All September, we are publishing abortion stories. If you are an Irish person who had an abortion, or a person who found themselves pregnant in Ireland and in search of one, and would like to share your experience, email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no editorial guideline – a line or a paragraph or a chapter. Your voice counts. Correspondence will be entered into in strictest confidence.
I’m sending my experience, I do think this is important. I’m pretty open about it and (my partner) knows but I’d still like to remain anonymous. (My doctor still has the ‘abortion stops a beating heart’ poster in his waiting room to this day).
When I was 23, I visited my doctor for the morning-after pill only to be turned away politely, saying he didn’t agree with it, I was still charged for the visit downstairs and, being a student at the time, I didn’t have the money for another doctor that day. I wrongly took my chances. A few weeks later I found myself saying, “I have to tell you something, Mom” and breaking down. I told my mom first because I didn’t want to put it on my boyfriend without knowing where I could go from there.
She was so unexpectedly understanding and said, “I’ll support you no matter what you want to do”. I wasn’t ready for it, so I already knew what I wanted to do. The weird thing was, a few months before I had watched my friend go through the same thing (only her mother pushed her to go) so I had someone to tell me exactly what to do.
I went with my boyfriend at the time and just remember how nice everyone was, the taxi driver that knew where we were going, pointing out Rod Stewart’s house on the way to the Essex clinic, the nurse that told me she found it maddening we had to travel that far. I looked around that waiting room and saw young couples, old couples, a teenager with her mom, young women on their own and I was so relieved.
A few months after, I had to pass on the information to another girl and another girl after that.
The sad thing is, even last year, I heard a girl at a party make some snide jokes about a girl some guy was seeing having to “get the ferry over to England” and making it such a shameful thing. I remember my mom said at the time, “Listen to me, in the end, it’s what we’re here to do – procreate, it happens”.
I would rather not bring a child into this world when you know you’re going to struggle financially or emotionally to cope with it, especially if you have a choice.