My Abortion

By Kendra Holliday | October 29, 2011

My name is Kendra Holliday,
and I had an abortion.

I woke up on the morning of my scheduled abortion and my beau at the time joked, “Today is your big day!”

Honestly, I was looking forward to it. For the past month I had been feeling like shit, barely able to function from the nausea and loss of energy. I was eager to get it over with. The clinic actually made me wait a couple weeks longer to get it done, so the egg sac would be big enough to locate. I was going in eight weeks pregnant.

My man dropped me off and then went to play a few rounds of golf. Just kidding. We passed through security (no protesters again!) and they searched our bags. We sat in the waiting room. He graded papers. I knitted. There were more men there with their partners this time, but at least three of the dudes were sleeping. I heard several different languages being spoken.

I got called in to pay for the procedure ($240), then got sent out to wait again. It wasn’t long before they called me back in along with five other women. They were all in their early 20’s; four were African-American, one was Eastern European. Like a herd, we followed the nurse to a locker room where we all changed into hospital gowns and these awful paper bag slippers. Those slippers were the worst part of the experience.

We were given a Valium and Ibuprofen. Then we were told to go to a waiting room/holding pen, where FUCKING MONTEL WILLIAMS was on TV again, berating some 15 year old for smoking pot (2nd worst part of the experience).

The Eastern European young woman was terrified. She mentally latched on to me and said in a tiny broken voice, “Are you scared?”

“No. I’ve been pregnant before and I’ve had a D&C, and this is not as big a deal as people make it out to be.” I was trying to reassure her; hopefully I didn’t trivialize her fear.

“Why you get abortion?” she asked me.

I shrugged. “It’s just not the right time for me. I haven’t been with my partner long enough and we want more time to get to know each other.”

She said, “I’ve never done this before. I don’t believe I am here.”

I felt so bad for her. She was like a little injured bird sitting there hunched over (3rd worst part of the experience). The other women filed in and had a seat. None of them seemed particularly worried.

Then a chipper volunteer came in, a woman in her mid-4o’s. She introduced herself as Maggie and said, “I will be here to help each of you through it. Yes, it does hurt, but most girls walk out of here thinking it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be. No matter what you’re feeling right now, it’s OK.” Oh good, we have an abortion buddy.

Eastern European bird girl started to cry, and Maggie went and sat next to her and held her hand. Fucking Montel Williams blabbed away in the background.

“Now tell me,” Maggie said, leaning forward earnestly, “What’s your name, and what are you going to do for birth control?”

Three of the African-American young women had the same first name, let’s say LaTonya. LaTonya1 one said she wanted to get her tubes ties. She had one kid and was 21. Um, good luck with that.

LaTonya2 wanted to get a Nuva Ring. “Good!” Maggie approved.

I piped up. “Doesn’t that cause blood clots or something?”

“Yeah, right!” Maggie pshawed.

“Well my friend went into the ER one time with a blood clot in her brain and she was using the Nuva Ring. She almost died.”

“Well the blood clot was caused by something else, not her birth control,” Maggie decided dismissively. (I have no doubt my friend will be commenting on this post.)

Brandy wanted to get an IDU. “An IUD?” Maggie offered.

I said, “What’s the difference between an IUD with hormones and without?”

Maggie said, “The one with hormones works better.”

I said, “But I heard that can cause spotting for months at a time and make you break out.”

“Where do you get your information?” she asked sneering a bit.

“I do a lot of research and that’s what my gynecologist told me,” I answered.

LaTonya3 said she wanted to get her tubes tied, too. She was 24 and had two kids. I told her she’d probably need to ask around to find a doctor who would do it, that I had a friend who was young and wanted a vasectomy and it took him seeing three doctors to find one who would snip him kidless at age 24.

Then it was my turn. I told Maggie I planned on using condoms and spermicide, that I had been on the pill for 15 years and went off it to take a break. “And now look where you are!” she exclaimed triumphantly. Um, good point.

