Abortion in NZ

The experiences of NZ women with abortions.

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Most of this was written the day after my day one appointment, 4 days before my day two. I’ve chosen to share it after having the actual procedure because the decision to have an abortion is a very personal one for me. I needed to make the decision on my own terms, and spend some time alone thinking about what it meant to me.

After attending my day one, I have been having really mixed feelings. I definitely feel that abortion is the right choice for me because, the bottom line is, I don’t want a child.

At the same time, every single part of my body except my brain is screaming ‘protect this thing growing inside you’. For example, the day before I took my pregnancy test, I had a glass of wine, and threw up almost immediately. I think that’s my body’s way of protecting the foetus. When I think about having an abortion, I get cramps - it’s like my brain knows what my body is planning.

No matter how sure someone is about abortion being the right choice for them, I don’t think it’s an easy decision for anyone. I’m very aware that I could change my mind between now and the procedure, and if I do, I think it will be the right decision for me.  The reality of abortion is, for me, anyway, regardless of when you think life begins, if it’s at conception, at a heart beat, or when a baby is born, nothing can erase from my mind the fact that in less than 7 months, I could potentially be holding a small human that I made in my arms. That potential is something really amazing, and it’s for that reason that I don’t think anyone can take the decision lightly. 

It’s maybe easy to look from the outside and think that women take abortion lightly, but you never see what’s happening inside that person’s heart. When I looked all those women in the eye at my day one, I knew they were all suffering the same pain that I was. We were all vulnerable, confused, uncertain and scared. You hear so much about how abortion causes depression, but you don’t seem to hear about how scary and depressing is to be pregnant when you don’t want a child.

Above everything for me, my justification for wanting an abortion is that I think every child deserves to be wanted. No child asks to be born. The only way I want to bring a child into the world is if it’s wanted. It’s such a difficult choice because I know I could be a good parent. I could raise this child to the best of my ability, and I’d probably do a decent job. I have great support networks, and I know about all the tools there are to help me. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason, though. I would have to give up almost everything that I’ve worked so hard for for the last 7 years of my life, and selfish or not, I’m just not prepared to do it right now.

I don’t think anyone is ever really ready to be a parent. Regardless of how much you want a child, it’s a scary prospect to become responsible for someone else forever. I don’t think wanting a child suddenly makes you prepared or less scared. In saying that, just because everyone struggles a bit, I don’t think you should do it if it’s not something you want to do. I simply don’t think its fair to bring a child into the world when it’s not wanted.

If I’m totally honest, I think if we had better parental leave and more support for parents I might feel differently about having a baby. I’ve already needed to take 3 1/2 days off work for this, and I’ll need at least another 2 days, plus another 1/2 day. I have no idea how people can afford to do this financially or emotionally on 14 weeks parental leave and our limited childcare subsidies. With my massive student loan, my choice is either be working full time as soon as my parental leave runs out, or staying home and living on the DPB. That would mean giving up my career - which really isn’t an option for me just a year out from university.

 

A question that I’ve been getting quite often is ‘do you regret being open about this?’

That’s a tough one. I’m glad I’ve been open because I don’t think women should be ashamed about having an abortion. I think that abortion should be legally available on request, and I hate the stigma attached. I hope that by sharing, I help make people think about the women behind that word abortion, and the struggles we go through. I hope people learn about how the process works, and feel less scared than I have been feeling.

The part I’m struggling with is the decision and prospect of loss and the grieving is something very, very personal. I don’t want to come across as uncaring, or like this is a decision I’ve made in 5 minutes. It’s taken me a lot of thought, and 4 days out from the abortion, I still have a lot of doubts and questions.

Academically I believe that women should absolutely have the choice what happens to their body, and that life shouldn’t be considered to begin until a baby could survive outside of the mother. However, I can’t deny that inside me is life. It has a heartbeat, and it has the potential to turn into something amazing and special. If I do nothing, it will grow and be born and be a human being just like me, and it will be something that I have created.

However, my belief that all children deserve to be wanted has to trump that. My choice to decide what happens to my body wins. I don’t think that makes it an easier choice. I think it might make it harder. I can’t deny that I’m doing this for mostly selfish reasons - I don’t want to be pregnant and I don’t want to raise an unwanted child. 

