I had an abortion and it changed my life, for better and for worse.
2007 Peru (born in United States)
What were your feelings about doing the abortion/s?
This is likely the most complex set of emotions I'll ever experience in my life, which is why it's possible for me to feel both confused and sure at once. More than anything, I feel bad that I don't feel bad. I am sure that I made the right decision, and that my health, both physical and mental, is better for having had an abortion. But I find I can't help but feel selfish, as the fetus I was carrying was, of course, not at fault. Perhaps this feeling is well-founded, and perhaps I am simply feeling the stigma that is levied against women who choose to have an abortion. When I think about the choice that confronted the man I was involved with - simply to walk away or to stay - I feel much more confident about my decision. Why, when a man can simply wash his hands of the situation, must a woman feel obligated to have a baby? It makes no sense. Stigmatize me, ostracize me, all I did was walk away. I'm not proud, but I'm not ashamed, either.
How did you do the abortion?
In general, my experience was very positive. The moments I actually took the pills were difficult, knowing that the act of swallowing would be a life-changing one. But after having read about everything I could expect to have happen to me, I felt almost calm, and as the process moved along, and symptoms/side effects began appearing one by one, being informed made it a lot less nerve-wracking. I did have severe cramping, and moderate to severe nausea, but didn't vomit. I was in a great amount of discomfort for about three hours. Pain relievers helped a lot, but did not completely eliminate the pain.
What was your situation at this time?
The conception occurred without love, much like my conception. And though I have been blessed with one extremely caring parent, it weighs on me every day that I was conceived without love, and is something that I am sure has affected the person I have become. I did not want the same hardship for any child of mine. I was also in a foreign place, alone, and very much depressed. The mental health repercussions of the choice to have or not to have the child were almost crushing. In the end, the choice that proved to be the least dangerous to my mental health was abortion.
Did the illegality of your abortion affect your feelings?
It made me feel ostracized, and before I found out about Women on Web, I was really nervous about the potential danger in going to an illegal clinic and having it done there by someone who I couldn't be sure was a professional.
How did other people react to your abortion?
I told one friend, who was with me when I took the medicines, and although we didn't agree about my decision, my friend was still very supportive.
Do you have children?
What is your religion?
I had a medical abortion (the pill) with BPAS when I was just shy of 8 weeks.
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