Uruguay experience

by Paula

November 20, 2020

My story is placed in Uruguay. Here abortion is legal since 2013, when it was included by law in the health care system. Still it continues a taboo subject, stigmatized and criticized by many.

I had mine 3 years ago, when I was 21. I never wanted to be a mother. I had plenty of difficulties with contraceptives (pills, IUD, patch) and doctors wouldn’t let me access a tubal ligation due to being young. Um… Where are our rights again?

I got pregnant because one time after having sex, a condom stayed inside me. I took the morning-after pill and it didn’t work. I couldn’t believe it! I was careful, the odds were minimum… I still felt guilty and very uncomfortable.

I had my partner support, who was already a father, so we agreed on the abortion. I felt I couldn’t tell my family or friends, it was a difficult topic to bring up for me. I never doubted my decision, because what I desire for my life is clear to me, including my professional and financial reasons at the moment.

I read several abortion stories from other countries, and finally found the information of the process for Uruguay. The health care system provided the procedure, but in my opinion it lacked some sort of support.

On the waiting rooms, me and the other people who were applying for abortions were right next to the happily pregnant ones, spending hours waiting for doctors together. The medical team listened to me but still made me feel I had done something wrong and promise I would be “more careful” in the future.

One time I went to the doctor for other reasons and the nurse read I was pregnant on my file. She automatically hugged me and shouted “Congratulations!”. Why do some people only consider motherhood as something wanted?

The pregnancy was in my head all the time, I was afraid the prescribed pills somehow wouldn’t work. I tried to stay calmed and keep my routine.

The abortion went really well. I felt some pain, but I was supported and it only took a few hours. Finally it was over and I was relieved.

After it happened I was able to talk about it with family and friends, and I found out there were plenty of abortion experiences, including my parents, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… I wish it was no longer a secret and we could all decide, access and talk.

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