“But I don’t think it’s healthy to ingest artificial hormones for years and years, it’s kind of unnatural.”

“Well do you know what they call women who use condoms and spermicide for birth control?” Maggie said, then gave a pregnant (HA!) pause before announcing smugly, “Mothers!”

I shot back, “But this way the man shares in the birth control and for that matter, why the hell can’t the man take a pill and deal with weight gain and break outs and mood swings?!”

Everyone laughed. Maggie declared, “Well that’s not going to happen. You should just go back on the pill.”

Poor terrified Eastern European bird woman didn’t even get a turn to say what she was going to use (I’m guessing she’ll never let a dick near her again and I found myself trying to imagine her having sex in the first place) because the nurse called her name. Maggie went with her.

This left the rest of us to chat among ourselves. LaTonya2 said she had been there the year before for an abortion, and that her sister just came last week and paid $1000 because she was 5 months along. We were all horrified by this, and one girl said, “That far along? You should just have it!”

“My sister be trippin’,” LaTonya2 explained.

Another girl said people were telling her to consider adoption. She sputtered in disbelief. “I ain’t carrying a baby nine months and then giving it away!”

Another told of how she came last week for her pre-appointment, but she had left her ID at home and had to go back and get it. The abortion protesters cheered and clapped, and she assured them, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back.”

Next they called my name. YESSSSS. I didn’t want to wait around.

I went into the exam room and got up on the table. The nurse prepped the supplies, and I asked, “Is my doctor male or female?”

“Female,” she replied.

PHEW. I knew they had four or five doctors and one of them was some dude who had been doing it for 30 years, and while that’s all well and good, I just didn’t want some old guy doing my abortion.

The doctor came in and she was totally cool and young and pretty. Pill pusher Maggie came in and stood by my head and held my hand. They asked if I had any questions and I said, “Does it really take only two minutes?”

They said yep.

“Just tell me everything you’re doing.”

I assumed the position with my feet in the stirrups and the doctor put a speculum in my vagina to get access to my cervix. I don’t think the valium had really kicked in yet, but I knew they were going to inject a local anaesthetic into my cervix. (They offer an IV sedation for extra, but I didn’t want that.)

I offered to donate the material they gathered to science, but they told me there wasn’t enough there at this stage. It would just be discarded.

Sure enough, the whole thing took about two minutes. I felt my cervix being stabbed and/or a sharp pain about five times, and it did fucking hurt (4th worst part of the experience), but I had a death grip on Maggie’s hand. As soon as they injected my cervix I felt the medicine go straight to my head, whoosh, and I got a little zooty then. I mean I could feel things and ask questions, but some of the words came out wrong.

“Boy am I glad you’re here!” I gasped to Maggie, who looked down at me kindly. I couldn’t believe she took time out of her day to help women out like this. I felt grateful for her presence, even if she did seem more concerned about preventing future pregnancies than a woman’s health and well-being.

The doctor widened my cervix and inserted an – I kid you not – hand held turkey baster, and sucked out the unwanted contents of my uterus. No whirring machine, no scraping instruments. “The dentist is worse than this!” I said between winces, and, “Hell I’ve had a baby, I can handle this!” I was brave, dammit!

The doctor pulled away and said all chipper, “That’s it.”

“That’s it?!” I exclaimed. I did it.

Then I asked my bravest question yet. “Can I see what you sucked out of me?

I had looked online beforehand and had seen all the gruesome bloody shots and mutilated body parts, but I wanted to see it for myself, with my own eyes. I was seriously dreading looking, but wanted to bear witness. I was expecting a pan full of blood, some stuff that looked like raw liver, and maybe a gross little alien bubbling in the gore croaking out, “Mama?”

“Sure!” the doctor said, and she came around the sheet draped over my legs and showed me the little plastic tupperware container that held the abortion. And do you know what it looked like? Half a cup of egg whites with some brown bits in it. It wasn’t even bloody.

“That’s it?!” I exclaimed in astonishment.

