Aysa

I was 27 years old at the time, living with roommates, and unemployed after getting laid off a few months prior. One of my roommates had recently birthed a child in our home. I had been in a relationship with a male partner for about a year but we had broken up shortly before I realized I was pregnant. Health professionals were scared about SARS so that had a big impact on my experiences of going to clinics for help. I was doing a lot of therapy at the time as part of my recovery from childhood sexual abuse and I was very concerned about how the abortion experience would affect my recovery, so I had to advocate a lot for accommodations that I needed in relation to that.

I went to two different clinics to discuss options prior to making an appointment for the abortion. I found the atmosphere generally unfriendly and not very helpful, at least partly because the staff were worried about catching SARS from clients. I decided not to have the abortion at the first clinic because of that. I’m not sure that the options counselling at the second clinic gave me any new information, but I just needed to go through that as part of my decision making process. I received some information for men which I gave to my (sort of) partner. I wish he had been more involved and supportive. I really wanted to share the experience with him but he just shut down. I couldn’t have anyone accompany me inside the clinic for the abortion and I probably would have appreciated that. I had several friends who were supportive before and after, mainly just by being there and not judging me. One friend drove me to the clinic and drove me home afterwards. Another friend got sweets for me to eat afterwards.

I knew at the time that abortion was the best choice for me, but I was surprised at how long it took me to make the decision. I always assumed that if I had an unplanned pregnancy, I would have an abortion and that it would be a simple, straightforward choice. When it actually happened, though, I found that I needed to take more time to feel right about it on all levels and especially I needed to do some spiritual work. I think that taking all that time to consider all my options and being so careful about the decision really helped me to feel completely sure about it at the time and I still feel that it was the right choice for me. I have never regretted it, although occasionally I wonder what my life would be like if I had decided to continue the pregnancy.

Mainly I think that people will either judge me harshly or they will feel uncomfortable discussing it and not want to know that information about me. I don’t want want to be met with questions expecting me to justify my choice or silence or ostracism or have people gossip about it behind my back. I feel like it’s such a minefield to bring it up. I’m not sure what  reaction I can expect so mainly I just discuss it with trusted friends and therapists. I wish that I could feel more confident that people would be accepting and acknowledge that it’s a significant experience.

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