For me, I think it’s important that I mark this somehow. I recognise that I’m taking away the potential for this to grow into its very own human being, if that makes sense. I’m planning on making a donation to the neonatal trust in hope that a parent who desperately wants their child gets a tiny bit closer to that. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I think it sort of cements it for me. It’s not about guilt, but rather a celebration of what could have been.

Last time I left off, I was waiting to be seen for my day one appointment. I’m writing now immediately after seeing the social worker/counsellor.

After not waiting long, my name was called. I was told I needed to go in alone - support people aren’t allowed at the counsellor’s appointments, because they want to make sure you’re not being pressured into the decision. I collected my bag and followed her through the door to a small room with a desk, two chairs, a small table with a box of tissues on them. There were lots of notes pinned to the wall about healthy relationships, contraception and rape crisis help.

The counsellor who saw me was a Capital and Coast District Health social worker. We discussed how I felt when I found out I was pregnant and how I had been dealing with it including how I had been eating and sleeping. We discussed how the pregnancy happened; whether I was using contraception and various failure rates. She asked how I felt being pregnant. 

This was when I cried - being pregnant was really not in the plan, and I’ve been finding it really stressful. The idea of continuing to be pregnant made my stomach drop.

Once I had spoken to the counsellor (you can spend as long as you like, I spent about 45 minutes talking through why) and have chatted about what my reasons are, she coached me to give me the right info to tell the doctor. I get the impression that there are certain key words they need to hear to tick the boxes. So I was told ‘the financial strain would cause me harm’, ‘it would cause irreparable damage to my career and would hurt my self esteem’ and ‘if I couldn’t get the abortion I would feel trapped with something I didn’t want which would cause me stress and harm’

I asked her if they ever had people in who they couldn’t certify. She explained that the only time that happens is when the person seems unsure of their decision, or it seems like it might not be truly their decision. In those cases, they send them away and get them to think about it for a couple of days. She said that as long as people are sure of their decision, they’ll find a way to make it fall under the categories allowed by law. She said that they were essentially offering abortion on demand, there were just extra hoops people have to jump through.

She told me that they ask women if they would like to see what the foetus looked like, and talk through fetal development. She said it wasn’t compulsory, and I didn’t have to look. I did, and we had a chat about how amazing it is that a few cells can grow into a person. The pictures they showed were like pencil drawings with a scale, nothing emotive. I thought it was done really well. Definitely nothing like the pro-life propaganda you see.

The counsellor then talked through the two types of abortion, medical and surgical and asked me which one I would prefer. I asked which one she would choose for herself and why (even though I had already decided), and she said she wouldn’t get a medical because there are more often complications and it’s also much more stressful for women because you’re forcing a miscarriage which can last a few days.

We also talked through contraception options and she was really great at listening to me and making me feel like my concerns with hormones are justified. We agreed that I would think about getting a mirena, although if I didn’t meet the qualifications for a free one, it would cost over $300. 

I felt really safe talking to her. She was not judgmental at all and recognised that my main concern is that I don’t want to have a child who is unwanted.

After that, I went back to the waiting room. The counsellor writes up your notes, which then go to the doctor. Once the doctor gets your notes, you go through and talk to them, and they sign the first certificate.


After talking to the counsellor and seeing the doctor 

My doctor was a male, but that didn’t bug me. You can elect female doctors if you choose. They’re so respectful that some women are there because of rape, with mostly female staff, the ability to choose a female doctor and a women’s only waiting room. 

I told him that my ultrasound was booked for tomorrow, and he said I didn’t really need one but he could do one if I wanted. I opted for it. I’m not really sure why, but it felt right. I think maybe it was a respect thing - acknowledging that this is a real thing and knowing I had to feel comfortable with my choice. He let me use the ultrasound machine because I was really interested in it, and measured this tiny shadow. It was 1.56cm. It looked like a lentil. The machine didn’t have sound, so I didn’t get to hear a heartbeat, but to me, a heartbeat isn’t really a major thing. He let me play with the ultrasound machine and try to find the shadow. That was pretty cool, and made me feel at ease.

We talked through my medical history and the surgery, and discussed contraception again. He was happy with me to work it out with my GP afterwards. He reassured me about how safe the procedure is and we discussed how abortion is actually safer for women than childbirth. I didn’t know that.

