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My Georgetown Abortion Story


October is, according to the pale blue banner displayed proudly in Red Square, "Respect Life Month." I find that funny because, as I walk through the chalk writings on the brick -- "Can I feel your clump of tissue kick? Said no one ever" -- I feel everything but respect for my choices. My stomach twists as each pro-life slogan I tread on brings back memories I've tried to move past.

But there I am again. It's early August in the first floor White Gravenor bathroom and I'm desperately trying to convince my eyes they're not seeing two pink lines. I text the Health Education Services pregnancy hotline and am assured that the test is negative despite the pregnancy test packaging and my internet research telling me otherwise. I decide to wait a few more days and try again.

A visibly pregnant nurse at student health offers me a sheet of information about Planned Parenthood, tells me to do whatever I feel is best for me, and hugs me when I can no longer control my tears.

A Friday morning before work, I'm shown a sonogram. A sonogram of my uterus. And there's this little cluster of cells in there, a little gray blob that has the potential to permanently alter the course of my life. The phrase "six weeks and five days" registers and I do the mental math, thinking back to June 24th to figure out what could have gone wrong. We used protection, did everything by the book. I guess if condoms are 99.9% effective, call me the .1%.

So now I have a choice to make. If I allow these cells to develop into a human life, my life as I know it will end. I will almost certainly miss my graduation, as my due date will likely be somewhere toward the end of second semester. I will have to endure nine months of nausea, fatigue, and unknowable pain that will make my already challenging school-work balance unbearable. I will have to pick up extra jobs and move back in with my parents to finance child care and support an entire other life when I've just barely learned how to support myself.

On August 12, I have a medical abortion. For those of you not in the know (which I sincerely hope is all of you), that means I took four tiny white Mifeprex pills. I was told to put them between my gums and my cheeks to dissolve, because if I swallowed them straight I would vomit immediately and have to start all over. This way, I wouldn't vomit until after the drugs had absorbed into my system.

So I waited, thankful to have a few incredibly supportive friends with me to distract me from my fear of what was about to happen to my body. The doct