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Abortion During a Global Pandemic

My Story…


I was five days late, which isn’t uncommon for me. I kept having cramps, the normal cramps I get before my period, but days passed and still no period. Something didn’t feel right though so I grabbed the last pregnancy test under the sink. I honestly just thought I was wasting a pregnancy test, but both lines showed up right away. I cursed under my breath and stared at the pregnancy test waiting for one of the lines to disappear, but of course, it stayed there.

More cursing happened once I remembered we are in a global pandemic and medical services are limited to only essential. I remembered reading about abortions being restricted in Texas and Ohio, how awful I felt for the women being affected by these restrictions and wondered if I now would also be affected by these restrictions.

Decisions are not easy for me, I second guess myself too much, overthink things, etc; but this was one decision that was made as soon as the test said positive. No weighing pros and cons, no talking to my husband, discussion with friends or family – it was the right decision for me.

I grabbed my phone and scheduled an appointment with Planned Parenthood, which was for the following week. At the same time, I texted my husband to tell him I was pregnant. He was in physical therapy and would not see my text for another hour. During this hour, I thought “I have health insurance. Do I have to go to Planned Parenthood? Can I go to a doctor? Who performs abortions?” I called OB/GYN offices that showed up under my health insurance when I searched for abortion. One wasn’t taking new patients and the second replied “we don’t do that” when I asked about terminating a pregnancy. Then I just searched for abortion providers in my state. A clinic 30 minutes away showed up on the search, I had passed this clinic multiple times when I lived in that city so I called.

I explained I needed to terminate a pregnancy and they started asking all the necessary questions. After I answered everything, they said they could schedule the procedure for the next day, but first I had to speak to a provider who would call me later that afternoon. I was extremely relieved and thankful to live in my state. Here I am in need of an abortion during a global pandemic and can chose between two clinics near my house.

My husband saw my text and called me, when I picked up he sounded excited. My heart sank and I started crying at this point. This would not be an “us” decision, this was a “me” decision. When he came home, we sat down and talked. He explained he sounded excited because he didn’t think I was serious when I sent him the text. He had married me knowing I did not want to have children and would still love me no matter what I decided. I told him I was afraid I would lose him for terminating the pregnancy, but I could not become a parent to make him happy because I did not want to become a parent; as I had told him months before he proposed. He continued to reassure me it was my decision and he would not resent me for it. Even if this decision ended my marriage, I was not going to turn back on it because I knew it was the right decision.

The provider called me, asked me all the standard questions – if anyone was forcing me to make this decision, if I needed counseling, and then the medical questions. They explained what a medication abortion was and what to expect during the appointment and after. They also explained the precautions they were taking at the clinic due to COVID-19; which meant I would not be able to have anyone accompany me.

My sister was due to have her second child in about two weeks, but the doctors had told her she might go into labor earlier. She had four miscarriages prior to this pregnancy. I mourned the loss of the pregnancy every time. Though I do not want to have children, I love being an aunt. My nephew is my world and was beyond ecstatic for my sister’s second child. I struggled whether or not to share what I was going through with her. I was not looking for support, as I mentioned before, I knew my decision was right no matter what anyone said. I finally told her I was pregnant and terminating the pregnancy.

The next morning I woke up earlier to get some work done prior to my appointment. Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, I had been working from home for about two months. I made up an excuse about not feeling well and that I’d be on and offline that day and would make up my hours at night when I felt better. I told my husband he did not need to come with me as he was not allowed to be in the clinic with me and I was only allowed to be in the clinic for the procedure, the rest of the waiting had to be done in the parking lot. Most of the time I spent at the clinic was in my car. I filled out all the paperwork and waited to be allowed back inside. During this time my sister and husband continued to check on me. Once I was allowed back in the clinic, the provider explained what each pill would do, when to take what pill and how. I took the first pill exactly 24 hours after finding out I was pregnant.

Eight hours later, I took the second set of pills and braced myself for cramps and bleeding. I had one bad cramp that made me go into fetal position, but nothing else happened. The next day, I kept waiting for pain and bleeding. I would get a cramp here and there and brace myself for pain, but again, nothing happened. I called the clinic and explained nothing was happening. They told me to take the backup set if nothing had happened at the 24 hour mark. So I did and again braced myself for pain and a lot of bleeding and again, nothing happened. My sister had had an ectopic pregnancy and was concerned I was having one too because nothing was happening. Finally, 48+hours after taking the first set of the second pill, I started bleeding.

I felt relief and kept reading about what to expect at this point. Everything said to expect blood clots, but I wasn’t expelling blood clots. I was bleeding less than during a normal period, but it had just lasted longer than a normal period so I brought this up during the 1-week check up call from the clinic. The provider thought it was strange it took so long for the bleeding to start, I wasn’t feeling pain and I wasn’t bleeding much. They were also concerned the pregnancy could be ectopic. I went into the clinic right away for bloodwork and an ultrasound. The ultrasound did not show anything and the bloodwork came back low. They said the procedure likely worked and to come back in a few days for more bloodwork to ensure the procedure had worked and the rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

A few days later I went back for bloodwork which showed the procedure had worked. Throughout the week after the procedure, I went on with my life as normal. I kept biking, but couldn’t run because my breasts had swelled up so much it was uncomfortable to run. Everything said not to exercise, to take it easy, but since I didn’t feel much pain, I continued with my life as normal. I was only two or three weeks pregnant, which is probably why I did not feel pain or much discomfort from my abortion. I am a married woman in my 30s with a husband, a house, a dog, a stable career and I had an abortion. I am grateful I live in a state where I could have an abortion as soon as 24 hours after finding out I was pregnant, even during a global pandemic.

One Response to “Abortion During a Global Pandemic”

  1. admin Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story – it really helps readers hear about others’ experiences. And thank you for reminding us of how integral abortion services are – and how at risk. We’re glad you could make the right decision for you.

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