He had to sign off 4 different bits of paper certifying my mental illness. It’s called ‘adjustment disorder’ and it basically means that if I had a baby, I would find it difficult to adjust to that. I pointed out that all parents probably had difficulty, and he agreed, and said the whole thing was a facade. Everyone along the whole way said that it was my choice, they supported my choice and they would find a way to make sure it was legal.

He didn’t even ask me my reasonings, other than asking if I was sure of my decision. He was really good about asking if I had any question, and answered everything very respectfully,

After that, we went and saw a nurse who booked in my day two (for next Tuesday). The doctor I saw today is going to be the doctor who does my actual procedure, and I need to get certified by another doctor first, and it will basically be the same process as with the first one. The nurse explained the procedure, and the things I needed to bring with me. We also discussed aftercare and how I might feel afterwards.


My whole day one process took about 2 1/2 hours. They say to allow 3-4 hours. My day one experience really made me feel respected and valued, and the clinic was really welcoming. There were lots of smiling faces, and no one judged me at all. 

 

 

This was written the morning of my day one

I’m sitting in McDonalds typing this while I wait to catch a bus to the hospital for my consultation/counseling appointment. It’s at 10am, but I don’t know where I’m going so I want to arrive early so I have time to find where I need to go at the hospital. 

Right now I’m feeling sick - usual morning sickness sick, and sick with worry. I’m worried about protesters, and that staff will be cold or judgmental. I’m worried I’ll see someone there I know, even though logically that makes no sense because they’re in the same boat as I am. I’m worried I won’t be able to find it or that I got my appointment time wrong. I’m worried they’ll take one look at me and say ‘you’re an adult, you’d be an ok parent and usher me out the door’.

In the waiting room

I managed to find Te Mahoe okay, about 15 minutes early even. My bus stopped right outside the main entrance. There were no protesters, just normal hospital goers. An elderly woman pushed me as I was walking up the stairs to the main entrance. It was so absurd and I was so stressed I laughed, and she looked at me like I was insane.

I followed the signs up one floor to the women’s clinic. There were no huge ‘abortion clinic’ signs, and there weren’t many people outside the women’s clinic.

Near the main women’s clinic information counter was an intercom button on the wall telling me Te Mahoe was a secure unit and I had push the button to sign in. Once I introduced myself, the door was unlocked and I walked into this entrance way with two doors - the door I came through, and the door I would be going through.

There was a small desk with a friendly, smiling woman who introduced herself, asked how I was and if I found everything ok. She immediately put me at ease, and talked me through some paperwork to fill out.

The paperwork was usual stuff - emergency contact person, support person, and a form asking about my smoking history. She told me to go through into the waiting room and fill out the forms then bring them back.

In the waiting room were two women. One was by herself and looked about my age, and the other probably in her late 20s. Her (I assume) partner was with her, as well as a child about 3 years old and a baby, who couldn’t be more than 6 weeks old. I felt so sad for her. It was a shock to see children there, especially a baby. I had read that children weren’t allowed in the unit. I suppose that’s not true, they have toys and a climbing frame for kids. The thing that made me really sad though was she had this tiny baby and was obviously pregnant again. How horrible. 

There’s a main waiting room with something terrible on TV, and is also a women’s only waiting room. This whole place feels very somber and sad, and I think all of us sitting here are contemplating the gravity of why we’re here. Despite that, it feels very safe. I feel like no one knows I’m here, and I don’t feel like anyone is judging me. The other women and I exchanged little sad smiles. It feels like solidarity.

Now I’m sitting waiting to for someone to come through yet another calling my name. I feel like I’ve spent all of the last 2 weeks waiting.

This was written 6 days after my GP appointment, the night before my ‘day one’

Right now, I feel trapped. 

I’m currently 8 or 9 weeks pregnant, and I definitely don’t want to be. This wasn’t planned, and to call this ‘unwanted’ would be to grossly understate how I’m feeling.

I found out for sure I was pregnant two weeks ago. I had a suspicion for a week or two, then I finally decided I needed to take a pregnancy test. I’ve been feeling sick and the smell of most food makes me want to throw up. I usually get 6-7 hours sleep and started sleeping 9-10hrs a night plus a nap for an hour or so when I got home from work, and I’d still wake up super tired. My sense of smell went crazy, and my boobs ached all the time. I’ve gone up a cup size in about 3 weeks.  

When I peed on the stick, the test line came up before the control line. Nothing could have prepared me for my reaction. I imagined I’d cry and be angry and panic. Instead, I was totally calm and still. I guess I should have guessed that I was going to be cool, calm and collected in a crisis. Crisis is something I usually deal with well.

