Yolanda’s Story

I was about 34 and in a serious relationship. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to get married, even though we’d lived together for several years. I’ve always been pro-choice and pro-birth control. The idea of having an abortion was never something I wanted to ever go through, which is why I believe so much in sex education and in birth control. I’d been sexually safe and responsible all of my life. For some reason, I thought my boyfriend would pull out but due to miscommunication, he didn’t. I was very angry at him. I didn’t think of the morning after pill-which is hardly talked about at all on the web. In fact you can take a large dose of birth control pills-like 4 birth control pills within 72 hours. It has the same effect as the Morning After pill and may be cheaper. But you should do this with your gynecologist’s advice. Just call their office and speak to someone.

In any case, I didn’t know to do this. I knew I didn’t want to be pregnant. I felt like my boyfriend did it on purpose. I was really angry at him and at myself for not being careful. I was not eager to have an abortion at all but I knew that was what I was going to do. I discussed it with him ahead of time. He wanted me to reconsider. He said it would be fun and interesting to do. But we had never discussed it or planned it and I wanted a child to be lanned. I was feeling hormonal and emotional and not in a state to make a decision that was so enormous.

I was living in NY at the time but I was staying in LA. I didn’t know a doctor in LA and I wanted to do the procedure as soon as possible. I called my gynecologist in NY. She was hard to reach and I got very panicky and upset. Finally I spoke to her and she referred me to a doctor in LA. This doctor was a man. We had a consultation and he told me that there was a procedure where I would get injected and a day or 2 later would take a pill and those would cause me to shed my uterine lining and so I’d abort, but it would be almost like having a period, but that my uterus would spasm so it would be more painfulm like quite severe cramps. This procedure will only work in the very early stages of a pregnancy so I had to act very quickly.

I can’t remember if it was an injection first or a pill first-I’m writing it as I remember it and it happened about 5 years ago. I thought about it for a day and then went back. I had a moment of panic before I did it, but the nurses were all really sweet and no one rushed me and no one pressured me. They were great. I wrote them later to say so. The doctor told me that a high percentage of pregnancies miscarry anyway so that it was possible that that would have happened. It helped me to think about it in those terms.

I did look at the ultrasound and that image is a little bit haunting, just because it is the only visual representation I have of it. Although I can’t even really remember what it looked like. The shot didn’t hurt but the cramping did. I was staying in a hotel then and was alone for much of the day so I had plenty of time to feel sorry for myself and get dramatic. I did get depressed. And my boyfriend and I did break up, though that was definitely for the better. I have been thankful so many times that I did not have that child. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like. I never wished I had the child. I don’t have children now. I am curious about what a child I’d have would look like. I remember the time of year it was because it was near my birthday. I did feel the doctor could have told me what the psychological effects are, that I would feel depressed, but maybe it’s better not to. He told me medically what would happen. He discussed it with me. He answered my questions. He was not at all judgemental. He was rational and he did a great service to me. I can not imagine how horrible it would be and how angry I’d be if I’d had trouble getting the medical care I needed. I went on line and tried to find out information about abortions and looked for places with other people’s experiences, a chat room or something. I was appalled at what was out there. This is a huge problem. I really think that Planned Parenthood has a responsibility to have a better presence on the web. But I read about this site and am so gladdened by it. Having that abortion made me responsible about birth control again, which is the real answer, I think. Better birth control.