Let me start this by saying, my entire life I have been pro choice. I always knew it was each individual’s right to decide what they did with their body regardless of the circumstances. Little did I know one day I would be making that decision on my own.

Last March, I discovered I was pregnant. I had been taking birth control and not getting periods for some time. However, something started to feel different. I was exhausted, moody, putting on weight, and feeling sick constantly – so I took a pregnancy test. It turned positive immediately and I instantly started bawling. I had been with my boyfriend at the time for 3 years, but I knew right away that abortion was my choice. There is honestly nothing more terrifying than that moment finding out you have an unwanted pregnancy. I cried for days. I thought about the baby growing inside me, trying to use logic and reason to convince myself it was nothing but a little ball of cells. I remember thinking to myself that I felt SO bad for the girls and women around the world who experience what I was experiencing but literally had no options. It was a dark time in my life.

Luckily for me, I live in British Columbia, Canada, where abortions are paid for by our medical services plan. I called a couple clinics but usually the phone lines were busy and I was on hold for 20 minutes at a time. One local clinic had an online appointment setter – which I must say is wonderful. I was able to pick timeframes and days which worked for my schedule and they would automatically set an appointment and email me the time and date. So the day of I took the bus and showed up at the clinic. Everyone there was very friendly. I met with the councilor (common procedure) who asked me how I was doing, some health related questions and supported me immensely. There was no judgment, no “are you sure” and they offered me the option to get and IUD after the procedure as well – which I did.

The nurse who took me in was a delight. She was so friendly and really kept my mind off of what was happening. I asked her to hold my hand and she did. The doctor then came in and the procedure itself, including the IUD insertion, only took a few minutes. It was painless and quick. I was sat in a quite reclining chair with some snacks and magazine after for 30 minutes to recover from the process. They buzzed me when my boyfriend came to pick me up and we left together .

The next few weeks were a very dark time for me. I was depressed, emotional, just not myself. For me anyways, I tend to deal with things by trying to hit my worst early and then build myself up. It’s kind of cathartic for me to make myself experience extreme emotion for a short time then slowly work my way out of it. I was working out daily and that really helped me feel better about myself. There was a time when I thought the pain would never go away and I would always miss what was my baby. Over time however the feelings faded. After the first few weeks things got much better. Don’t get me wrong – I never once regretted my decision or thought it was the wrong one. I knew instantly abortion was the choice for me. I was 21, working fulltime, going to university full time and living on my own. I had too much to lose and felt it was my responsibility to be in the right place before I had kids. My boyfriend was entirely supportive, and listened to me while I cried and supported me through the process.

Shortly after my abortion, when I felt back to myself, I broke up with him and I’ve never looked back. These days I don’t feel any emotion when I think of my abortion. I don’t miss what could have been or would have been or even imagine what was in me as a baby. I read online some women like to commemorate the anniversary or deal with it in different ways. For me I guess I just cried it out and got over it.

I am immensely thankful I live in a country where I have easy and safe access to abortion. I’m so thankful it is covered by medical services and provided by such thoughtful, kind individuals who unjudgingly support you through the journey and really care about you as well.

I can’t imagine the fear and despair of the women throughout the world who weren’t as lucky as I was. Thanks to my abortion, I was given life. The ability to finish my university degree, flourish in my career and continue to put a roof over my head. Don’t worry, the pain does go away. It may take some time and it feels like a unescapable pit at first, but it does fade. Things will get better.