I will start out with the cold hard truth: I had an abortion. It was the most impersonal experience of my life, and it has given me a new hold on the realities of Canadian society, and a critical view of the values I had at the time. It wasn’t very long ago; in fact, I should still be pregnant right now. And that is the thought that motivates me today.
It motivates me to tell my story because I see the issue so clearly now, and those thoughts need to be shared with others. I wouldn’t want this travesty to happen to anyone as it did for me. There is more to know about this issue, and I am here to tell what I know.
I was 21 years old at the time, I was engaged to be married, and I had gotten pregnant. I was very happy about the pregnancy until I told the man in my life, who unequivocally did not what anything to do with it. I had been pro-choice to this point, so when I was faced with the fear of being alone, young, and unprepared with a baby I took the “option” to abort the pregnancy.
When I got to the clinic, after only a few weeks of struggling with the decision, I received some counseling – about sex education no doubt, which I feel didn’t really prepare me for what I was about to do. I know all about the pill and such, and it wasn’t about that anyway. I now feel as though the counselor let me down in a way because I wasn’t given the information I needed at that point in my life to make the right decision for my child and for me. Granted it isn’t their job to check out all the facts for you, but that is part of their function isn’t it, to give information to people who do not have it?
Then I was called into the surgical room. I was shown to the bathroom and told to remove my clothing and to sit in the chair. I sat in my cold gown, alone, until the doctor was ready to see me.
First came the ultrasound. I wasn’t ready to see the baby on that screen; all that ran through my head was what the counselor said about this being a standard procedure. Then the doctor told me I was seven weeks and three days pregnant. I got up from the table and hurried to put my clothes back on. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to do. How can society prepare you to abort your own child? It isn’t possible, and therein lies the problem.
I couldn’t go through with it, but between the nurses and my uncertainty, I was booked in to come back the next day after I had calmed down. You would think with that much resistance they would have clued in – after all, they are supposed to have your best interests at heart.
So those same events took place the next day. There I laid on the surgical table as the nurses tried to put the IV of relaxants into my body. The doctor came in, a different doctor then the one earlier, and in the most intimate moment of my young life he took away what was my gift to the world, without even introducing himself. I felt awful; it was over before I knew it. I knew it then as I know it now, there was no period of denial for me. I had taken the wrong “Option”
To add insult to injury, there is very little support afterwards, and it is very hard to find out the correct information you need to go forward. Facts are hidden away with the other things that society cannot deal with. When this “Standard procedure” is over they boot you out the door and you’re forced to find comfort elsewhere. There are a few support groups, and plenty of counselors, but finding one that will help you can be harder then healing yourself – after all, whom can you trust? Who is there for the young girls like me, who have lost a piece of themselves they can never get back?
Abortion should not be referred to as a choice and not glorified as such. To me, the implication of “choice” is that there is a correct and fair procedure in place, and that it is well thought out, which would make it a viable decision. Well, with abortion this is not the case; it is more like an option without any responsibility for being morally correct. I really do feel that abortion is just a band-aid on societies problems, which they have found no other solution for yet. But this band-aid is not meant to heal, or to fix, but to cover up what society can’t deal with. The band-aid they provided me with isn’t big enough for what I am now left with.
I am not trying to say that we should take away women’s “choices” I think we should guard each other against the “Options” that we have now and provide one another with different, and better “choices” that would actually help us and not hinder us.