Fiona’s Story

I also have had two abortions. I do not regret the decisions I made, and on neither occasion were they made lightly. It is also worth noting that I was using birth control both times.

I was 18 years old when I met T. at a nightclub. He was tall and handsome, with a winning smile. To this day, more than 20 years later, I regret ever even saying hello to him. He asked for my phone number and we started dating. He had a substance abuse problem (alcohol and drugs), and I was naive enough to believe that “my love could change him.” He started slapping me around pretty frequently when he was loaded. I split up with him several times, and he would get so violent about it that I always wound up taking him back. What can I say? I was young and stupid; when he proposed, I said yes.

A few months after getting engaged, I started feeling nauseated 24 hours a day and it seemed as though I couldn’t get enough sleep. I thought I had the flu, so I went to the doctor. Of course, you know what I found out.

By this time, the beatings had become pretty regular and I decided that I needed to get out. I also knew that I could not have a child with T. or I would never be able to get away. So, I went to the MD, had a laminaria inserted and got an abortion. T. knew I was pregnant; I had told him, and also told him what I planned to do. I also told him I was really, truly leaving this time and there were no ifs, ands or but. I packed up all of his stuff that was in my apartment and had it delivered to him by a mutual friend. A few months later, I was at a friend’s house for a gathering and T. showed up. I told the friend who drove that I needed to leave; she assured me that we would be going soon. All of my friends there knew that T. had beaten me more than once, so they tried to make sure I was never alone. Well, no one thought about accompanying me to the bathroom. When I came out, T. was standing there in the hallway. He beat me very severely, all the time screaming, “You were supposed to have my baby so you could never leave me.” Like I said … the only regret I have is that I ever laid eyes on the jerk by whom I was made pregnant. Terminating that pregnancy is one of the smartest things I have ever done.

The second time is not nearly so poignant a story. S. was a good friend of mine and had been for quite a while. We had always been very playful and flirtatious, and I was very fond of him. One day, and I’ll be the first to admit it that it was “for the heck of it,” we decided to have intercourse.

Well, I guess my number was up again … because I started getting the nausea and fatigue. Lo and behold, I was pregnant again. I realized that there was no way I could have a baby at age 21, although S. would have been supportive, etc. I had so many things that needed to happen in my life … completing an education, etc., that would be put on indefinite hold if I had a child. This time, because of a change in my health insurance, I went to a Women’s Health Clinic in the town where I lived. There, I was berated by middle-aged women with signs, many of them with toddlers also holding signs. I thought that the exploitation of those toddlers was disgusting; none of those children knew what they were there for. Because the Women’s Health Clinic had received a bomb threat, we were a little worried. We called the clinic to see whether we could bring my friend’s dog Sam with us … we didn’t want to be physically harassed by the protestors and figured a German Shepherd would be a good deterrent (although Sam was a lover, not a fighter). The clinic said we were welcome to bring Sam; he could wait in the waiting room. Turns out that we didn’t need the protection, but good ol’ Sam sure was a comfort to those of us waiting our turn … the 55-year-old grandmother who thought she was menopausal, the 12-year-old rape victim, the 15-year-old who played birth-control-roulette. All of us had our stories and shared them.

I have no regrets over the choices I made. I am grateful that I live in a place where those choices are available to me and any other woman who has need of them.