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Abortion Delayed Because of Threats to Doctor

by Nancy Dollard

March 11, 2019

Content Warning: threats of violence toward physician

I was a college student in 1994 when I had my abortion.  It was the right choice for me because I was single and it was an unplanned pregnancy.  I assumed getting my abortion would be a simple doctor’s visit but I was wrong.  In the State of Ohio, before I could have my ”legal” abortion, I had to: 1-listen to the pros & cons of abortion and childbirth via the phone, 2-talk to a biased counselor who struck me as anti-choice, and 3-pick up a brochure sponsored by the state on fetal development, and 4-had to wait an additional 24 hours before my procedure to give me time to ”think.”

The legal hoops I had to jump through to get my ”legal” abortion were meant to dissuade me, but instead it just made me more determined to have it.  The day of my procedure finally arrived and I was anxious, but not because I was worried about the actual surgery, but because I was told that procedures were being delayed because the physician had to, ”change her schedule so she wouldn’t be killed.”  What?  As a patient, that’s not exactly the words you want to hear, that your doctor is being threatened, and could be killed, before you get your legal medical procedure done.

Luckily, the doctor made it in that day, and I had my abortion as scheduled. What a relief.  I was relieved because it was the first time I really started to take charge of my sexual health and really became aware of how restrictive state abortion policies can affect ordinary women like me.

This experience began my interest in pro-choice politics and led me to become a clinic escort so other women wouldn’t have to face what I did.

 

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