I had an abortion at age 42

by Anonymous

January 10, 2022

Two months into a global pandemic, while still in lockdown, and a month after being accepted into a graduate program, I found myself pregnant unexpectedly and shockingly pregnant at 42. My children were teenagers, I was divorced from their father and 7 months into my second marriage. We both had children from previous relationships and no intentions of having one together. I came into my current career later in life because I had dedicated my 20s and early 30s to raising my kids, recovering from two bouts of postpartum depression and prolonged grief following a miscarriage that almost killed me. My 40s and beyond were meant to be a time to get back to me and my goals for myself. I knew that starting all over again with a baby would derail my plans. I was terrified of experiencing PPD again. I was concerned about caring for a baby while simultaneously parenting teenagers with special needs. And I was already feeling sick, tired and sore from the pregnancy. I worried that my 40 something body couldn’t cope with a pregnancy the same way my 20 something body did. Finally, I was ashamed. I felt so foolish for accidentally getting pregnant at my age. When instead, I should be concerned about my kids having an unplanned pregnancy. We were using birth control, but I didn’t even think it was possible for me to get pregnant at 42.

When I went to the abortion clinic in the hospital it was obvious that I was significantly older than everyone else there. I even ended up being a support person for a young person who was alone and anxious. We all were. It was 2 months into the pandemic and the hospital wouldn’t allow visitors or support people. My partner dropped me off and picked me up, but we both would have preferred if he could have been there. My children were with their dad that week. I told them I was having a procedure done at the hospital, but I never specified what it was for. They haven’t asked. They just know that since that time their mum has become extra vocal about abortion rights and accessibility, especially for those of us who live in Northern and rural areas of Canada.

There is only one abortion provider in our city and they only perform abortions one day a week. I wanted the abortion pill but couldn’t find anyone in our city who would prescribe it. Many people here still travel 4 hours or more to have an abortion. I don’t want that for my kids or anyone else’s kids. I want safe and accessible abortions for all.

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