by Anonymous

September 14, 2020

I knew it before taking the test. There was no other way I could interpret the changes in my body. Making the decision to have my abortion was the most difficult I ever had to take – this has nothing to do with my opinions about abortion. I see abortion as emergency health care that all women should have access to because if they need it, they need it and will do it in whatever way they can find – and they should be granted the possibility to do it in safe, humane, compassionate, discreet conditions.

Despite this, I felt trapped, back against the wall, feeling the first changes for a new being inside of me that I could not just decide to have nothing to do with – it was inside me. My rational thinking told me that there was no way to have a baby that would grow up without a father, and that I could not provide the safety I would want to. Neither was I in any condition to provide myself with the safety that I would want for myself when attempting the beautiful and challenging task of being a mother. But that doesn’t mean it did not break my heart and I had a strange feeling that I should be protecting this with my life and was hurting myself so much by deciding otherwise.

I had my abortion in Germany and although it is surely one of the privileged places in the world when it comes to abortion rights, it is by law only “free of punishment” (not “legal”) –  under condition that you follow certain steps such as having a professional/psychologic consultation. Doctors are not allowed to inform on their website or flyers that they do abortions and there has been a major court process about a gynecologist who nevertheless did so last year, so if you do not live in big cities, it can be hard to find a doctor who does it. While I felt my most vulnerable, I had to function well and organize many things and talk to many strangers, going through a bureaucratic system that I experienced as cold and exposing. I had a medical abortion and almost broke down to taking a last-minute step back, but I went through with it and it was certainly painful and unpleasant, but – not as bad as I had imagined… My mind, however, went totally numb after that. I tried to say goodbye to the possibility of “what if…”. A few weeks later, the doctor told me something was still there and I needed to have a surgery as well, under pandemic restrictions. I fought with depression during the lockdown months, but am getting better every day.

Despite having a supporting surrounding and all the medical care, I felt isolated, as if no one could understand me, and some reactions hurt me even if they came with the best intentions. Sometimes I wanted to keep it all to myself. Sometimes it just spilled out, to people I would have least expected to talk to but who turned out to be the most supportive. Reading shared stories on platforms like “Shout your Abortion” helps me to feel less alone – the least we can take from this experience is to empower each other and share knowledge, right?

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!