“That’s it!” She swirled it around so I could see better. I looked harder, expecting to see at least a leg or something.

“But where’s the fetus?!” This was blowing my mind.

“Right now it’s too small to see with the naked eye,” the doctor explained. “What you’re seeing is mostly the egg sac.”

“And this is what it normally looks like?”

“At 8 weeks, sure.”

“Well HELL! If THIS is what they put on those abortion signs, people would be thinking ‘omelette,’ not ‘baby killer‘!”

I thanked them for their help, put on my maxi-pad, and the nurse walked me to the recovery room. I was still stunned, but read my book. A couple other women were also in the recovery room in reclining chairs looking exhausted.

A nurse came by and offered me a heating pad, Sierra Mist and cookies. Nice!

I hung out in the spa for about 15 minutes, then went and got dressed and discarded those fucking awful paper bag slippers. They sent me home with a bag of antibiotics and three months worth of birth control pills. (I’m not supposed to put anything in my vagina for a week. OK, maybe THIS was the worst part of the experience.)

I came out to the waiting room and my guy looked up at me with concern. “Boy do I have a surprise to tell you,” I said in amazement. His eyes widened. He was getting a little wary of my “surprises.”

We were there for a total of two hours. I thought I’d be down for the count at least for the day, but I felt fine. Afterwards we had sushi and went shopping. My guy wanted to stop in at Sports Authority to look at exercise equipment, and I said, “I’m not really comfortable going into a sports store.”

His reply to that? “Well, I’m not really comfortable going to abortion clinics, so come on.”

Dunno if it was psychological, but I felt instantly better. That evening I got my taste for coffee and booze back. I finally started cleaning the house after neglecting it for days.

And hey, here is what one pro-life website has to say about the aftereffects abortion:

Abortion procedures vary according to the stage of pregnancy. Each procedure is painful for both the mother and her unborn baby. After an abortion, many women experience one or more of the following consequences, some of which may take several years to surface.

Physical:
– Excessive bleeding, may require blood transfusions.
– Perforated uterus or damage to other organs.
– Chronic and acute infections.
– Intense pain.
– Incomplete removal of baby or placenta.
– High fever, convulsions, shock, coma.
– Increase in miscarriages, ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, premature births, and stillbirths.
– Irregular pap smears; breast cancer.
– Infertility.
– Death.

I haven’t taken so much as an Advil, and I stopped bleeding the next day.

I want to hear from other women who have had abortions. What was it like for you? Did you look at what came out of you?

Comments

laloca 2011-10-29 19:32:45

i’m not sure what’s the most depressing part of this account. the barely-veiled racism and contempt for other women, or the fact that you’re using the new york post as a reliable source for anything.

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    Gabe 2011-10-29 20:07:03

    I don’t think there’s any racism going on here. Most women who have abortions in major metro areas are black, I think Kendra just noted that fact. And the NYT is considered to be one of the best newspapers in the U.S., if not the world. Just because it has a liberal bend doesn’t make it inherently unreliable.

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      Gabe 2011-10-29 20:09:38

      Oops, you said New York Post, not Times. My bad-the Post is in fact a bit dodgy.

      Reply

      laloca 2011-10-30 05:33:31

      Gabe – even assuming your statement about abortions in urban areas is correct (which is statistically improbable, given that the majority of abortion providers in the US are located in urban areas to begin with and the majority of abortions are to white women; there were only 6 abortion providers in MO in 2007 according to AGI and the majority of those were in STL, and according to Kaiser, just under 40% of abortions in MO were to black women), noting the race of the women isn’t the problem. It’s the attitude towards them. And the attitude toward the other women in general – particularly Kendra’s know-it-all attitude in her contraception-related comments to them is extremely condescending and patronizing. And surprising, given the generally pro-woman tone of many of her other articles.

      Glad you noticed the article referenced the POST, not the NYT. I’m curious as to why you think I’d have a problem with the NYT based on its liberal bent, though.

