The safest thing that’s ever happened to me

by Claire

June 27, 2019

Content Warning: rape, physical abuse

I had my first in-clinic abortion this past November. I’d been seeing a man (something rare, as I typically sleep with women!) since September. Shortly after beginning what would be the most incredible, safe, happy relationship of my life thus far, I got pregnant. And I had no idea. I had no idea for 8 weeks and 6 days, to be exact, according to my sonogram I received shortly before going through with the procedure. I found out I was pregnant about a week after my 24th birthday. I called the closest Planned Parenthood, scheduled an appointment (which was 2.5 weeks out from the day I called) and thought everything would be okay. Neither myself nor my boyfriend were in a position to bring a child into the world. I cannot speak more for him, but I can for myself. My life has not been easy. I have been raped, repeatedly. I have been pregnant before, at 16. When I told the man that I was expecting (at 16), he started punching me in the stomach. My first abortion. The thought of bringing a child into this world, right now, was crippling.

A day before my appointment, I called Planned Parenthood, worried that I had not received the mandatory 76hr “before operation” call, according to the laws of my particular state. It ends up, the call was never made. The abortion, legally, could not happen. I wanted to die. I could not bring this baby into this world. Because of my lifestyle choices, it would not be healthy. Because of my mental health, I was terrified I could not take care of the child the way it deserved to be taken care of. We had taken precautions, and they failed. I didn’t know what to do. I called every abortion clinic within a 4 hour drive from my home, and they were all booked out until the New Year. I had no idea how far along I was, I couldn’t take any chances. Finally, a women’s clinic out of Atlanta answered, and could take me in two days. I owe my life to the women at that clinic. They held me and they gave me more support than I have ever experienced. Since then, I have worked on vineyard in Northern Italy. I have bought a school bus to refit with my loving boyfriend, who more than supported me throughout the entire abortion process. I have managed two successful businesses, and am managing one still. I am photographing alongside a beautiful river in Western North Carolina. I am happy and I am free. And it was my choice. A choice I will never regret. A choice I will forever be grateful to have been able to make.

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