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No Regrets #ProAbortion

by Shelley Arellano

September 10, 2018

Content Warning: coercion

I was coerced into having my abortion, but we fought so much about it and I was so incredibly sick by the time the appointment arrived, I was actually relieved to have it done. My spirit was broken. They were so kind to me, and the process relatively easy (two appointments over two days, watch a video, have “counseling”, sign a bunch of papers).

 

I remember looking up at this little blowfish toy that was hung above the table I was on, then I was out. I woke up in the recovery room, shaking from the cold and pain, groggy, and bleeding, but finished. Everyone at the clinic went out of their way to be helpful and sweet to me (and the other patients) the entire time I was there.

 

My ex was worthless and neglectful to the point of cruelty. He invited my stepson’s friend to stay over that night with my stepson, and they were up all night playing video games while I cried, alone, in the bedroom, wanting nothing but quiet and sleep, and getting neither.

 

I cried, again, at my follow up appointment some because I was sad, but also because I was glad that if I’d had to go through with it, that the wonderful staff had been so supportive. I hugged the doctor and the nurse and gave them my sincerest thanks for performing this, the most vilified of jobs, because even 12 years ago, before this new wave of TRAP  laws and increased legislation, I knew I was lucky to have such easy access to anesthetized, surgical abortion, fully paid by my medical insurance.

 

I finally saw the writing on the wall between my then husband and I, we were so clearly not compatible – this had proven that. Having an abortion had never crossed my mind, we were married and both had stable police department jobs, why wouldn’t we start a family? It was unexpected, sure, but we were adults and in love, we could work it out, right? He wouldn’t hear of it and that was that. Not only did he convince me we couldn’t have a baby, he convinced me he was a wretched person I did not know as well as I thought. 5 months later, I was able to leave.

 

Today, I do not in any way regret having had an abortion, and while I resent having been coerced, I am very, very grateful it worked out that I am not tied to him in anyway, that we do not have a child in common. I was sad, at first, but mostly relieved, and I actually felt bad that I didn’t feel worse. It was definitely the best thing for me, and I cannot imagine not having that kind of abortion access, and being forced to carry that pregnancy once I realized how truly toxic my situation was. Unfortunately, though, that is the reality for people in *much* worse situations than mine, which is just UNCONSCIONABLE. No person should be forced to carry a pregnancy they do not choose, bodily autonomy is an inviolable right.

 

We have to (when safe) speak about our experiences in order to help destigmatize and normalize the narrative around abortion stories.

 

#shoutyourabortion

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