      Reply

Kendra 2011-11-01 03:51:26

Are these better resources for you?

http://motherjones.com/environment/2009/05/nuvaring-dangerous

http://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/news/birth-control-safety

http://www.nuvaring.com/Consumer/aboutNuvaRing/possibleSideEffects/index.asp

My friend almost died from her NuvaRing. Here is her account:

“Let me give your viewers a little bit of background on my experience. In 2005, I was in my late 20s, non-smoker, and pretty healthy. I had been using the NuvaRing for a little while when one day I was hit with a most horrific headache. Over the next 2 days I spent time in the ER, my primary docs, with a neurologist, and in an MRI machine. After which, the neurologist immediately put me in the hospital where I was to undergo an Angiogram. If you don’t know what that is, they take a tiny video camera on a wire, and insert it through the groin up into the brain. Let me mention that before doing this procedure, the doctor had my ENTIRE family come to the hospital to discuss the risks as it could cause damage or stroke. So, I had it done. Interesting experience, GREAT drugs. They found a blood clot that had formed in my brain. I was immediately admitted and they did test after test on me. Nothing was wrong with me other than one obvious thing. That fucking ring. They told me I was to never have it in me again, nor take any hormonal birth control. I spent the next year of my life on blood thinners and going weekly to have blood drawn. It’s been over 2 years now but is something that still haunts me. Every time I get a headache, I get scared.

Having to face my mortality at 29 was awful. Since then, I’ve been doing all I can to get the word out about this disgusting product.

If you have one in now, get it out now… please.

The only positive thing that came from this experience is that I am no longer afraid of needles.

Now, for Maggie and the clinic. Her response to your comments about my experience with the NuvaRing is not surprising. Let me first say that I think very highly of these clinics and am grateful that they are there for women in need of their services. With that said, I think they and those they employ (Maggie)are just as easily susceptible to falling under the blinding spells and control that pharmaceutical companies have over big businesses (such as larger practices, hospitals). Organon, which is the company that makes this shit have a lot to gain, especially for those who use such clinics. If people like Maggie were to acknowledge that there is something seriously wrong with a product she is pushing, or hell, even the risks of it, Organon wouldn’t think to highly of it. I’m just saying, It’s not always about the safety of them woman.

Our society is filled with an atitude of “…well, anything can cause (insert disease here)” and people believe they are invincible. Well, you’re not. It can happen and something will happen. So please drop the attitude and before putting anything in your body (especially an unwrapped cock, eh hmmm)like meds, ask questions and DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! Don’t just listen to sweet comforting Maggie.”

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    laloca 2011-11-04 19:02:07

    a) yes, those are better resources. it’s becoming better-understood now that the 3rd generation of hormonal birth control methods carry a higher risk of blood clots – some studies show an increase of about 75% over the first-gen methods (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/fda-says-yaz-and-other-next-generation-birth-control-drugs-appear-to-increase-blood-clot-risk/2011/10/27/gIQAt3OvMM_story.html)

    b) please read my earlier comment. merely mentioning the race of the other women isn’t the problem. it’s your attitude towards them.

    c) did it occur to you that perhaps maggie was being positive to encourage the other women to think seriously about their birth control options, and your nancy negativity schtick just helped convince them that they shouldn’t bother? badmouthing mirena because it can cause spotting and acne? because that’s so much worse than an unwanted pregnancy? the women will have to talk to a doctor for anything other than condoms anyway – why not do everything possible to get them to that stage, rather than just writing off birth control completely?

    Reply

      ChasH 2013-04-06 20:26:09

      Discouraging them with facts? So facts should be suppressed? Couldn’t that work the other way? They try a method and aren’t warned about possible side-effects, and so are terrified to try another method due being scared that people aren’t telling them what could happen?

      Why shouldn’t they be informed? I don’t believe anybody would choose to have a clinic abortion over birth control. If for no other reasons, its inconvenient and expensive.

