I had my abortion or got my abortion pills from a local hospital or independent health clinic
I sought abortion care from a trusted friend or acquaintance
What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive?
Damn, what am I going to do?
I felt lost and scared. I didn’t want to keep the child, but lived in a country where abortion was illegal. I had already had a very painful and difficult abortion a few years ago, and was afraid of having to go through the same process again.
I didn’t want to be a mother. My partner at the time didn’t want to become a father either, and we didn’t plan to have a future together.
I had very supportive friends, who helped me find solutions available locally.
A friend gave me **** contact details. She was incredibly helpful, as she first asked me questions to ensure that I was ready to have the abortion, then provided me with the pills, and remained available weeks after the process was over to check on me.
Describe your overall abortion experience using three words:
Scary. Painful. Liberating.
Describe your abortion
I woke up scared and anxious, yet excited to know that it would soon be over. I took the pills shortly after breakfast, expecting to feel pain and nausea. The pains lasted for a couple of hours, it was as if someone was stabbing me in the gut to punish me for going through this process. The bleeding started after 2h, minor at first, then intense and clumped. After a while, I felt that it had been successful, as the pain started to ebb away.
I expected the person who got me pregnant to be there for me and to realise what a traumatic experience it was.
I didn’t tell any of my family members as I knew they wouldn’t understand or approve.
I felt extremely scared: what if it didn’t turn out well? I was in a country where abortion was illegal, would I face difficulties? I was 35 at the time, and wondered whether I would regret my decision to not have the child.
Overall, I felt relieved. I never wanted to be a mother, and I felt incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to make such a choice. I also felt scared because I kept bleeding for over a month after the abortion.
Some friends didn’t approve of my decision, but overall the people I talked to were extremely supportive, caring and understanding.
I never wanted to be a mother. Freedom is one of the most important things in my life, and I knew that having a child would change that. So my choices were completely aligned with my goals.
The gynecologist I met refused to help with the abortion. She made me feel terrible about my decision, and kept insisting I keep the child as I would « change my mind once I became a mother ». She even suggested I carry on with the pregnancy and abandon the child after birth.
I feel happy with my decision. I have very seldom pangs of regret, but all in all, I know it was the right decision for me. I have learned that I could deal with this situation by myself: I found someone to help me with the medication, I went through the process on my own. I have also learned to trust my instincts, I.e to have the abortion despite all the difficulties.
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 would take more precautions with unprotected sex, to avoid getting pregnant. I would request my partner to investigate male contraceptives, which have less side effects than female ones.
In what ways has your abortion experience changed you?
It has made me stronger, yet more vulnerable. It has also made me more aware of the importance of having a choice, of prejudices against abortion. But more importantly, it has made me feel incredibly to be in a position to choose whether or not i want to have a child.
My abortion hasn't changed the way I view myself or my future, but my abortion experience has reinforced my certainty that I am on the right path for me
I never thought I would ever have an abortion, yet I had 2. I have learned that I can be flexible enough to adapt to the circumstances, and to stick to my decision even if people around me (health care, society) frown upon my life choices.
I will try to avoid getting pregnant again, to avoid going through this traumatic experience again.
I have a greater appreciation for the value of my own life.
I have a greater feeling of self-reliance.
I more clearly see who I can count on in times of trouble.
I have a greater sense of closeness with others.
I am more willing to express my emotions.
I know that I can handle difficulties.
I am better able to accept the way things work out.
I can better appreciate each day.
I have more compassion for others.
I put more effort into my relationships.
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.