I knew I needed to book a doctor’s appointment, so I called the FPA because they usually deal with my sexual health stuff. My regular GP is the same woman who has seen me since birth and also sees my parents and grandparents. It weirds me out a bit.

The earliest appointment I could get with the FPA was 9 days from when I called. I didn’t want to wait that long stressed and not knowing what to do. I called around and managed to change GPs to one closer to work, and got an appointment 5 days after I called.

This was a new GP that I had never met before, so I was really nervous. Not all GPs will refer you for an abortion, and I was basically taking a lucky dip to see if she would be mean and judgmental. I was so worried she would berate me and be mean, and I’m so glad she was supportive and matter of fact. She never once said I shouldn’t want to get an abortion or was in the least bit judgmental.

I went and saw her, cried and told her I thought I was pregnant. She said ‘is this a happy or a sad thing?’ I just looked at her all-pathetic like, and she gave me a hug then we talked through how pregnant I though I was and what the process was. 

Basically, the GP refers you to the clinic - the one in Wellington covers the whole of the Wellington region to basically a 1/4 up the north island. It’s called Te Mahoe and it’s part of the Wellington Hospital. I didn’t realise people have to travel so far, and I’m really grateful it’s offered relatively close to me.

The GP did a couple of swabs to test for STDs and did a cervical smear because I was overdue for one. Usually they just do the STDs, not the smear, but she decided while she was there to do it all. She also did an internal exam which involved inserting a finger and pushing on my stomach to see if she could feel my uterus above my pelvic bone, which helps to guess size. She couldn’t feel it, and said it means I was likely to be under 12 weeks. Like any internal exam it was uncomfortable but not painful, and the doctor was great about talking me through what she was doing.

She referred me for an ultrasound because I had a really irregular cycle so we weren’t sure of dates, and a blood test.

Once the doctor refers you to the clinic, the clinic calls you to book a ‘day one’. There are two appointments over 2 days, at least 2 days apart (for legal reasons). I got the phone call with the booking at Te Mahoe the same day. The appointment was exactly 7 days from my GP appointment.

I went at got the blood test the next day and the results go straight to Te Mahoe, so I just needed to show up with my referral and they did the rest. It was a normal blood test. They took three vials and it took all of 2 minutes. No one mentioned what the blood test was for or why I was getting it.

The earliest ultrasound I could book is for the day after my day one appointment, so I’ll have to update you after day one.

At the moment, I’m feeling really scared. I’m worried about protestors, having to wait a long time between day one and day two and having to have a medical rather than surgical abortion. I’m worried that the people at Te Mahoe will be uncaring. Most of all, I’m worried that they’ll say I don’t fit the criteria and won’t let me get an abortion. The last thing in the world I want to do is have to stay pregnant, and I really really don’t want a child.

You’re 17. You’re out flatting. You’re a happy dole bludger. You’re in what constitutes a long term committed relationship at 17. then one day you have great sex and suddenly realize you’re pregnant.

Yes, I knew from the moment of conception. I was on the pill, but in hindsight maybe wasn’t as meticulous as I could’ve been, or maybe it was one drink too many on Friday night, or maybe I was going through a grapefruit juice phase. Whatever the reason, I knew I was pregnant.

Oh, the excitement [sarcasm], being 99% sure I was pregnant and not able to confirm it for several weeks until a pregnancy test would confirm it.

This all took place in the days before the morning after pill and other medical miracles were available obviously.

So I did what any normal 17yr old girl does, I told my best friend. Who was suitably horrified and supportive. Then I told my boyfriend. Who skipped horrified and went straight to supportive. Then I told my mum, who was matter of fact, and supportive.

Are you noticing a theme here?

So over the several weeks we had to wait to confirm pregnancy supportive boyfriend and I discussed out options.
We drew up a pros list.
We drew up a cons list.
There were a LOT of things on the cons list.
And then he asked the magic question, what did *I* want to do?
Did I want to have a baby?
At 17.

You may have been a delightfully mature 17 year old. But me, I was a brat.
No, I didn’t want to have a baby. I thought about it, yes, in the future I did, but not right now, not in my current situation. No. I did not want to have a baby. No, I did not want to be pregnant.