      Reply

Kendra 2011-11-01 03:54:48

I didn’t whitewash this account – I went into detail about my own personal experience. I can see why some might see the mention of race as being racist.

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Janel 2011-11-02 15:24:23

I had an abortion at 17, it was the most horrible experience of my life. My mother took me, she didn’t feel that the guy who knocked me up was worthy of holding my hand while it happened.
They used a godawful loud vibrating suction machine and you could hear it from room to room. I got there first that morning, so I got in the first room, they had us all lined up down the hall. The protestors were so awful, I didn’t even know about them. I was only 17!
So the Dr. (male) was pretty nice, the nurse was great. The procedure did hurt like mother effer but then they had me lay in the room for a little bit before getting up. The Dr. had moved on to the next room and I could hear the woman next to me bawling, screaming and then the machine went on and then off and then all you could hear was her crying and gasping. I walked out in a fog and started crying, I told my mom if I had not gone first and had heard that woman and I would have walked out and never came back.
I am glad that I don’t have a 20 year old kiddo right now. But sadly I WAS on hormones (BC Pills); but I had a SEVERE ear infection in which they gave me antibiotics the size of a horse pill and never bothered to ask a 17 year old if she was using the pill or having SEX?! So I ended up pregnant and bleh…
It was an awful experience, can’t say much else about it….I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but I am also proud to live in a country where this is legal and allowable.

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Jackie 2011-11-11 18:09:22

Thank you Kendra, for sharing your story in a truthful and frank manner.

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Queen Authority 2012-01-16 19:03:54

Thank you so much for sharing your first-hand experience. I think you are a very brave woman for having gone through the procedure, and for sharing it so freely with us all! :heart: :heart: :heart:

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Cassy 2012-08-03 21:41:22

I have to give you credit for sharing your story. A lot of people wouldn’t. It’s not something I have ever gone through, but found it really interesting to read about your account.

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Tony C 2012-08-13 17:34:22

Very interesting and I like how you shared your experience and did it honestly and didn’t seem to hold much back.

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Domina Vontana 2013-04-05 12:01:06

Kendra, first of all, as a Midwestern girl I just want to say wow, thanks, brave you for coming out and sharing (all) your stories! Id love to meet next time I visit the ‘lou

I had the same procedure that you did. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t work. The microscopic pregnancy was removed but hormone producing root remained and the nausea continued. I had to return and this time opted for the abortion pill, RU486. And it worked. What came out after I took the pill looked like coffee grounds and honestly? smelled like the richest darkest earth/dirt/soil I’d ever smelled or seen and as a country girl, Ive sniffed my share of soil from the fields.

Full disclosure: I did some self medicated with herbal abortifacient including ‘bachelor buttons’ and some terrible tasting teas I ordered online. It may have messed w the initial procedure (or might not) but it did help prepare me mentally. I GOT PREGNANT ON MY PERIOD. Something i was told was not possible. So I was pretty peeved.

When I went in for the style of procedure you experienced, I was concerned my Uterus may implode from the sucking. The doc reassured me the uterus is one of the strongest muscles in the body, almost like a nerf ball she said or a tennis ball and she was right. The tugging during the turkey baster portion made me nervous but it wasn’t painful, just a little scarey and uncomfortable (unlike you I was not given a Valium, wish I had been).

I’d do it again. It preserved my relationships, my social economic status and if Id had that kid I know for a fact Id be in a trailer somewhere, poor as the dirt, and hating my partner. He’s still in my life and my future is bright and wide open. Thank you for sharing, thanks most of all for starting this thread and encouraging us to do so…Vontana

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Claire 2013-04-05 13:26:11

The racist part about this post isn’t that you mention race. Its that you talk about the women of color with total disdain. Its gross.

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    Kendra Holliday 2013-04-05 14:03:56

    Disdain means looking down on someone with scorn and finding them unworthy. That’s not how I viewed the other women at all. I saw us all in same situation, in the same boat, and described the experience and details honestly.

