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I was 33 years old, five years into a committed relationship ...

January 16, 2015

"I was 33 years old, five years into a committed relationship. We were happily childless and using birth control. I had a health issue that would make it very hard for me to give birth and raise an infant. For these reasons, my partner and I already knew that, if I were to get pregnant, I would choose abortion.

 

When the pregnancy test came back positive, there was no second-guessing from me. Initially, my partner seemed supportive, but when the details started to fall in place, he started to say that I shouldn't talk about it and that I should have the abortion but feel ashamed by it. I wanted, needed, to talk about it and did not feel ashamed. I turned to a friend for support, but she told me that accidents happen and started talking about how I'd be a great mother. I still did not feel ashamed, but for the first time I started to understand why we don't tell our abortion stories.

 

When the time came for him to pick me up for the appointment, my partner didn't show. A half hour later, I still wasn't able to reach him by phone or text message. I knew I was on my own. He never gave me a reason. I took the pills at the clinic and headed to a hotel. I curled up in bed and concentrated on the waves of cramps that washed over me. After a couple of hours, I passed the gestational sac on the hotel room toilet. I stood and looked into the water, swirled with blood, and put my hand on the flusher. But I paused. I was horrified, curious; I realized that I needed to see it. I knew that I would regret not seeing it. I needed to understand MY abortion.

 

I scrunched my face and plunged my hand into the water. The sac was smooth and slippery, still warm. I turned it over. My thumbs pressed their way inside and I carefully pulled it open, terrified of the contents but wanting, needing, to see for myself. I ran my fingers along the inside of the sac, noting that it wasn't smooth like the outside but textured. I turned the sac inside out and scanned the walls. I was surprised that I needed to know what to look for, that it wasn't self-apparent. The embryo, so tiny (I read later that, at 8 weeks, it would have been just 1/2 inch long), was lost amongst the blood and tissue. After a few minutes of searching and not finding it, I understood well enough what I was throwing away—*potential* human life, but not yet a baby or even a fetus. I did not feel ashamed."  —Anonymous

 

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