My Abortion Story

by H

January 18, 2023

I feel very lucky to have been able to access abortion care when I needed it. I got an abortion in Texas in the short time between the COVID-19 abortion suspension and the now almost complete abortion ban.

My spouse was deployed to Japan for 18 months beginning in November of 2019, right before COVID-19. In the fall of 2019 I also moved away from my family for the first time to pursue graduate school in Austin, TX. I was completely alone, I knew no one. When COVID hit, all my plans to visit him had been squashed. It was a very difficult time for me. I was lucky enough to have him visit home one time during that entire deployment. He visited for two weeks in November of 2020.

During his visit I accidentally became pregnant. I knew right away something was off and told him these feelings. We took a test just to be sure and it was negative but the feeling like something was different didn’t go away. On the morning I drove him to the airport I began spotting and we both felt relieved. The spotting stopped a couple hours after and I took another test a few days later. This time it was positive. I immediately called him and we both knew the only option was to abort this pregnancy. He was the most supportive, understanding, and empathetic I had ever seen him in those moments and I’m so grateful for my partner. There were so many circumstances that would have prevented us from giving a baby the best possible life and the life we imagined for our first child. I had another semester of grad school, we were living off of his military salary so we did not have a lot of money, he was going to be gone for another six months, and in July of 2021, when the baby would have been due, he was going to come back and we were going to move across the county for my unpaid year long graduate internship.

I called a trusted friend who lived a few hours from Austin. She congratulated me on being pregnant. This was unexpected and I hesitated to tell her my intentions to abort but I had to at that point. She understood and said she would come to town to stay with me during my first appointment at the clinic. The earliest appointment was two weeks away. I thought it would be a one and done situation but turns out in Texas at the time they required you to have a pre appointment where you have to get an ultrasound before you can make your abortion appointment. I scheduled my abortion appointment again at the earliest opportunity which was another two weeks away. My friend wouldn’t be able to stay with me that weekend. This meant I would have to find transportation to and from the clinic. Fortunately, there was a local organization that provided rides to and from abortions and I pursued this. While I was so grateful for this, it was uncomfortable having a stranger take me to such a sensitive and vulnerable appointment in a state like Texas.

Every time I went to the clinic it was packed and I waited at least an hour before being called back. They didn’t have enough seating so people were sitting on the floor, me included. This was the only operating clinic for many miles in every direction. Despite all these circumstances, I felt so safe in there. During the operation I had a nurse on both sides of me holding my hands. I was awake the whole time and I cried.

Me and my spouse have no regrets but we do think about how old that fetus would be now and what our life would have looked like. I didn’t realize I would feel so connected to a fetus so early on in a pregnancy. I often tell others I have gotten an abortion (when the circumstances are right) in hopes that they will feel less alone if they have to have an abortion. I felt very alone. After the abortion I called two trusted older relatives and told them because I felt like I needed to talk about it with someone who I look up to. They both separately revealed to me that they too had gotten an abortion around my age. I wished I had known that but I understand why I didn’t.

I found ShoutYourAbortion shortly before my abortion while frantically searching for a story similar to mine. Thank you.

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