Monica’s Story

My name is Monica, and I had an abortion a year-ago during my last year of college.

I conceived while on birth control, after three years of consistent use. The strange thing was that even though I was on the pill, I kind of knew only a few days later. After an over-the-counter test, I called my boyfriend and went to his house. He was a little shocked, but took it in stride. We had discussed the option before, but I told him right away that I was still planning on having an abortion. We hugged and talked about how we would pay and other practical details.

I chose a medical abortion. It is a two step process, the second being a pill that is vaginally inserted and causes contractions. Before beginning, I went to the store and filled my prescription for a high-powered painkiller, bought junk food, lots of juice, and a heat pack for cramps. At home, I inserted the pill, and waited. Within an hour I had bled most of the tissue, but the cramps stayed constant for hours. My two best friends came over early in the afternoon and my boyfriend after work. They talked, ate and watched movies while I tried not to drool on myself after taking the painkillers. Though I was too knocked out to join the conversation, it was great to have them there.

Medical abortions are newer, and they are more physically intense, because they replicate a miscarriage. I bled for several weeks, which is rare, but I would choose this method again. It felt very natural, and I was glad that my friends could be with me for the tough parts.

The decision to have an abortion was very easy. I caught the pregnancy early, knew that a baby didn’t fit into my plans, and called the clinic on Monday. The difficulty was not in the abortion. Instead, I found that the whole fact that I had become pregnant was hard. It felt like I had lost control of my body, maybe even my life. I wasn’t a teenager, I didn’t sleep around. How could I have let this happen?

Then I realized I was focusing on the wrong kind of control. I had taken responsible steps to avoid pregnancy, and it failed me. I then made the right choice when the time came. We can’t avoid all mistakes and accidents, but if we face our situations head on and responsibly, that is the kind of control that really matters.

I just graduated and moved across the country with the same boyfriend after he got his dream job. I will be attending law school in the fall. None of this would be possible if we had had a child. Whenever the topic comes up, I tell people I have had an abortion. If more of the public hears first hand that an unwanted pregnancy can happen to a pretty regular person like me, it will soften the edges on the issue. As for me, I am not sorry.