This many years later I can’t remember how it was that I got to be sitting with supportive boyfriend at the abortion clinic. I assume pregnancy test at doctors got me a referral. But the whole thing is a bit of a blur. Not because it was traumatic, probably more the opposite. I was 100% certain that an abortion was 100% the right thing to do. There was not a doubt in my mind. And I trusted the medical profession to do their jobs effectively and efficiently to make this happen.

The thing I remember most was how horrid the woman councillor was to supportive boyfriend. I’m sure in her role she’s seen women bullied by unsupportive partners into having an abortion, but one look at his terrified face should probably have reassured her that I was the one doing all the talking.

I think my outrage at her treatment of the man who was trying to do the right thing and support me in whatever decision I made mitigated any negativity she may have had towards me and my decision. But it certainly wasn’t a supportive “pro-woman” environment.

If I had to have an internal exam, I don’t remember, but this is not something that I, personally, find traumatic or unusual, so it’s not something I would pay attention to.

I did have to have an ultrasound, external only. The screen was turned away from me, and they didn’t have the heart beat audible.

The appointed day for the abortion arrived, again, I can’t remember how I got to the clinic. But I do remember being in a waiting room sitting in a large chair, dressed in the sexy hospital gowns and being handed pills and a plastic cup of water. I remember being sleepy and lying down looking up at masked faces.

Then I remember waking up to see my mum there to pick me up.
A nurse was trying to tell me that I wasn’t ready to go home yet.
I, of course, knew better, and my mum was happy to keep any potential trauma to a minimum  … although clever and wise woman that she is, took one look at me and asked the nurse for a bag. Sure enough halfway down the elevator I vomited.

Was the procedure explained to me before hand? Probably.
Did I pay attention?
Nope.
Again, I didn’t need to know the ins and outs, I trusted the medical profession to do the job properly. It never once occurred to me that I should feel any guilt. Or that I might be making the wrong decision. Or that I needed to ask more questions.

The only thing that did surprise me about the whole procedure was having sex afterwards. I expected things to be the same, but they weren’t. Although the vagina will (and did) bounce back, things were a little lower than normal. Now that’s the sort of thing they don’t normally tell you on tv. It took both of us by surprise.

Supportive boyfriend and I eventually broke up, as long term committed relationships at 17 often do but many years later, I can still say an abortion was the right decision. And the medical profession did their job.

Since then I’ve found myself accidentally pregnant once since then, and that time I decided to adopt. Circumstances had changed, and that was 100% the right decision at that time.

Being a teenager is just crazy sometimes. When we were sixteen my best friend (let’s call her Alice) discovered she was pregnant, to a father with whom she had a very casual relationship. She and her family weren’t religious at all. Every girl is bombarded with messages growing up, from all sorts of sources - friends, teachers, family, media, everyone has an opinion on what’s “right” or “wrong” when quite frankly each case is unique.

 

Alice had made her decision before sharing with a few close girlfriends what she was going through. It explained why she had been a bit more withdrawn and impatient with the usual high school stuff which was going on, she had bigger things on her mind. The father of the baby was never part of her life outside their occasional encounters, but she did let him know she was pregnant, and I believe he supported her choice to have a termination.

 

There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for Alice to share much about what she was going through, and it clearly hurt her a lot to talk about. She took herself to her mandatory scans and medical appointments, and showed me the ultrasound images. As far as I know, she didn’t doubt her decision, I think staying firm on her choice helped her to have the strength to go through with it. I don’t think anyone ever wants to have an abortion, they don’t try and get pregnant so that they can have a termination. It’s always a difficult decision to make as far as I understand, without anyone else imposing their thoughts on the situation, I tried to just be there for Alice and support her however she needed, I offered to go along with her.

 

When the day of her appointment at National Women’s hospital in Auckland came along, we were on study leave from school and had a couple of days free before our Biology exam. Alice was quite casual about the process she was going through and I guess her way of coping was to be matter of fact about it. Conscious of what we were going to do, we caught a bus which dropped us near the hospital and I was disgusted to see people with anti-abortion signs waiting at the gate. I can’t remember if they were shouting or chanting like protesters, but their intention and disapproval was clear. I walked closest to them and we ignored them, myself in disappointment and sadness and just feeling for my friend who was already having a hard time without the added stress of strangers forcing their opinions on her.

