Kelly’s Story

When I was 21, I had an abortion.

Discovering Pregnancy

As a college junior, I returned for the spring semester excited to see my friends and take courses, but during the first week if school I found out I was pregnant. I felt something was unusual in my body, so I took an at-home test that shows results 6 days before your missed period. When I saw two pink lines (positive) I almost fainted—I was in disbelief. My roommate gently comforted me and we got another test from the store—positive again.

The next day, I went to a local clinic to verify pregnancy; in the small office, they too gave me a positive result for pregnancy. I felt so overwhelmed and hopeless. I called the hotline I’d found online and scheduled my appointment at an abortion clinic out-of-state right then and there for one week later. My state has somewhat restrictive smaller and few providers, so crossing the border seemed like the best plan.

Type of Abortion and Preparing for Abortion

I decided I wanted a non-surgical (medical) abortion; I was concerned that I might be overwhelmed by the surgical option. I learned over the phone that it would be two parts, but I think I was too shaky to take in a lot of the information. In hindsight, if you have a support person I was have them write down or listen themselves to all of the information you receive.

My support person was my roommate. She was with me through everything and entirely supportive. During the week between the news I’d found and the appointment, I had many emotions. Sometimes I felt fine, but mostly I was so sad that this was my lot and angry that it had happened to me—I used condoms and had no slip or break to explain this mishap. The man I’d been with was my old high school flame and I just didn’t want to have the conversation with him, so I felt relatively isolated.

The night before the appointment, we carefully printed directions and prepared for the trip. As a note, if you are traveling far for a non-surgical, your first drug might be METHOTREXATE—after the injection or liquid, you can’t eat food with folic acid, something to keep in mind for the drive back snacks and meal.

The Abortion Clinic

We arrived at the clinic mid-morning. As the clinic was in a larger medical center, it was sort of protected and there were no protesters. Inside, the women seemed nervous and the mood was fairly tense. I filled out some forms, they took my payment (my godsend roommate paid), did a urine pregnancy test, took, blood, and did a sonogram. I was lucky to find I was only 35 days—an ideal candidate for non-surgical. Then I met with the gynecologist and he preformed an exam. Next, I got an injection of methotrexate in my buttock. They gave me two sets of four suppository pills to be placed in my vagina 5 days from that appointment—misoprostol. The doctor shook my hand and told me I’d be okay.

Inducing the Abortion at Home

Five days following the injection at the clinic, I induced the abortion at home. By this time, I had told my parents and they were extremely supportive and kind. I left college to go to my nearby home to stay for the two part misoprostol suppositories. I had four pills four two nights 24 hours apart. Also, the clinic had prescribed Tylenol with codeine for pain. I inserted the suppositories vaginally. Within in a few hours, heavy cramping began. It was painful, but my mom lay with me and rubbed my back. I did get sick and vomit a bit from the cramping, but then fell asleep. I started bleeding the next day—it was a thin, pinkish discharge that had a more perfume-like smell than typical bleeding. I inserted the second set of the suppositories the next night, this time I fell asleep before any cramping began and slept through the night.

Passing the Pregnancy

I was unsure of what to expect once the bleeding began. I bled for one week—it began at a thin, mucous and progress to be a bit more bloody and clotty. I was concerned that the bleeding was not heavy enough and that it was not effective. I was very anxious during this time. However, when I had my follow-up everything had worked perfectly and I was all clear. If you have a non-surgical very early, it is no heavier than a regular period—something I had not been aware of.

After the Abortion, I’m Not Sorry

My unintended pregnancy and abortion ordeal lasted for a little over a month from discovery, to abortion, to follow-up. I am now past this event and in school living my life. I am not sad; I am not tearful or depressed. While pregnancy is a blessing for some, the right to choose was a blessing for me. I am filled with relief and compassion for women and the way our lives unfold. I feel really great, and I’m not sorry.