In her cold hands

by El

May 17, 2021

Content Warning: rape

The day I went to get my fifth and so far last abortion I had two lovely friends by my side. You see the first one was the product of rape, the second two with an abusive partner, and the last two a total shit head self absorbed jerk. During our first abortion together I had second thoughts as we sat in the waiting room. He wouldn’t let me change my mind and as I cried for the 30 minutes we waited, he read the news to avoid having to deal with me… this time I decided he wouldn’t be my support, my sisters would.

On our way to the clinic from the parking lot we were emotionally smacked in the face by anti choice folks yelling their crap our way. When we got in I was told that if I chose to go the pill route, my preference, I would have to come back and possibly go through a surgical one anyway. So I agreed to stay and have it done that day. After going through the questions and all the prep stuff I lay on the table waiting for the doctor to come in.

She burst through the door with a look of disgust on her face. “5 abortions?!” Shame and embarrassment filled my body, the very body she would be so intimately working on in just a few moments. “You are using abortions as birth control!” No one said anything. Her rough cold hands touched me, and when we were done she left and I felt completely violated.

She didn’t know me or any of my stories, she didn’t even care to ask. I trusted her enough to let her touch me in this time that was difficult for me, and she judged me and humiliated me. It took me years to realize that this was not okay. And when I did I wrote the clinic to tell them my story. They said she didn’t work there anymore but they were sorry that happened.

I am sharing because now I am a healthcare worker and I know how vulnerable patients can be sometimes. Judgement exists in the healthcare world too, unfortunately, but we humans have the right to be treated with respect to choose what is right for our bodies and our lives. I hope sharing this story can help anyone who has felt shamed by a medical professional so that you may know that you do not deserve it and you are powerful in making the choices you need to make for yourself.

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