Robyn’s Story

My name is Robyn. I am a 28-year-old attorney, living in a large, Judgmental southern city. Yesterday, I had an abortion. It was my second. My boyfriend and I live with our beloved baby girl, a 6-month old golden retriever. We have been dating for almost two years and are as in love as in love could be. We have used the rhythm method without a problem for a year and a half. This May, I suspected that I started ovulating early, but chose to have sex anyway. AFTER we had sex (what the hell were we thinking?) we decided to forego the morning-after-pill and use spermicide to prevent a possible pregnancy. Ridiculous, I know.

Over the next several weeks following my inexcusable lapse in judgment, I was hospitalized in the ER with stomach pains (ultimately diagnosed with kidney stones and an ovarian cyst). I underwent X-rays, CAT scans, surgery (including general anesthesia, and a lot of intravenous drugs for pain). Needless to say, the hospital negligently failed to administer a pregnancy test. My period—normally like clockwork—never came, and I immediately knew without need for a test that I was pregnant. After taking a test to confirm my suspicion, and after countless hours researching the effects of the radiation, drugs, and anesthesia on a first trimester fetus, I decided to have an abortion. My boyfriend supported my decision either way, which was a very good feeling.

Even though I have not admitted it to myself (or my boyfriend) until just now writing these words before me, I would not have gone ahead with the pregnancy even if there were no adverse medical side effects to use as an excuse. I am starting a new job at a large company later this month. I have no savings. My boyfriend is several years younger than me and does not have a regular source of income. We are not married, and while I don’t feel the need to be married prior to having children, our families may very well feel differently. Furthermore, I am just not mentally prepared. I feel like I have only just grown up these past 2 years or so, and I need to just be a quasi-adult and breathe for awhile.

When I arrived at the clinic, there were actually right-to-life protesters outside holding posters of babies. It was very surreal. I pulled into the parking lot with my boyfriend and my puppy in the car. I waved at the protesters and smiled. My boyfriend was disgusted by them and protective of my feelings, but as a friend of the Constitution, I support their right to free speech just as much as I support my right to privacy as upheld in Roe v. Wade. The protesters tried to stop me from entering in order to “give me information on my decision.” I told them that I did not need any information, but that I would ask God to forgive their judgment.

The facility could not have been a more supportive or comfortable environment for such an uncomfortable procedure. The waiting room was like a broken-in family living room. And, while I definitely do not think this is the norm, all of us women of different ages, colors, and religions, were talking like old friends and sharing our experiences with unwanted pregnancy. The abortion itself did not hurt. The first time around (as stated above, this was my second abortion), I had general anesthesia and did not remember a thing. Plus, I was only 20 at the time, so my memory of the event is altogether quite gray. This time, though, I could only get an appointment for “twilight sleep,” which is a narcotic IV cocktail with a memory eraser.

Fortunately, it was over before I knew it. I never felt any pain. I was not, am not, and never will be sorry that I had the ability to make this decision.