facebook : twitter  : email  : donate

Archive for the ‘Medical Abortions’ Category

These Things Happen

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

My abortion isn’t something I’m ashamed of. I had taken precautions, I was on birth control, and I got pregnant. As my gynecologist assured me, these things happen. And they do. And you get through them, although it doesn’t always seem that way at the time.

I found out I was pregnant about six weeks in. I had no appetite but felt nauseous. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I took three more, and had a friend take one as well. Me- four pluses, her- one negative. I went to Planned Parenthood and decided to have a medical abortion. My appointment was set for ten days later, so I had ten days of resting with my decision. I gave it endless thought, but never wavered. But I was surprised by how much in awe of my body I was. For ten days, I was constantly aware that there were two people where there used to be one. I brought a friend to the appointment with me, but didn’t tell the boy I was dating or my parents. I didn’t suspect they would try to convince me otherwise, I just wanted it to be as simple and quick as possible. I took the RU-486 pills one day, and then the next, exactly as instructed. It was two long days, but I just kept telling myself- soon this will be over.

When I went back for my follow-up exam the next week, they did an ultrasound and told me that the pills hadn’t fully worked. I tried to grasp the concept- to what extent did they work? What existed inside me right now? They told me I’d have to have a surgical abortion and I made another appointment for four days later. I felt removed from it all. It was a surgery, a medical procedure. Any indecision or grief I could’ve experienced had to have already passed.

I returned for my surgical abortion and chose a local anesthetic. I watched them perform the surgery- several minutes, nothing more. I went home and rested and knew that it was finally all over.

I’m not ashamed of my abortion. If it comes up in conversation, I’ll easily talk about it. I share my story so other women in similar situations will know that they’ve done nothing wrong, that there are millions of women who have gone through it and that they are not alone.

One of Those Girls

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I always said I wouldn’t be one of those girls- the girls who got pregnant. But I didn’t use birth control because of a bad experience with medications, and I was fearful of concepts like an IUD. I never really fully understood birth control or the importance of it. I used condoms, but not regularly. But then I got pregnant. My boyfriend at the time and I had been dating for five months. I had come out of a longterm, unhealthy relationship and had just finished a long period of celibacy. I knew I was pregnant the moment it happened. The sex was different, I felt different, I felt I looked different. I was 22 and felt, for the first time, like a woman. And then I took a pregnancy test. I was overjoyed, and devestated. I couldn’t figure out which one more. What if this baby was the beginning of the rest of my life?What if this was meant to be?

By the time I found out I was pregnant, six weeks in, I had already been dumped. I had spent three months mourning the relationship. My nauseau, or fatigue, or lack of appetite were all associated with the breakup. Even my lack of period I associated with the breakup. But my boobs were large, and tender, and growing bigger by the minute. I had to face the facts. When I told my ex-boyfriend he was silent. Very silent.Hours seemed to pass before he asked me what I wanted to do. I realized my hope that he would suddenly change his mind about the relationship and want to have the baby was ridiculous. He didn’t want me, and he didn’t want the baby. And I didn’t want his baby. I wanted a child with someone who loved me and who wanted to be a parent. I no longer felt elated, or hopeful, I felt realistic. I didn’t think I would be one of those girls, and now I was, and it wasn’t so bad. I could handle it. (more…)

The Great Divide

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

People seem to believe that abortion creates some great divide- women who have had abortions, women who haven’t. Pro-choice, pro-life. On and on. But my experience with abortion makes me think that there’s another divide- between the perception of women who have had one abortion and the perception of  women who have had multiple abortions. I’ve had three abortions. I’m not uneducated and I’m not irresponsible. I’m a lawyer, I’m in my early thirties, I have a great life. I wouldn’t choose to have more abortions, and I don’t believe abortion is birth control. I simply cannot take birth control because it makes me feel horrible, and this has led to me getting pregnant.

