I am 23 years old...

“I am 23 years old. I had my abortion on March 4th, 2019. I've kept it to myself until this point, but with restrictions tightening and access to safe abortions lessening, I need to tell my story to give an outlet to the rage I feel. Let me be so clear: I had a dilation and extraction procedure, and the abortion itself was the easiest part. The hard part was actually being able to get the abortion. After missing my period at the end of January, I took a test. Positive. I had no idea what to do. I called the nearest Planned Parenthood and was informed I would have to drive to their clinic three hours away to receive the care I needed, and the soonest appointment I could get was March 4th, almost a month out. Not only that, but without insurance covering the procedure (most insurance companies do not), I would have to pay almost $800 out-of-pocket for the whole thing. My entire family and support network lives halfway across the country. I had just moved to this new area, away from the father of the baby (for good reason). For somebody living month-to-month - and with nobody to ask for help - I was panicked. I didn't have the financial cushion to obtain the abortion, forget raising a child.

So, I did what seemed to be my only option: I started working at a nearby strip club as a dancer. Every night I wasn't working at my full-time job, I was dancing. Throughout that month, I raised exactly enough money to have the procedure. That month I was constantly exhausted and constantly nauseous. By the time I made it to the clinic for my procedure and they gave me an ultrasound. I was 10 weeks pregnant. Long past the "6 week" mark that multiple states have now passed. Regardless of the fact that I'd taken the test as soon as I'd missed my period; regardless of the fact that I'd made the appointment for as soon as I possibly could (and even if I could've had the procedure sooner, I wouldn't have been able to afford it until the day I had my procedure anyways). Now I find myself scrolling through the comment sections every time I see headlines announcing another state has placed more restrictions, or flat-out bans, on abortions, and I get so angry I cry. So many people who have never had to have an abortion are now forming opinions of their own on how/when/why a woman should have an abortion. I've seen many people saying ‘6 to 10 weeks should be the cut off;’ ‘women should be allowed abortions only if rape or incest is involved;’ ‘women should be allowed to have an abortion only if the pregnancy is life-threatening;’ and all of that makes me so angry it brings tears to my eyes.

People don't understand there are already SO MANY restrictions on abortion! I had to wait a month. I had to talk to several doctors on the phone before the procedure. I had to travel 150 miles, pay 800 dollars out of pocket, have an ultrasound, and reassure the doctors that this was my choice, I hadn't been pressured, and that I was absolutely, positively sure this was what I wanted to do. The abortion was well-worth it. The procedure itself took less than 5 minutes from when I got onto the table to when it was complete. It was not nearly as painful as I had anticipated it being. I felt nothing but a huge wave of relief when I realized that this heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Now, instead of saving for a child I wasn't prepared to have, with somebody who wouldn't have supported me or my child, I can save to finish my education so that in a few years I can be in a situation where I actually can afford a baby. I'll conclude with this: during that month between finding out and having the abortion, I found myself on this website often. I read so many stories about how and why other women decided to have their abortions and they gave me courage. To any woman out there who freshly peed on the stick and know you want to have an abortion but have no idea what to do: don't be scared. You are resilient and you will do what you have to do to make it happen. I believe in all of us.” - Anonymous

#single #relief #financialinstability

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