Before I tell you about my abortion experience I want to tell you about my mother’s. When my mother first became pregnant she was 13 years old and my father was 24. My family was (I say was because I no longer speak or have anything to do with my biological family) Roman Catholic so abortion is normally out of the question especially in 1977 when she gave birth to a boy that was later sold through nuns in Trenton New Jersey to a well-off judge and his wife. I believe they knew my family already but I’m not for sure on that. A few months later she became pregnant with me and kept it a secret until she was about 6-7 months pregnant. My grandfather apparently did not want my mother to give birth to another child, or watching his grandson sold away hurt too much to watch happen again, so he took my mother to Atlantic City for a back-alley abortion. They made it all the way into the office and went through a consultation with said “Doctor”. The doctor explained how a late-term abortion was going to go to both my grandfather and my mother which is to say that they would go in sever my spinal cord and shove a sharp implement into my brain causing a miscarriage. or at least that’s how it was explained to me and from the pictures I did research on later in my life saw and remember.
Once my grandfather heard how it was going to happen and knowing that he had to wait in a hotel room down the street until my mother gave birth to a dead baby he couldn’t go through with it. He could not see it happen, not that his daughter had to go through it but he could not watch it happen. I was two to three weeks away from being sold to the same family through the Catholic church in Trenton when my mother took off and told them if I were to be sold she would leave before it could happen and would not come back. So my 15 year old mother came back and gave birth to me.
To this day I wish I was sold. She had no business raising children especially after her childhood and the trauma of getting pregnant at 13 giving birth at 14 and then giving birth again at fifteen. I believe if my mother had the option of getting an abortion early and turn without the stigma or the shame she would have and I would have been spared from an egregious childhood that has shaped me into a person that constantly has to deal with PTSD. I have fought every day of my life not to be anything like those people. My childhood and some of my adulthood has made me into someone that believes fervently in legalized affordable abortions. Regardless of age regardless of circumstance. Without it, many women will be forced to repeat the damn cycle of poverty, abuse and neglect not to mention not having control of their bodies or life. I wanted to get the story first so there would be no question about the choices I’ve made. Now on to my story.
I married young because I became pregnant with my first child and I thought- because of my upbringing and because abortion was not an option in my mother’s eyes- that it was the right thing to do. It was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made in my life. And just for the record we used condoms and I still ended up pregnant. So we got married when I was 5 months pregnant and the marriage lasted until six days after my daughter turned two. Because of my early marriage I had dropped out of school, I was going for AutoCAD eventually, was going to become an architect, at least that was my plan. But because I stopped going to school I had to take a course to become a CNA and support myself, my deadbeat husband, and my newborn child. If you’ve ever looked at how much a CNA makes, sometimes a McDonald’s employee would make more than me. So that kept me at the poverty line because I was the only one working. After my husband tried to beat me with a chair and my friend stopped him and he left, I did have one less mouth to feed but that didn’t make it any easier because now I had to try to find childcare for a two-year-old. Which, also if you haven’t ever checked into, takes half your paycheck every week which kept me at the poverty line or below. Well at least the paychecks I was earning.
Years later, I found myself pregnant again. My boyfriend and I knew we could not afford another child and we couldn’t afford an abortion. I don’t know how much an abortion is now but at the time and the very early 2000s it was between $600 – $800 which when you only have a certain amount of weeks and you find out your pregnant about 4 to 5 weeks in which cut your time frame drastically. It was very hard to get hold of that kind of money when you’re poor and you have no one to turn to. His parents were bible-thumping Baptist and really did not believe in abortion, so we were on our own. We came to decision since we couldn’t afford an abortion to do adoption. I’m here to tell you right now that that literally almost killed me. They had to carry me out of the hospital after I gave birth because I was so distraught. The words, postpartum depression did not, could not, and will never cover how depressed I became afterward. I was put on Xanax to try to help me but if anyone’s ever been on Cenex I know that really doesn’t help you. It just makes you into a drooling zombie. About eight months afterward I took the whole bottle of Xanax try to kill myself. That is why I said that it nearly killed me. They had to pump my stomach and I was moments away from death. I know in my heart that with the circumstances being what they were that it was the best decision I could have made with what I had at the time. I know his life is way better than what it would have been if he had stayed with me. I would have had to move into the projects and that’s never good for a child. I thought my entire adult life from having to move into places like that for my daughter’s sake.