It’s strange, because often in hearing about other women’s experiences with abortion, there’s a sense that abortion is necessary…once. As if it’s a get out of jail free card that you can use and learn a lesson from. I feel as if many women support abortion, but only once. You only get one abortion to learn your lesson. After that there’s no sympathy, no empathy. You’re perceived as irresponsible, or demonized. I can’t explain the judgment I’ve received from people- even close friends and family. I choose to openly stand behind my abortions, without shame, and will talk about them when asked (or if the conversation entails.) Over and over again, I can see the difference in people’s judgment between having one abortion and having three. (more…)

My Mother’s Story

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

What year did you have your abortion?

1974, 1976, 1978

How old were you when you had your abortion?

18, 20, 22.

How did you feel at the time?

Fine, relieved.

How do you feel now?

Great and thankful.

My story…

When i was a young woman my mother answered a request by an author who wrote for the new yorker magazine. this author wanted to interview women who had had illegal abortions. while i don’t think the author ever traveled to vermont to speak with my mother and my grandmother, it opened the conversation between my mother, my grandmother and me and my 3 sisters. collectively we had had 12 abortions. we all unburdened ourselves of our stories. i cannot remember gramma mary’s story other than that it was in the 1920′s. but i clearly recall my mom’s; it was 1958 and she had had 4 children and one miscarriage and once again her diaphragm had failed her. (more…)


Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Anxious, angry, really alone and mad at myself

How I feel now…

I never questioned my decision. I know it’s what was right for me. But I definitely wish I had told the people in my life and asked for support.

My story…

When I found out I was pregnant, my boyfriend and I immediately went to Planned Parenthood. I didn’t even consider other options- I didn’t want a baby and I didn’t want to be pregnant. There was nothing to consider except what kind of abortion I was going to have. I decided to have a medical abortion and we came back to PP three weeks later. They were some of the longest weeks of my life- despite being tired and nauseous all the time, I was so scared of the abortion and all the things I had been reading. I had so many questions but I couldn’t find any answers. I didn’t feel second guess my decision or feel like it was bad or  wrong, but I still didn’t want to tell anyone. Because  I didn’t, I felt like I was lying to everyone in my life. (more…)

Tell Your Story

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Overwhelmed by floods of deep sadness, fear, anger, humility and gratitude.

How I feel now…

At  peace with that part of my past.  I know it was what I needed to do and I am glad that I did it.  I still dream sometimes about a baby, a baby who I love and who holds no resentment.

My story…

He was prompt, he was rarely prompt, the king of being late really. We walked together through a patch of woods and into a clearing, resting our voices for the conversation to come.  A rolling carpet of pasture lay down in front of us; quiet, open.  At one time I was aware of the boundless space around and above me as well as my own fragile limits.  “I am pregnant,” I said.  The words fell like a broken piano might fall; hitting the ground between us in a chattering chord.  Once the echo softened into the tree line he said, “I saw the stick.”  That would be the stick I peed on, the one that left a bright pink plus sign embedded in my eyelids for the last week.  John reached for my hand and I watched as his fingers wrapped me in warmth. (more…)

Creating Life

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Terrified, Embarrassed, Depressed.

How I feel now…
Still embarrassed but, significantly less so. I am mostly filled with a great deal of sadness and a sense of loss.

My story…
I’m a romantic to say the least. I wanted every guy I met to be ‘the one’ that would last forever. Marry me. Be my husband. The father of my children. Sometimes I’m afraid I wished myself into it. I couldn’t afford birth control (not realizing then that I could get it for free) and I was having unprotected sex with a guy that I wanted to be the man of my dreams. My period was irregular because I wasn’t regulating it with birth control. So, my period was a couple of days late. I told myself repeatedly that it wasn’t true, that I was just over-reacting. But, my breasts were so tender and swollen, not too far from the feeling I have right before my period. I was rationalizing everything. The truth is, I knew I was pregnant. (more…)