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My Abortion


Kassi, 29
Vermont, 2004
My boyfriend and I went to the doctor for an IUD and were told to use condoms until we were together longer. A month later, when the campus nurse wouldn’t look at me, I knew the results weren’t good. I was sobbing and scared to go into the waiting room. In my gut I think I knew what I’d do. It took my thoughts a little while to catch up with my gut. The clinic near where I lived only provided abortions one day a week, the same day I had four classes in a row. So I went to a clinic 45 minutes away. The soonest appointment was three weeks later. Walking around pregnant when you don’t want to be is a nightmare. I wanted to tell everyone, but I was scared that they’d think I was stupid. I borrowed a car from my friend’s roommate. I wore a black turtleneck and very nice jeans—I wanted to impress the nurses. I think I even mentioned that I was in the honor society! Now I think, Who did I think I was? I had no idea that the average abortion patient is all of us.

Madeline, 18
Minnesota, 2012
I didn’t think I was ready for sex, but my boyfriend pushed it. Rape feels too strong, but it wasn’t really consensual. I didn’t think about the whole condom thing. I was going to a Catholic high school, and in health class we never talked about sex. The scariest part of the whole experience was not having anyone to share it with. I was in AP classes and couldn’t concentrate. I’d look around and think, No one knows. At night I’d think, What if I wait too long and then suddenly have this baby? I tried to plan out telling my parents, but my mom’s religious views scared me. I read on the Internet that minors can get a judicial bypass, but I was nervous it would take a long time—when I lay down and sucked in, there was a little bump on my tummy. Finally, I got up the courage to tell them. Both my parents took me. It’s a two-day process. I was at twenty weeks, just a few days away from being too late. During the ultrasound, the technician told me how big the head was—it was the most scarring thing. The next day, the procedure took fifteen minutes. I slept for the rest of the day. I was grateful my parents were there. It cost about $2,000, so I definitely couldn’t have done it without them. I feel bad that it was so far along, developed. In my government class, we spent a whole week on abortion. It was awful.