I never thought I’d be able to go through with an abortion

by Claire

April 10, 2023

I was 24 when I became pregnant. I’ve always been a pro-choice supporter, but always thought that if it came down to it, I would never be able to get an abortion. But there I was, living some of my worst days with bipolar disorder and in a heavily abusive relationship with very little support. I was faced with a decision I never wanted to make, but it wasn’t a difficult one.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately burst into tears. I felt this overwhelming sense of dread, and couldn’t imagine how other people my age were happy to find such things out. I thought about how I would be as a mother, how my severe mental illness would undoubtedly cause issues as a parent, seeing as I still have episodes that cause pretty major problems for my loved ones and I. I thought about the possibility of passing my mental illness on to my child, about them suffering the same way I have. I thought about my boyfriend as a father – the way he would abuse me, and I imagined my child experiencing the same from him. I realized exactly what I needed to do.

I made the decision that same night that I was going to get an abortion. I made my appointment with the clinic online and waited very impatiently for my appointment in four days. I found out I was six weeks pregnant.

In my state, there was a 24 hour waiting period after the initial appointment before I could actually get the abortion. I scheduled my second appointment for as soon as I possibly could the next day. I wanted to get it over with. I was very scared it would hurt, both physically and emotionally. But I knew this was the best choice for me, by far.

I was scared of not having anyone to support me through the process, so I reached out to my mom, who is a medical doctor and fellow pro-choicer. I hadn’t spoken to her very much over the past year, but she was more than willing to offer her support to me. It brought us closer together and helped both of us, I believe. I texted her about how I was feeling every now and then, and asked her for advice when something didn’t seem normal to me (it was). I was very surprised at the pain I felt. It was nothing horrible like I had imagined. It was comparable to moderate-severe menstrual cramps.

The bleeding lasted a week, the cramps lasted three days, and it was over. Just like that. I didn’t feel the grief or the remorse I was expecting to feel. I felt like I had finally made a choice that had my best interest at heart, and had prevented my would-be child from what I would expect to be a difficult life full of suffering. I felt a sense of relief, like I could finally breathe for the first time after finding out about my pregnancy.

That was two years ago, and to this day, it crosses my mind perhaps once every other month. I don’t feel any shame or regret. Occasionally I feel sad, and wonder what a child of mine would have been like. I acknowledge those feelings and let them go. They do not cause me any distress or pain. I’m glad I made the decision I did, and support any other person who needs to make the same decision.

This was my reason for getting an abortion, but I don’t believe that anyone needs a reason other than “I don’t want to have a child.” Your body, your choice! Don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

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