I no longer see it as a dark moment.


8 weeks

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?

I missed my period and I knew. I never took a test, but I knew I was pregnant.



Was the pregnancy planned?

No



What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive?

I never had a positive pregnancy test. I missed my period and started to figure out what I was going to do, who I could tell, etc.



Describe how you felt in the days after you realized you were pregnant.

Emotionless. Going through the motions. I didn't have an emotion until I made my appointment at which time I cried. I was overwhelmed.



What factors did you consider when making a choice?

Age, how I conceived, lack of supports



Did the person who got you pregnant support you during your abortion?

No



Was your pregnancy the result of sexual assault?

Yes



What is the nature of your relationship with the person who got you pregnant?

Friend



Did you experience morning sickness or nausea as a symptom of your pregnancy?

Not really


Who was the most supportive or helpful person or resource during your choice-making process?

My sister



Who was the most supportive or helpful person in your life during and after your abortion?

My sister


Describe your overall abortion experience using three words:

Thank you, sister.



Please Describe your abortion experience.

I was 16 when I had my first sexual experience, unfortunately non-consensual, with who I thought was a friend. As a condom had not been used I worried I may become pregnant. My breasts became tender shortly after. I missed my period that month and just knew I was pregnant. I booked the appointment without taking a test or telling anyone. I was 16 and


we didn't drive so I concocted a story to get my sister, who is 3 years older, to take me to the city on the bus. On the day, while we were on route, I told her the real reason for the trip and she never skipped a beat. She stopped at an ATM to get me the money I'd require (I didn't have money), stayed with me through the appointment, got me my post-procedure RX, and got me home at our scheduled time. She never asked who was the father was and I have never told anyone. My experience is positive because of her. Now, if we can't see each other or our relationship is strained we say, "we'll always have the city..."



What were your expectations of yourself and others?

I didn’t expect anything from anyone. I only told my sister because they required a "responsible adult to take you home"°



In this section, describe your feelings at the time you had your abortion.

I was numb.



What about after the abortion? Did your feelings change? What made you feel this way?

I was numb for a long time. I developed PTSD and fluctuated between anger and sadness over the next 10 years before seeking therapy.



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?

My sister was most likely scared for me. She was probably worried how I ended up in this situation as I was a straight A student and athlete. I never told the father until much later, who hasn't spoken to me since.



In what way did the choices you made meet your goals for yourself? Were the choices you made aligned with your goals?

I wanted to go into Medicine. I was unsure if I even wanted a family. I made the choice so that I would be able to get my education without boundaries, and I have. I am in the process of obtaining my masters, have one professional degree, one academic degree, and own my own business.



What other choices were available? Why do you think you did not choose them?

Adoption, keep the pregnancy. I didn't want to lose anytime and I never allowed myself to think of the fetus as viable. I only allowed myself to think of it as a problem that was forced upon me.



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 feel a lot of love and empathy for both those girls who went to the clinic. They were a lot stronger than they gave themselves credit for. I no longer see it as a dark moment.



What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this experience and the way you feel about it?

I expected myself to be able to deal with it on my own. I expected that if I never thought of the pregnancy as a viable that I would protect myself. I thought I was alone. I have learned that I wasn't alone, have never been, and am lucky enough to say I probably never will be.



What would your expectations be now?

Be kind to myself.



If you were able to go back in time, what would you do differently?

Tell my parents what happened, when it happened.



In what ways has your abortion experience changed you?

It made me realize that I cannot do everything myself nor do those who care about me want that.



Have your goals changed as a result of your abortion experience?

Yes, after my abortion I question absolutely everything about myself, my beliefs, and my future



What have you learned about your ability to make choices?

I can be impulsive and controlling about decisions I am confident in, whether they are right or wrong choices.



Will you make the same choices in the future?

I think I will make the same choices, but without shame and openly



I more clearly see who I can count on in times of trouble.

I discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I was.

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