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I was 18 when I found out...

April 2, 2014

"I was 18 when I found out. I consistently used condoms with my boyfriend at the time, and less than a year out of high school, I was panicked. I knew that abortion was the right choice for me, due to my mental health issues, endless medication list and recent acceptance to university. I wrote all of these down and I still have the list, in case I ever have doubts. When I went to the clinic, the staff was incredibly friendly, and I saw a wide variety of ages and ethnicities in the waiting room, a good reminder to everyone that it's not just teenage white girls who get abortions. And people were smiling and laughing, which was incredibly comforting. I was worried it'd be gloomy and scary. Although, I was personally just scared of having a minor surgery. I had an ultrasound (I couldn't see the screen) and then I spoke with a counselor who answered my questions about pain and aftercare and also told me about the patch as a method of birth control as a backup for condoms. A nurse gave me an Ativan and I waited in a comfy blanket skirt for about forty-five minutes, when a different nurse brought me to the procedure room and explained everything as the doctor came in. I was given a sedative, and I remember hearing my heart rate monitor beep plus the sound of the machine and telling the nurse we must be on Star Trek, hearing the "whooOOSH." I remember both of us trying not to laugh. I had minor nausea after the roughly 5-minute procedure, plus some terrible cramps, but when I left the clinic I felt like singing "Walking on Sunshine" at the top of my lungs. I still feel like that! My ex and I broke up very shortly afterwards (for a different reason) but he was still incredibly supportive and I can't thank him enough for that. I never doubted my decision, and if I ever do I can read my list and put my mind at ease. It was right for me!"  —Laura

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