Abortion Saved My Life

by Kristin Peters

August 16, 2022

Content Warning: self-harm

I was too poor to afford food when I had my first abortion. I had moved out of my mom’s house as soon as I turned 18 to escape her psychological and emotional abuse. I was working all that I could while also attempting to work through an undergraduate degree. I paid my own rent, my own bills, and my own tuition. I did not make enough money to do those three things, let alone pay for groceries or even fast food. I lost a ton of weight and had almost no energy. Buying condoms or accessing birth control pills seemed impossible and a laughably distant priority.

I was sexually active, young, depressed, and lonely, which resulted in me becoming pregnant. I remember my boyfriend at the time yelling that I had ruined his life. I felt that I had ruined my own. I had no desire to have children, I could not afford to have children, and I certainly felt ashamed that I had let this happen to me. I was “too smart” for this.

I tried to punch myself in the abdomen to try to induce a miscarriage. I would slam my body against hard surfaces and railings to try to do the same. I told no one.

I was lucky in that my doctor was open to referring me to the clinic in my city that would help me. I sometimes think about what would have happened if he had not been so kind. Although, I also think about how little information he could give me beyond scribbling the name and number of the clinic on a piece of paper. There was no actual referral process.

The decision to have the abortion was the only decision for me. I did not envision a life where I would raise a child, put my body through the process of childbirth, or fill the system with one more child who was unwanted. If I had not been able to access a medically safe abortion procedure, I would have escalated in self harm to effect one myself — or die trying. I know this to be true.

This would happen to me one more time before the worst 3 years of my life so far were over. I had two abortions during that time: one aspiration and one induced. I am deeply grateful every day for both of them and have never regretted either of them. I have put myself through law school and now have a job that lets me afford an IUD.

Abortion is essential medical care. It was the only thing that helped me control my own destiny and my own health at a time when everything else was spiraling out of control for me.

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