Turned Away

by Ty

October 8, 2021

Content Warning: sexual assault

The choice to have an abortion, was for me, the same as the choice to live.

I was in an abusive relationship with someone much older. I was seventeen, and I had been pretending everything was alright in front of my friends and family — it started with pretending for small things, but as the things became bigger, it felt like I couldn’t tell anyone — like they wouldn’t believe me because I hadn’t told them about the smaller things.

So I went to my doctor. I told her what was happening, and I told her I needed to get on birth control because he had already stealthed me several times.

She refused. She said I had no business being in that relationship, much less having sex in it. She said it was too late in my menstrual cycle to start on the pill and she didn’t give me any other options. She thought she was helping me.

When everything crumbled, and my dad came to bring me home, I was pregnant. I had the access to an abortion, there were other doctors and clinics I could have gone to. But I was scared and didn’t want to be turned away again. I didn’t trust health care professionals to help me, so I chose to die.

When I woke up three days later on my bedroom floor, I was surprised. I had lived, and I woke up alone in my body.

I have never regretted my decision. I know I sometimes wish that I had gone to the clinic, that I had tried to prioritize my own life; but I try to be gentle with that past self now. I was put in a position I never should have been, was violated by the medical system and a partner. It was all I could do to pull my body off the floor and live. I am grateful to the person, my past self, for moving when anything movement felt impossible.

I have always thought of this as my abortion, though I sometimes wonder if I have the right to the word. Very few people know this story, or this whole version. Thank you for being part of it.

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