Thank Gods for Abortion

by Anonymous

February 4, 2021

It was early March 2020, just before the first COVID19 lockdown and I couldn’t get an appointment with my local Planned Parenthood for another couple weeks. My period was weeks late and I was too nervous to take a pregnancy test at home so I scheduled a gyno visit with a local hospital affiliate and marked “unsure” on the “could you be pregnant” intake form questionnaire. The nurse asked why I thought I could be and I said that my period was late and my boobs just felt weird. The way she looked at me— I instantly knew that I was pregnant.

I peed in the cup and waited in the room on the cold paper covering my seat. The doctor came in and said, “well you are,” avoiding the actual word pregnant for whatever reason, and “will this be your first?” FUCK. I should have known better than to trust an actual hospital affiliate to be respectful of by bodily autonomy and options. I didn’t respond. I couldn’t. I just cried.

Without addressing my obvious fear and general upset-ness the doctor went on to tell me that it was time get off of my antidepressants and on to some pre-natal vitamins. Utterly in disbelief, again I said nothing. How could it be medical practice to tell a sobbing young woman it was time to take her off her 115mg of her prescribed medication to keep her from wanting to die?

I’m sure more was said in that appointment— its mostly a blur at this point. I was too upset to take it all in. Luckily I had a nearby friend who left work early to make me tea at her apartment and hold my hand. The first act of kindness I had received since the news. She called Planned Parenthood for me, had them on speaker phone, and asked every possible question she or I could think of. We ended up tentatively scheduling an appointment for an abortion— with the understanding that cancelation was always an option. That receptionist talked with us for so long. I am so thankful for her.

Because I live in St.Louis, Missouri, and was lucky enough to have the resources to do so, I went to Illinois for my abortion procedure. I had developed a nasty morning sickness and had gone on to learn that despite how far along I was there was no detectable heartbeat. I was told that I would likely miscarry on my own eventually but showed no signs of that process beginning. Had I sought an abortion in my home state I would have been subject to a 72 hour waiting period, one of the longest in the country, between consulting for and receiving my abortion. I was tired, sick, and didn’t have it in me to wait it out any longer. Planned Parenthood in Illinois saw me same day, didn’t force me to look at an ultrasound of my doomed pregnancy, and wrote me a new prescription for birth control on the way out.

I will forever be grateful for every single person that supported me throughout my pregnancy and abortion. Since then I have joined my local abortion clinic escort program and get to support patients like myself in the face of cruel protestors and state sanctioned barriers. Everybody’s abortion story is individual, complex, and worthy. Thank you SYA for amplifying our voices!

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