Because of that of course there was less money in the household because I paid for a better neighborhood which, by the way, really wasn’t much better but it was better than the projects but that is neither here nor there kind of. It does impact my thinking of what I could do but again neither here nor there. So about two years later I became pregnant again but this time the man I had been with for several years took off about three weeks before I knew I was pregnant. Thankfully this time I found out pretty early that I was pregnant which gave me more time to do what I had to do. Prices then on an abortion were exactly the same and by the way I would have had to go to another state on top of having to come up with a 600 to $800 for the procedure. And then early 2000s no insurance company would cover an abortion at all. so again I was on my own with at the time a seven or eight year old daughter. I had heard that there was a blood pressure medication that would induce labor AKA an early abortion. So I went to public libraries and did research to find out what the drug was called and how to obtain it. I will not divulge what that medication is called but I will tell you in order for me to get a hold of it I had to order it from a sketchy website from over in the UK. Now I did my research extremely thoroughly so I knew how much to give myself in order to have happened what needed to happen. I do not suggest this to anyone that can afford an abortion or people that can’t either to be honest. What I did was highly illegal but I had no choice. The price difference was affordable for me in my situation, $80 compared to $800. So I ordered the medication and I waited for the package. when it came I asked the friend of mine if she could take my daughter for a few days. I did not tell her why I didn’t tell anyone why or what I was doing because I did not want them to look at me like a terrible person because I’m not I just was put in an impossible situation. I took the pills and I inserted two of them near my cervix. I sat there and cried for hours by myself. And when it started to happen I was inconsolable. I was by myself and I had to have a miscarriage, purposeful miscarriage but still. what I did was very dangerous and I could have bled out or worse but I was left with no options like many women around the world.
My only saving grace is that I live in America and I have a brain and do good research. and that aspect I am lucky because not everybody can do that or have the opportunity to do so. There’s so many women around the world that don’t even have basic access to Medical Care let alone abortions. I bled for 2 weeks after the night I did it I passed but I know was the fetus and I had to look at it and see it and I felt like a horrible human being because of it but I know it was the right thing to do. I do not regret my decision but my decision still to this day saddens me. Everyone says that women that have abortions are promiscuous or they are uncaring unfeeling monsters and that’s not true. Because of the knowledge I have or had I have personally helped others have an abortion with my supervision so they didn’t have to go through it alone like I did and if something were to have gone wrong I would be there to get medical assistance. like I said before I don’t recommend this to anyone but when you have friends that have been raped or are pregnant because their fathers did things to them or uncles, cousins or brothers or any of that, or they’re in an abusive relationship that they can’t get away from and if they were to have a baby would trap them even more and then it would subject that child to all of the abuse that the mother is enduring, you do what’s necessary to help them. I took a medical drug way to end my pregnancy which I’ve known a few women that had to do the back alley abortions and that’s why I chose the medical drug way. most of those women I know that have had the back alley abortions because they couldn’t afford a legal abortion can no longer have children because of that. it’s been 12 years and I still do not regret it but I still get choked up when I think about it or if I talk about it. I shouldn’t had to have been alone. I should have been able to go to a legitimate doctor and have an abortion that didn’t cost more than my rent. I should have been able to use my insurance to help pay for this procedure. Others like me should not have felt like we were doing something wrong or that we’re monsters or to be ashamed about it. the grand majority of the women that are in the situation don’t make this decision lightly. It kills us on the inside. We live with it forever. I am currently trying to pull myself out of poverty. I go to school online I work full time I have an 18 year old daughter now that moved out and a 6 year old daughter that I’m trying to raise but at least this time I’m not alone. I have found a wonderful partner and we are fighting tooth and nail together and when I say we I mean WE and that’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had in my life.
With that whole long story said what it comes down to is that women should, must, demand and need the right and control of their own bodies. To have control of whether or not they have a baby. We deserve and demand the right to if we choose to have an abortion to have it in a clean sterile safe environment. We also deserve and demand that it be affordable for anyone. What makes people think if we can’t afford a baby that we can come up with that much money in a short period of time? What makes people think that just because you become pregnant that you’re going to be a great mother? or that you’re going to be able to give that child to a stranger after you carried it for 9 months? For some women this is adoption is a wonderful option and they can do it but there needs to be an option for people that can’t. It needs to be safe and affordable and we definitely don’t need all of the rigmarole that happens around those clinics, to us if we go or to be criticized, demonized or made to feel ashamed. I support a woman’s decision to make her own decisions no matter what it’s about and for that matter I support a man’s decision as well because if they want to be able to have a vasectomy they should be able to as well. Granite is easier for a man to get a vasectomy then a woman to get her tubes tied but they still have to go through a process to be able to do that too. that’s my story and unfortunately there are many others like mine. I hope that by reading this some people can understand and maybe we can do something about it. Sorry if there’s errors, I was teary-eyed writing this. Thank you for your time. Goodspeed.