It is hard to believe that in 2019, several states have successfully criminalized abortion. I currently live in Missouri who has only one abortion clinic in the state and last week the State Senate submitted a bill that would make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy after the 8th week.
In 1992, my boyfriend Joseph of less then a year decided that we needed to take proper precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. During my appointment a pregnancy test was administered prior to receiving a prescription for birth control pills. To my pure shock, I was pregnant. The irony wasn’t lost on me. I was very blunt with my Joseph. I was to start classes in the fall at the local community college and I at 19 was not ready to parent a child. I also did not know what type of father he would be or if I wanted to spend the next 18 years to life tethered to him. Joseph accepted my decision and I started the process at Planned Parenthood.
During my consultation, I was educated on all my options that included adoption and keep the child. When I chose to terminate, I was then further educated on the process and the after care. I opted to tell my aunt, just in case something went wrong. The night before the procedure, I was stressing over the decision I had made. My aunt said I had nothing to feel guilty over. I needed to remember why I had made this decision and move forward with the life I choose.
The following morning, Joseph drove me to the clinic. He waited while I was escorted to a room, where I took another pregnancy test, and changed into a hospital gown. An ultrasound was preformed to determine the stage of the pregnancy. I then was taken to the room where the procedure would take place. At each stage, I was asked if I understood what was happening and if I wanted to change my mind. To each time, I would indicate that I understood that I was choosing to terminate the pregnancy and no I had not changed my mind.
I don’t remember if I was given something to relax me or something for pain, but I remember when the instrument was inserted inside me, I started counting the tiny holes in the drop ceiling.
“You will feel a little pressure”
45, 46, 47, 48, 49
“Now you feel some discomfort and cramping”
325, 326, 327, 328
“Okay, we are almost done”
1078, 1079, 1080, 1081
“We are done. Once you are ready, a nurse will take you over to recovery.”
When I turned my head to look at the doctor, the pillow was wet from my tears. Tears I had not realized had escaped. I didn’t regret my decision, but I did mourn the potential of life that was no longer alive.
In the recovery room, I was given some juice and gram crackers. It was a couple of minutes before I realized I wasn’t alone. There were two other young women who were chatting and asking for more juice and crackers. Their moods were totally differed from mine. It was at that moment I promised myself never to put myself in the position where I would have to do this ever again.
Abortion is a choice, it is my right to say what or what doesn’t happen to my body. Twenty seven years later, I have had a total of seven pregnancies, one terminated, three spontaneous abortions, and three healthy babies who are 24, 13, and 11 years old now.
Even though I vowed not to have another abortion, I also never wavered in my support of the Pro Choice movement. I am pro sex education, I am pro birth control, I am pro women’s rights, I am pro privacy and I am pro the right to choose. All of this does not make me pro abortion, but I would not ever want to take away another woman’s option to choose.