 

We arrived at the hospital, Alice gave her name and we were asked to wait in a large sitting area. There were a few other people about, some women alone, one or two with their partners and others with friends. A nurse came out and took Alice aside to go through some questions and to take some medication, I didn’t get the detail on what was going on but I think the medication basically triggers your body’s natural contractions and process to shed the contents of the uterus. 

 

The nurse asked if I would be going in with Alice, which we hadn’t talked about. I shot her a glance and said I would if she wanted me to, hoping to give the impression that I was happy to if she wanted me there. She told the nurse yes, and sat back with me to wait.

 

Some of the other women in the waiting area were recovering after the procedure, some seemed quite nauseous and were being watched by nurses until they were ready to leave. Others seemed quite fine outwardly. 

 

It seemed like we were waiting a long time, and I vaguely remember flipping through magazines without seeing anything until it was Alice’s turn to pass through a few doors into the procedure room. I don’t remember a lot of detail about the room, other than it being obviously a medical room with the doctor who would do the procedure and a nurse on Alice’s other side talking to her and explaining what was going on.

 

Alice was wearing a hospital gown, and had to climb onto a bed and put her legs up and out into some holders - a bit like arm rests for her legs which spread them. I held her hand and did my best to stay calm and reassuring for her as the doctor started what seemed to me like a sort of vacuum cleaner. The device basically pumped suction and the nurse explained the doctor was about to start, and for Alice to do her best to relax. Alice nodded and it began, to me it certainly seemed uncomfortable and probably painful in more ways than one. A tear escaped from the corner of Alice’s eye and she squeezed my hand - about the most emotion I’d had from her where otherwise she’d given a confident front.

 

I never told her but under the bed she lay on was a whitish container connected to the suction device the doctor was using, I could see it slowly filling with the contents of Alice’s uterus and tried not to think too much about it.

 

I thought it might take longer, or might have been a more serious and complicated procedure but we seemed to be done quite quickly. Alice slowly got up and dressed when she was ready, I waited again in the sitting room and we stayed there for a while while she overcame her nausea. We took a little container in case she needed to vomit and the nurse was very caring in checking that she was okay before I was allowed to lead Alice out.

 

We walked slowly to the cafeteria to sit a bit more. We were mostly broke in high school, but fortunately this day I had some money I’d been saving. I bought some food for Alice (which I don’t think she really felt like eating) and decided it was best we didn’t get a bus back, I called a cab.

 

Where we stayed it wasn’t going to be possible for Alice to have any sort of special “recovery” treatment, but fortunately as it was study time it wasn’t strange for her to be quietly in her room. She was quite nauseated but to me, seemed to be okay by the next morning. I don’t know really how she felt and how the recovery was for her, we didn’t talk about it or if I asked she just said she was alright.

 

Alice and I haven’t talked about her abortion since it happened, we’re still quite young and don’t know if it will have any implications on her fertility yet. I know she feels sad that it had to happen, but also at peace with her choice and happy with the life she has been able to go on and have.

 

The experience of trying to be there for my friend through this reinforced a few ideas I had. I believe there is nothing wrong with an abortion when it’s the right choice for (and made by) those affected most, and is done safely and legally. I hope to never have to go through it myself, but I certainly would if it was right for me.

 

I hope in some way sharing this helps someone about to go through the same or to be there for a friend.

 

This blog is about abortion, specifically in a New Zealand context. 

It’s a pro-choice, zero judgment environment.

This is a space where women can share their experiences and find out information about abortion and how it happens in New Zealand. 

All comments will be moderated to ensure a positive experience for everyone. We won’t be discouraging conversation, but hateful comments are not allowed.

There are lots of questions that you might have when you’re pregnant, including whether abortion is the right option for you. We will try to answer your questions where we can, or point you towards resources that may help you.

If you have an abortion experience that you would like to share, please email us, or submit to the blog. You can include as much, or as little, detail as you like - though we do ask that you try to write clearly, please, so your experiences are easy for readers to follow.

Of course, your submission can be anonymous. If you choose not to share your name or other details, your wishes will be respected. It would be great to include the age you were, and region you were in, when you considered abortion. This is so we can easily sort submissions and so that readers can find stories that are relevant to them.

Any stories are welcome - whether you had a great experience with abortion or a horrible one, or even if you decided abortion wasn’t for you. 

Remember, above all, this is a supportive environment. Please respect each other and enjoy this resource.

“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” 

“No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.” 

Margaret Sanger