Nicole’s Story

I got pregnant only three or four days after my period ended. My partner and I use condoms as our birth control method, but that night one slipped and neither of us thought to make an emergency run to the pharmacy for a dose of Plan B.

Everything was normal for a couple of weeks until I began to get the sort of pains I usually experience from ovulation, only these pains lasted for days. I was slightly worried that I could be pregnant, but my expected period was still not officially late.

I want to talk about my choice to have an abortion, but ‘choice’ doesn’t seem to reflect my situation. I’ve never had any doubt that I would terminate an unwanted pregnancy. It was, and remains, simple for me: I use contraception because I don’t want to be pregnant, and if contraception fails, I still don’t want to be pregnant so abortion is the solution.

There was no guilt, no tears, no wishing things were different. There was no agony about making a decision; it was a non-decision and carried as much weight for me as deciding to brush my teeth in the morning. It’s just what would happen in that situation.

I took a home pregnancy test the first day of my missed period. It came back positive. I swore for a few minutes, yelled at the little white stick with two blue lines and told it to fuck off.

Then I called the women’s health clinic I had researched and made an appointment for three weeks later, when I would be in my seventh week and surgical abortion would be possible.

Two and a half weeks later, I had my first appointment. I had an intake meeting with a nurse who performed an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. She asked me questions to make sure I understood the procedure, my choice, and my birth control options.

My second appointment was two days later. My partner came to town the night before and we went to the appointment together.

Although I had been a little nervous the night before about the possibility that it would hurt, the abortion was easy. I was called into the operating room, where I had a second ultrasound and took two yellow ibuprofens. I put my legs in the stirrups, got an IV with some pretty good drugs, and what felt like five minutes later the doctor told me it was all done.

The abortion didn’t hurt a bit. The doctor had warned me that it would feel like intense menstrual cramps, but it felt more like a regular gynecological exam.

After it was done, I was helped to the recovery room and tucked into bed with a heating pad on my stomach. I stayed for half an hour, to make sure I wasn’t bleeding too heavily, and then went home.

I’m writing this three weeks after my abortion, which occurred the week that Roe v. Wade was being celebrated in America and the week before the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision here in Canada. I want to end by saying thank you to the courageous doctors, nurses, women and men who fought for the right to abortion before it was legal and who continue to fight for reproductive justice. My pregnancy was the most physically and psychologically alienating experience of my life. I owe these people my life and my happiness.