I had my abortion 19 days ago- just before the summer solstice. I'm from Vermont, but had been living in California, and found out I was pregnant 3000+ miles from either of my homes. I was living in Texas for the summer and ended up having my abortion there. It was a pretty surreal experience, and if I wasn't so much of a traveler, perhaps I would still be pregnant now.
I loved being pregnant. I can still feel some of the wonder and amazement of that time, and even though I was sick for the last few weeks of being pregnant, I can't wait to be able to carry a child for 9 months someday soon.
The experience of going through the abortion was a pivotal one, and I feel like I am just starting to be able to process it. I was incredibly lucky to have a supportive boyfriend, a supportive family, the resources to have the abortion, access to the only clinic open every day in Texas, and supportive clinic staff. I felt incredibly respected throughout the experience, but found myself judging myself more harshly than I expected. I had absorbed a lot more of the cultural standard than I had thought.
As I started to talk about my abortion, I was shocked at how many women around me had had abortions, and how many of these abortions were from sexual experiences against their will. I felt strong in my connection to the female energy of the world.
I feel incredibly lucky that I was in a relationship with a man I respect deeply and love intensely, and who came to be with me in the days before the abortion, stayed with me through all aspects of the procedure (and the repeat procedure 2 weeks later to remove blood clots) and held me for weeks afterwards as I recovered. I feel sad that he was shut out of much of the clinical experience though. In Texas, no one else can come in to the clinic. There is a volunteer to hold your hand, but your partner cannot come in. He recorded an audio tape for me to listen to in the recovery room-- of him reading and singing to me. I never felt alone, and no one should ever have to. I feel like we've started to take good care of women and empower them to make their own choices about motherhood, but we need to do a better job educating and including and taking good care of the men in our lives.
I want to keep talking about it. It has created a mark I wear with pride, strength and sadness.