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These Things Happen

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.

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