Two years ago, I had an abortion. And I’ve struggled with the internal dilemma and ‘what if’ scenarios ever since.
One of my best friends recently confided in me that she’d suffered a miscarriage two weeks prior. Among the tears and heartbreak, she expressed her anger towards women who have abortions and said she couldn’t comprehend how someone could give up a baby so easily when others want one so badly.
Another friend confided similar feelings after telling me about her frustrations in trying to get pregnant for the last 18 months. My heart broke for both of them, and also for myself – because sometimes I think they are right.
For many women, the impending arrival of a baby is one of joy and excitement – but I took four pills, suffered severe cramps for a couple of hours, and flushed it down the toilet. It makes me feel sick even thinking about it.
Two years ago, my husband and I got married, spent a month in the USA, and then I found out I was pregnant. I was on the pill, but with our travels and the time difference and the disruption of our normal routines, I didn’t take it every day on the hour as I should have.
While my initial reaction to my positive pregnancy test was tears and thumping my fist against the bathroom cabinet yelling ‘fuck!’, I did not automatically make my decision. I spent the next week reading everything I could about pregnancy and the cost of raising a child, while also reading about abortion options, costs and the effect on future pregnancies.
I considered what our goals and aspirations were, which did not align with nappies and day care. After much dilemma, tears, pros and cons lists and discussions with my husband, I called a local clinic and confirmed I wanted an appointment for that Friday. I spent the next few days changing my mind back and forth, but overall I felt it was the right thing to do.
In terms of the actual procedure, you can either opt for a medical or surgical abortion. Medical abortions can be done during the first 9 weeks and I was 7 weeks, and it was my preference over surgical. I still have the notes on my iPhone about the process.