I had no idea how important abortion was until I found out the hard way that it can be the only way to end a pregnancy.

I assumed that alcohol and other commonly talked-about “culprits” would cause miscarriage. While I was a senior in high school my boyfriend and I started to use nothing but the pull-out method. One week, I had a really heavy period and saw what looked like a tiny, early miscarriage. I recalled that I had a couple drinks in the past month. Because of that, I thought it was easy.

But a year later, I got pregnant again, and didn’t suspect a thing when my periods kept missing, because I was extremely depressed and having digestive issues-I thought that was why my hormones were unusual. But I finally did start to get worried, and I began to drink more often. After getting drunk a few times and still not getting my period again, I began to realize that it would take more than alcohol to end this. So, my boyfriend and I went to an abortion clinic. I was told that I was 18 weeks pregnant, and too far for them to do a procedure for me, and by the way, it will cost $1,500 wherever I go. There was no way we could afford that. I was unemployed and going to college. My boyfriend was both working and going to school, we still lived with our parents but my boyfriend was still expected to pay for a lot of his own expenses. We already knew we didn’t want kids any time soon, and especially not after the damage already done. We decided to keep trying to miscarry, I chugged alcohol, energy drinks, overdosed vitamin C, took ibuprofen, sometimes overdosing that, and sometimes, I had my boyfriend hit me in the stomach. He probably will always regret having done that to me….

Two weeks later, still no period. We called another abortion clinic, which by then the operation would cost over $2,000 and they weren’t willing to work out a payment plan with me, so we gave up on any hope of a clinic helping us. We started looking for ways to get misoprostol, the abortion drug that causes contractions, illegally. I had read that women in other parts of the world often use misoprostol by itself, even in the second trimester. We managed to get our hands on some by taking a chance with a website, and we planned to go to a park the next week and induce the abortion in my boyfriend’s car at what would probably be 25 weeks. I no longer cared if it killed me or not. Both of us wanted to die so many times for those past few months. I never hated being female so much in my life.

Yet miraculously, we never had to go through with our plan. The day after we got the misoprostol (still around 23 or 24 weeks), my boyfriend saw an ad for another abortion clinic and said, “I have a good feeling about this clinic, let’s just call them and if they say no, they say no.” We called them, and told them our financial constraints. The nice lady on the phone said that the procedure will cost $3,500, but she will contact the National Abortion Federation and call us back to see how much they can pay for it. We get the call back, and she says the NAF will pay $3000! The nearest clinic location was out of town, but that didn’t matter. We drove out for two hours and got the ultrasound done. I was just barely under the mark that would make my abortion illegal. Everyone there was so kind and non-judgmental. We drove back home, and my boyfriend worked it out with his job to get the next two days off, for because I was so far along, my procedure had to be a two-day process. By this time it was the next year and we both didn’t enroll in school because of this whole ordeal. None of our parents even knew anything about the pregnancy, thankfully it was winter. We told them without waiting for debate that we were going to another city for a concert and off we went. I got the first half of the procedure done that stops the fetus’s heart beat. So many people think the fetus feels itself being pulled apart the entire procedure, but that is not true at all.

After that, the clinic recommended a hotel for us, even printing out directions for us. That night, I had to take (now legally obtained) misoprostol periodically to start the contractions. About an hour or two before my scheduled time to go back to the clinic I woke up in a lot of pain, as I was now basically in labor. I struggled to get dressed, in a hodge-podge of a fitted shirt, gym shorts, and house shoes, and my boyfriend helped me into the car. When we got there, it was pretty busy. After spending the time until my appointment in the waiting room, I was put in a bed and not allowed to eat or drink anything until the operation. Even after being given all the painkillers allowed, the pain still wouldn’t go away. I believe it took six hours before I/they were ready. I was put under and just like that, I woke up and the pain was gone. The abortion was done, and I was finally bleeding again!

I was happy and relieved about the abortion, and I have stayed happy and relieved. The only thing I regret about my abortion is that I had waited for so long and went through so much because of that.

Miscarriages happen spontaneously around 2/5ths of the time. Nobody actually miscarries because they drank too much, did drugs, or ran, or got hit. Drugs and alcohol do cause birth defects, but they can’t cause miscarriages. Do not believe any myths about miscarriage because any and all herbs that might have done that have already been used to extinction! I hope that anyone reading this will understand this as a lesson about using protection, and not waiting to try to miscarry because it will never work. If you have read my whole story and think my abortion was a mistake, that such a “monster” like me should keep housing a damaged fetus and be given custody over a child that I don’t even want, who would likely just be thrown into the foster system, I think you are off your rocker. If only for my reasoning, be more open to being pro-choice.

Keep abortion safe and legal!!!