Month: July 2015

Story: Recommending the medical option over surgical

Submitted by: Tristin V.

Tagged: Planned Parenthood, surgical abortion, Asheville, North Carolina, endometriosis, hyperemesis, pain

I began getting sick to my stomach in early April. I have a number of stomach issues, so thought nothing of it. I’ve never had a regular cycle, so when I was a week ‘late’ I thought nothing of it. Well, after throwing up for a few weeks and being well over a week late, my partner suggested I look into it as a possibility. Turns out he was right! I have endometriosis, along with a few other uterine health issues, so it is highly unlikely that I was even able to become pregnant. Even the girl who told me I was in fact pregnant at Planned Parenthood was surprised. (I go to them for almost all of my women’s health needs, so she knew my medical history.) I scheduled my abortion the same day I found out I was pregnant. I have known for years I didn’t want children, so there was no doubt in my mind. I had to wait a week and two days. During that time I became even more ill, needing to be hospitalized twice. I lost weight, and was throwing up everything I put in my body. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis of pregnancy. It’s morning sickness, but the severe, all day and lasts the first three months of pregnancy. 1% of pregnant women suffer from this, and I’m one of those people where if something can, it probably will go wrong.

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Story: Multiple medical abortions with no complications

Submitted by: Julia Fawkes Stuart

Tagged: Medical abortion, positive experience, multiple abortions, Westchester, Connecticut, 6 weeks or earlier, no other kids

The first time I became pregnant I had been with my boyfriend for 4 years, and we lived in a cute rental home in Connecticut. I was almost 25 and had a good job. So when I got pregnant there didn’t seem to be a “reason” to not have a baby.

The Decision: I sat on my bed, closed my eyes and breathed calmly, I was finally able to center myself and clear my mind (it took a few minutes to relax as I had been worrying about what to do for the whole day since I took the pee-test). Once I was reasonably calm, I asked the question to myself: “Do you want to have a child now?” The answer was so strong, and so definitive: “No.”  I kept breathing and asked the question a couple of different ways, and the answer was “No.”

So for me, it was clear; my body and mind said no, and an abortion I would have. Going deep inside myself to ask the question was important to me, so going forward I had no doubts that the decision was the right one for me (and over a decade later, I can verify it WAS absolutely the best choice for me!).
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Story: Positive surgical abortion after having kids

Submitted by: Laura Slack, AMAMA co-founder [contact with questions/comments: askmeaboutmyabortion.info@gmail.com]

Tagged: Abortion after kids, surgical abortion, positive experience, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

How I’ve struggled with chronologically where to start this story.

Not because the pregnancy and abortion I’m addressing itself is a long winded tale, but I know that just as many of you are here to weigh your options as are here with minds made up as are here to be supported and support others by reading accounts after the fact. The reason I’m having a hard time knowing where to begin is because I’ve run the gamut on pregnancy choices, so to speak. I elected to terminate my last pregnancy, but had given a baby up for adoption before that, and had two daughters that I kept and raised even before that. So I have a somewhat unique overview of “the options”, but I want to talk about the abortion first since that’s what this website was created for. I’ll cover the pros and cons in my experiences outside of abortion in a “part two” for those that are interested in exploring those options.

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What pregnancy centers will really tell you about your options

pregnancy center

While Cosmopolitan writers usually serve us fluff like hilariously absurd sex tips, sometimes they dive a little deeper into serious topics like unplanned pregnancy.

“Pregnant? Scared?” If you live in an area of the country where abortion services are hard to come by (which is true for vast tracts of the United States, mostly due to recent anti-choice legislation), you might find yourself exploring ever possible option – including local pregnancy crisis centers, which now outnumber abortion clinics 3 to 1. But what actually happens inside these places? Cosmo recently completed a year-long investigation and found (perhaps unsurprisingly) that most of them are faith-based, and not only do they push inaccurate or downright fabricated information onto the people who walk through their doors, they often harass them for weeks afterward.

 A yearlong investigation of crisis pregnancy centers — including dozens of interviews with center staff and volunteers, anti-abortion and reproductive-rights advocates, lobbyists, elected officials, and women who have visited centers across the country — reveals that behind the scenes, an orchestrated network of donors, lawyers, lobbyists, and state representatives supports the individual centers. The national organizations Care Net and Heartbeat International train thousands of center staff to attract and dissuade “abortion-minded women.” Online for Life, a deep-pocketed tech nonprofit funded by Texas billionaire Farris Wilks, helps pregnancy centers market themselves to “abortion-determined women” searching online for abortion-related terms, according to an Inside Philanthropy report.

Read the whole report at Cosmopolitan.

4 ways to be gender-inclusive when discussing abortion

“I volunteer my time to further access to reproductive healthcare and education. I’ve spent over five years clinic escorting, canvassing, and tabling. I’ve attended speak-outs, protests, vigils, and repro rights conventions.

But it’s really difficult to be present in a movement that is so incredibly cissexist.

The fact of the matter is that trans men/ masculine people and nonbinary people (like myself) are severely underrepresented by the mainstream dialogue about reproductive rights, and this needs to change.

Some trans people have abortions. Some trans people need access to birth control. Some trans people could use the clinic access to get hormone replacement therapy. So why is it that in the five-plus years I’ve been involved in this movement, no one has bothered to even mention people like me?”

Read more at Everyday Feminism

no stigma, no judgment, no shaming.

abortion-tee

When you’re making a decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, you might turn to the internet for help. What was the experience like for others? Was it painful? Did they struggle with it until the last moment? Did they change their minds? Did they regret it, or do they feel good or even great about making that choice for themselves and their futures? Unfortunately, the internet is jam-packed with misinformation and scare tactics on this subject, mostly planted by religious groups, and the authenticity of the first-person stories on anti-choice websites is questionable at best. This decision is yours alone to make and shouldn’t be subject to the personal beliefs of others. We want to offer a safe space for people to share their stories, and read about the experiences of others, with zero judgment, pressure or bullshit. Just real-life, first-person accounts.

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Study: Majority don’t regret their abortions

clinic

One common warning to people who are considering terminating their pregnancies is “you might regret it later.” Is it really true, though? Naturally, this is totally subjective, and some very well might feel regret somewhere along the line, but a recent study has found that the majority feel just fine about it. After following 600 subjects for three years post-abortion, the researchers found no evidence of ‘post-abortion syndrome.’

Furthermore, as Jezebel puts it:

There was another major factor in the small percentage of women who did feel significant regret post-abortion: the overall social support the women had, and the stigma they felt they would face for having an abortion. Participants were asked to rank, on a scale of one to four, “how much they would be looked down upon by people in their communities if they knew they had sought an abortion.” Without fear of stigma, the vast majority of women reporting feeling happiness and relief immediately following the abortion, with both relief and negative emotions subsiding over time.

Check out the whole thing here.

Photo: BACORR Clinic Defense/Flickr Creative Commons