In the early months of my twenty-first year, I wanted to end things with my boyfriend. He had disrespected my sexual boundaries, and I have no tolerance for that. I finally told him after he returned home from work one day that it was over, and he didn’t accept it. We fought, him insisting we “fuck and make up.” I told him I wouldn’t, to go to bed, we’d discuss this further in the morning, and I turned over and fell asleep. I woke up to him inside me. I was terrified, completely frozen. I deteriorated into sobs as he finished, and once composed I told him to never contact me again, and I filled my car and moved back in with my mother.

I didn’t feel like I could report him to police. I didn’t think the court would believe me as I didn’t have physical bruising. I had been raped before, and I couldn’t go through reporting again after the way I’d been left slut-shamed and victim-blamed with no justice.

I soon became incredibly ill. I could hardly move without everything hurting and the overwhelming need to vomit. I had fevers, aches, and was unable to smell food without running to the toilet to empty contents that didn’t exist. I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes, dropped weight quickly, and consequently missed a week of work and university.

I stared down at the test with two blue lines. This isn’t how I wanted my baby to be conceived. I didn’t want to look at a manifestation of a rapist every time I glanced at my child’s face, and be somehow forced to love it. I knew immediately I needed an abortion, and if I had been forced to carry to term, I surely would have died. Mentally, I couldn’t handle rape and his baby.

I had the initial meeting and ultrasound, and discovered I was about seven weeks along. I made the appointment for a week later.

My mother took me to the clinic, and I was met with anti-abortion activists. I was screamed at as I walked inside, taunted with signs plastered with fabricated representations of a foetus, and their words completely cut into me. If they had any idea what I was already going through…

I insisted on not being helped up the steps to the doors.

I selected the medical abortion, as it was described as being very similar to a miscarriage. For safety, I couldn’t have my mother back with me, and they checked to make sure I took the first dose. I was instructed to take the second dose within 48 hours, and was prescribed painkillers and told to take the day off. I hadn’t expected it to cramp so badly. A few hours later, the pain subsided to a dull ache. I fell asleep, and was finally able to eat later that evening.

I was able to return to school the next day.

It was the right decision for me, and while I catch myself sometimes reminiscing upon a life that could have been, I know I wouldn’t have survived to see it.

I’ll have my baby in the right time, with the right man, conceived with my permission.