we are married, we have 2 dogs, I am building my own business as a doula, we are planning for pregnancy in the next year. None of that would be our life if we hadn’t been able to make that choice.
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?
Everyone deserves to be able to make this choice for themselves. I am able to make hard choices for myself and my family.
Will you make the same choices in the future? What will you do differently? In what ways will you stay the same?
I have a greater feeling of self-reliance.
I more clearly see who I can count on in times of trouble.
I know that I can handle difficulties.
New opportunities are available to me which wouldn’t have been otherwise.
I have more compassion for others.
I have stronger faith in myself.
I discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I was.