I had an abortion

1978 Canada (born in Canada)

What were your feelings about doing the abortion/s? comfortable, resolved, relieved, confident, as usual, sure

I did feel trapped *by the unintended pregnancy*. There is no going back to fix that, any more than a broken bone. Just like almost every other woman, I thought it would never happen to me. Truth is, it happens to probably close to half of us, at one time or another in our lives. Including the most educated and most careful and most "responsible" of us. And even more for women who don't have access to contraceptives, in other places in the world, of course. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I knew I would be unable to do it if I had a child I had not intended or planned to have. (Adoption was out of the question; I could not do that to myself or a child, and the fact was I simply did not want to have a child, let alone have one and pass it to strangers to rear.) No regrets. Certainly, occasional "what if" thoughts, just like "what if I had done post-graduate studies" and all the other "what if"s in life. I like the life I have.

How did you do the abortion? in a clinic or hospital with surgery

What was your situation at this time? my personal reasons for not wanting a child

I was 27 and had just begun my professional practice. I did not want children then, and ultimately never did. I had practised birth control for 9 years, since before I first had sex; I had an IUD, and it failed. My province still required certification by a hospital board that an abortion was necessary for my health. I found that demeaning and time-wasting, and so my clinic referred me to the Montreal General in Quebec, where the brave Dr. Henry Morgentaler had fought that law and it was no longer applied. A group of about 10 women received an explanation by a nurse, using a model, of how the dilation and extraction would be performed, and the nurse was available to ask any questions. I'm sure I was also interviewed privately but I don't remember that. I remember one woman, an immigrant from India, who had her husband with her, who was terribly upset; possibly her termination was because of a wanted pregnancy gone wrong. Most women kept to themselves; myself and another young woman chatted a little. The procedure was under a local anaesthetic, and was painful; a nurse held my hand and I gripped her arm. The medical staff were pleasant, kind and supportive. I felt perfectly fine immediately after, and was able to leave in a taxi after about two hours, as I recall. (My brother lived in Montreal and his girlfriend fetched me.) I had no further after-effects beyond a little spotting. I had to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement from my provincial insurance plan. The plan refused to pay more than half unless I proved medical necessity. The amount was small but I fought that policy on principle, and won the battle for the women who came after me.

Do you have children?

i have no children

What is your religion?

no religion