A solider’s illegal overseas abortion

by Anonymous

January 5, 2023

I was 18, a new Army soldier, stationed in South Korea. I got pregnant by the second boyfriend I ever had. He told me he didn’t want to be a father and I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I didn’t know at the time that abortion was illegal in Korea and I also didn’t have enough time to be sent back to the United States.

A Korean soldier who worked with the US Army told me that his girlfriend had to get an abortion because they were not married and she would be disowned by her family. I trusted this Korean soldier to escort me and translate everything I needed, I remember not understanding the money conversion and splaying all the money I had in my wallet out, and the lady at the office just picked out the bills that she needed to pay for the abortion. The soldier rode with me in the taxi to the clinic where nobody spoke English, and I had to rely on the Korean solider to advocate for me.

I’ve blacked out most of the experience, but I do remember being put to sleep in what looked like a rudimentary doctor’s office and then waking up on a children’s sleep mat on the floor in an empty room. The Korean soldier had a brown paper bag of all my recovery medications ready to go and then he escorted me back to the barracks where I had to recover in private. I never spoke about it and it wasn’t until 10 years later when they legalized abortion in South Korea, that I realized everything that I had done was in an illegal underground clinic. I’m so happy I survived, I am surprised I wasn’t caught. I hope nobody has to ever go through what I went through.

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