New York and California, 2003 and 2006
I actively support Planned Parenthood for doing important work, but I was stuck in a waiting room for hours, with young girls, some flippant, some sad, and the doctor was dead-faced and didn’t make eye contact. I woke up in a gurney in the hallway, surrounded by chaos. No one checked on me. About three years later, in L.A., I found out I was pregnant again. There was this lightbulb moment when I realized I had health insurance. I made an appointment at a hospital, and the whole thing cost about $30. On the way, my boyfriend started freaking out, saying, “What if you’re killing my son?” I had him pull over so I could drive. I respect that it was an emotional experience for him. I never think about the abortions. When I tell people, they respond with a panic face, and when I say I’m truly okay with it, they make a second panic face. I end up comforting them.
I called the university health services from the Walmart parking lot and said I wanted the abortion pill, and the woman said, “The abortion pill is illegal in the United States.” I was livid. I said, “That is not correct.” How many young women has she told that to? I went directly to the doctor. The lady administering the pee test said, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” and I thought, Congratulations, you’re an idiot! I was in my gym clothes, obviously distraught. The doctor said the abortion pill wasn’t an option in our state. I called clinics all over until I found one a four-hour drive away in Tennessee. I couldn’t have told my family. The two girls I told have kids and husbands; they couldn’t just drop everything and come with me. I drove four hours by myself, thinking about what an idiot I was for stopping birth control. I took the first pill in Tennessee. I took the second one the next day, on the Fourth of July, my favorite holiday. I was expecting something terrible. I watched movies alone. I felt fine and could’ve even gone out, but I’d made up stories about where I was.