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My Experience Inside the Abortion Clinic

March 14, 2010

Addendum #1 – I have to say that I don’t normally call clinics that preform abortions “Abortion Clinics” since I’ve never seen a clinic dedicated to just abortion. The post is titled as such because I was inspired to write it after reading Inside the Abortion Clinic.

Addendum #2 – I’m not discounting or trying to minimize the experience of the women who wrote the original article. The thing is that antis tend to only present one side of things. People for choice tend to recognize that women have different experiences both during and after their abortions. But we still maintain that each individual woman has the right to choose for herself. Antis don’t seem to want to acknowledge the thousands of women who have perfectly normal experiences and/or don’t regret their choice afterward.

So, here is my experience with abortion via Mifepristone (aka RU-486 or medical/chemical abortion).

First a bit of background info on me. I’m 32 years old and have been happily married for 12 years. I’ve never wanted kids so my husband and I talked about it early on in our relationship and I found that he didn’t want kids either. We would have both gotten sterilized then and there had we been able to afford it. Instead we decided to be as careful as possible and if an accident ever happened I would have an abortion. So when I found out that I was pregnant in January I didn’t have to think twice about it, the decision was made.

So I called and made an appointment at my local Planned Parenthood and were so happy to find that they offered the medical option. So at this point my appointment is made and all I have to do is wait.

I show up at the clinic and am given some forms to fill out then I sit and read while I wait to be called back. When I’m finally called the nurse leads me to an exam room and tells me to go to the bathroom and urinate, then come back, get undressed from the waist down and get on the table. She also gives me the little paper cover that any woman who’s ever been the the ob/gyn is very familiar with. So I follow the instructions, get on the table and wait.

When the doctor comes in she tells me that from the date of my last period I’m probably too early for an external ultrasound so she needs to do a vaginal ultrasound. The machine was a new version so it took forever but she kept apologizing and assuring me that nothing was wrong, she just wasn’t used to the machine. She determined that I was 5 weeks pregnant and asked me if I wanted to see the ultrasound. I looked but didn’t really see anything, it was basically little rice sized spec.

Below is an image of an embryo at around 5 weeks. It is approximately 1/8″ long and has no sentience.

The doctor then left me to get dressed then came back in and gave me some literature on Mifepristone and sent me back to the waiting room to read through it. It was like 20 pages with everything I could possibly need to know about the procedure.

when I was finished a nurse took me back to an office and asked me if I had any questions about what I had read. Since I had researched ahead of time I didn’t. Then she went over the most important instructions again to make sure I knew exactly what to do.

She explained that I would take one pill there at the clinic then go home and wait 24 to 48 hours, then take the 4 pills they are sending me home with by letting them dissolve between my cheeks. She also told me how to take the antibiotics they were giving me, gave me a prescription for pain pills and recommended I also pick up some Dramamine for nausea. She made sure I understood everything I needed to do and everything I could expect then had me sign a form saying so.

Then I was taken into the lab where the did a blood test and gave me some crackers to eat before taking the first pill. Then the doctor came in and asked again if I understood everything and if I had any questions. Then gave me the first pill and sent me on my way.

Everyone I dealt with was extremely friendly and helpful and wanted to make sure I understood everything I needed to. When I went back two weeks later for my follow up, they asked how I was feeling and made sure I didn’t need to have a therapist recommended. During the ultrasound, the nurse saw a little something at the edge of my uterus that she was a bit worried about. So she went to get the doctor to check it out and it turns out it was just an artery. So everyone seemed genuinely concerned for my well being as much as any other doctor I’ve ever dealt with has.

Overall I had a very pleasant experience with Planned Parenthood. I won’t go into the actual abortion experience here. I’m currently working on a new zine which covers the entire process which I’m hoping to have finished sometime next month.

Read more personal stories from women at 45 Million Voices

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6 Comments
  1. Just wanted to say, thanks for posting this and being so honest and open =) It’s time that the silence around abortion was ended and it’s no longer a dirty word. I think that if I ever need an abortion I will tell everyone about it, just to help end the taboo. Congrats!

    • Thank you! I didn’t realize until actually experiencing it that people expect you to keep quiet about it. The subject in general makes them uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be that way. It’s a common, legal, medical procedure that we shouldn’t have to be ashamed of.

  2. Thank you for posting this and for being so open about your experience. I’m glad you were so happy with Planned Parenthood and that everything went so well. I hope more women can demistify the experience of abortion just like you have, so we can realize it is nothing to be afraid of or be ashamed of.

    • Thank you! With the exception of the extremely heightened security (which isn’t their fault at all), Planned Parenthood and the people who worked there were great!

  3. Thank you for posting this.

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