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I think it was 2009...

September 1, 2018

“I think it was 2009, so I would have been 31. This was in the United Kingdom. I went into hospital to have my gallbladder removed and the nurse asked me whether I could be pregnant. I laughed and said 'no' but as I estimated that my last period was about 4 weeks before, and I was due to start my next one any day (I've never been good with keeping tabs on when my periods are). She asked me to do a pregnancy test.

 

A couple of minutes she came back, smiling, saying I was pregnant. This was not the happy news I think she was expecting. I've never wanted to have children (and still don't) so I think I laughed and then started crying. They couldn’t do the gallbladder removal operation ‘until my second trimester’ but I informed her there and then that I wasn't going to continue the pregnancy.

 

I think that was on a Friday. I called my partner who had just dropped me off, in tears and he rushed back quite worried. I told him what had happened, and he was as shocked as I was. I told him I wasn't keeping it (I'd apparently told him on our first date that I didn't want children so there had never been any expectations there.) He was fully supportive.

 

I went to the doctor on the Monday and said what had happened and that I couldn't keep it, that I didn't want to have children and never had. She referred me to a Marie Stopes clinic and I think I might have gone that Thursday.

 

I was 7 weeks pregnant, so I opted to have a surgical abortion without an aesthetic so that I could drive myself there and back again. I'm not sure if I was offered a medical abortion, they may not have been quite so common then or maybe I just didn't know very much about them.

 

The procedure wasn't particularly pleasant, as you'd expect, and it was a bit painful, but nothing too terrible. The worst part was that I elected to have an IUD put in at the same time and that caused me pain for the next three months until I had it taken out and had a contraceptive implant put in instead.

 

I'd always said when people asked what I would do if I got pregnant that I'd treat it as a medical procedure and have an abortion and that's exactly what I did. It was the right decision for me and I have never regretted it. My partner and I are still together and happy.

 

 I'm always thrilled for friends when they announce wanted pregnancies, but I fully believe that every woman should have full choice about whether or not to continue a pregnancy. If an abortion is the right thing for you, then do it. Nobody has the right to tell you what you should or shouldn't do.”  —Sarah

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