    Reply

    ChasH 2013-04-06 19:58:36

    Huh? Where? How?

    Or did you misread? The three African-American women had the same first name. Or did you just not believe that and thought that Kendra was assigning them a number after the name out of contempt? Suggesting, I guess they were interchangeable stereotypes?

    Or was it that she quoted one as saying “My sister be trippin’.” Which is quite a popular phrase in our society?

    The only way you could be saying that this was racist is if you’re also saying Kendra lied about the first names and misquoted that woman.

    Charges of racism, here, seem insubstantial, not to mention disdainful and underhanded, an attempt to give credence the stereotype of the white pro-choicer as genocidal racist.

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Cassiopeia 2013-04-05 15:08:35

I waited until I was about 10 weeks as I was still debating on keeping my child. I do not regret my decision. It took pregnancy to realize that the standards I had for a boyfriend were much lower than the standards i had for the father of my child. Unaware of the pregnancy/abortion, he later assaulted me during an argument. He was arrested and I moved away.
The picture you painted was very accurate to my experience. There were mostly young girls mostly minorities and what I would describe as “ghetto”. I am a minority myself. My parents were poor but made sure I had a good education. One woman there did not want to have an abortion. She was there because she had implanon and the birth defects associated with an i mplanon pregnancy are not something she could bare. She was vocal about this and her frustration with her failed birth control. She had children already and felt she had made the best birth control choice. There was a young white girl , innocent and sweet scared, a black girl matching her same description another white girl slightly older with a son already she appeared very jaded and full of negativity toward her man. The other women who filled the pre-procedure room were black and two of them knew each other.
The person performing my procedure was a student overlooked by a doctor. Before the doctor came in, I asked to see my baby one last time. She casually told me that it’s better that I didn’t. I felt that she was very dismissive. I’m sure she thought if I saw its heart flutter that I would run out of there crying and not proceed. When the doctor came in, I asked again. I was calm and pleasant. The doctor readily turned the ultrasound screen to me while pressing the cold jelly onto my abdomen. I saw it’s heart flutter, mentally said my goodbyes to the little life inside of me and thanked her.
A lady tried to hold my hand during the procedure but it felt more awkward to me than reassuring. I let her hold it but I’d rather they let my sister in the room. They injected my cervix with the drugs and I could feel them like a wave over me, suddenly the ceiling became a lot more interesting. They instructed me to relax my muscles as much as possible as it would hurt less. I complied until the doctor took over to get the last bits out. I asked the doctor to give me one moment so I could relax again before she continued… She did not heed my request. I’m sure they deal with all sorts of emotional, crazy women there that might ask them to stop mid procedure because they change their minds.. This was the worst part of it. I knew if I could regain control and relax those muscles it would be as easy as the rest of the procedure. She didn’t listen and I did not ask more than twice.

I felt immediately better after the abortion. My energy instantly returned as well. I did bleed and pass several clots during the next week. Bleeding was merely inconvenient, it didn’t feel like a period.

I had Graham crackers and something to drink in the waiting area. I reassured those two young scared girls. One was crying pretty badly. She felt guilty. I simply felt free.

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mean_ls 2013-04-05 15:14:06

“racist” by definition implies that one race is better than another. Kendra did not say that the white women were better than the women of color. She directly quoted what the woman said – not in any way making fun or putting down. She also did not use any pejorative language. Simply indicating someone’s race is not “racist”. The conclusion that Kendra pointing out the racial differences equals racism is, on your part, your own ignorance.

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Jupiter 2013-04-06 09:42:12

Thank you for sharing your story,Kendra.
This is what I wrote days after I had an abortion a few months ago
http://dumbsainthood.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/a-woman-called-upon-to-mother-can-choose-to-refrain/

Also, 2 weeks after , I had an IUD inserted. I am STILL bleeding. It’s irregular and spotty most of the time but other days the bleeding will be more like a period.Then stop and go back to streaky spotting.Also, I have the Mirena…and for awhile, it made me crazy. I feel like it’s normalizing now but my moods and emotions have not been fun. Oh…and no sex drive.I’m waiting another month to see if this also normalizes but if it doesn’t, I’m getting it removed.

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jo 2013-04-06 10:49:00

I can remember when abortion was illegal and not an option unless you went to a back alley abortionist. In those days the number one cause of death among childbearing age women was from home/hack/ coat hanger style abortions gone bad. A young woman could not get birth control until she was 21 and married. Young men could not buy condoms unless they were 18 and had to ask the pharmacist for them where they hid them behind the counter. My mother once had to leave the state to get fitted for a diaphram back in the 50s. Really.

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A Mon Mon 2013-04-06 11:01:42

I think it was calling the ladies LaTonya1,2,3… That caused the racist label being thrown at you. While clever, it comes across as stereotypical and slightly belittling.

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Barbie 2013-04-06 11:30:09

I just got to say this is the most sick thing I have ever read…and you deserve to never have children…no one should be excited about murdering a baby…you have took the human race down 50 notches..what the hell is wrong with you? You took a life…a innocent babies life..I had a kid at 15 ..I went out I had sex,I made a baby ..I done the adult thing, I had my baby and raised him…it’s called being accountable…you should learn about that sometime…

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    ChasH 2013-04-06 20:37:52

    1) A fetus is not a baby. You put a baby into a womb, it dies. You take a fetus out of the womb, it dies. Two different things. It’s really as simple as that.

    2) If it’s not a baby, there’s no need to force accountability on anybody about it. To do it anyway is simply oppressive and cruel.

    3) In that accountability, who’s in charge of the accounting? It implies that everyone has a boss at all times. It puts a cramp in any concept of freedom.
    Accountable to who? Who’s doing the accounting? If it’s not

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Rahlyns 2013-04-06 11:57:33

Both my abortions were much more relaxing and personal.

Living in a smaller city helps. Omaha has a clinic that is seldom protested, and when I went in for my abortions, it was like going in for any other outpatient procedure.

Sure, birth control was discussed, however there was very little agenda pushing. As I am and was happy with barrier methods, and the pregnancies were due to “operator error” I was able to talk with the doc and nurses and they were very non judgey.

I never had any doubts, guilt or second thoughts. My partner in the pregnancies was supportive and thoughtful. The worst of it was the post procedure cramping and the social stigma.

But like I said, I never felt that I had done anything wrong, so I’ve never been ashamed or quiet about it. Recently someone on a discussion group had asked about being pro-choice and made a comment about the “cult of fetus” or some such nonsense. I said I was “pro-abortion”.

They responded “oh you mean you’re pro-choice! No one wants babies to die!”

I said “no, I’m pro-abortion. I believe it’s a valid and useful choice. I don’t see a first trimester fetus as a baby. When you say ‘I’m pro-choice’ you need to realize that some of us who make that choice are doing it without any guilt or shame”

And maybe the reason so many others have guilt and shame is because of folks pushing it on them throughout society.

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Robin 2013-04-06 14:55:49

I got my abortion in Los Angeles when I was 23, just a short year after the death of my father. I wanted to have the baby, but I was alone, making poverty level wages, and knew I wasn’t going to be able to give it up for adoption.

My Filipino boss, a staunch Catholic, convinced me to have the abortion. I drove myself to the clinic. A local was used so I could drive myself home. I saw everything as it happened, and was at peace with it. I was sick and bleeding for a week afterwards, but I was also relieved. It has been 21 years and I have absolutely no regrets.

I still go to Planned Parenthood here in St. Louis on Saturdays every few months to get my birth control, the Pill. I have never had another abortion since. One time, one mistake, one pregnancy.

As far as the “racism” issue, it’s a tempest in a teapot. Grow some thicker skin, dark or otherwise, and accept that this is HER column, and she can describe the situation as suits HER. If this writing offends anyone, they are free to ignore it.

Thanks for fighting the good fight.

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