The fact that this is my first time actually telling my story openly makes me feel emotional but here goes nothing. My story is one of self-preservation, grief, emotions, interconnectedness, and self-love. My story includes the duality of life and death, loneliness and community, nostalgia, and joy. Among all these things, my choice to have an abortion is one of the most powerful and life-giving choices I have ever made for myself. Many have come before me, many will come after, and many are making the choice right now. I hope those going through it now and in the future are surrounded by support and filled with power. We have been here before and we’ll continue to be here, with our own unique stories, full of life.
I got pregnant in 2018 and I wish I could remember the exact day but no. I was 18 and by that time I thought I had met the love of my life. What a naive young girl I was. No one had ever talked to me about sex or even about menstruation. I am a late bloomer so the same year I had my first period, my first sexual experience is also the same year I had my first abortion. I was a college freshman and I met this young man. I will call him NK for the sake of this story. Being a late bloomer, we had sex without worry and fear of pregnancy at all. He assured me I will not get pregnant because I had never seen my menstruation at all. Life was great and in March of 2018, I had my first period and oh boy I was super excited. NK told me I had finally bloomed into a woman . By the way I was not really attracted to NK sexually but because at home I was told that college is a place where you could find your potential husband so the first guy who approached me I said yes. It is so funny now because deep down I knew I was attracted to women but you can’t share that openly, I’m an Adventist born and raised in the church. Anyways to celebrate my “ finally blooming’ moment NK organized a little dinner for us a week after my first period. We had sex it’s sad that I actually didn’t really enjoy this one because I think that’s when I got pregnant. We went for the summer break and life went on normal for me with no symptoms or whatever. My friends told me that after your first menstrual period, you can actually stop bleeding and resume maybe after 8 months so I was not bothered when I didn’t go on my next cycle. Fast forward months later I started getting sick and by this time I was back at school. I would feel dizzy and tired most times, my skin was pale and I was gaining weight. By the way NK and I broke up after the sexual encounter that got me pregnant so all this time when I started being sick and all, I was actually alone and sort of healing from a heartbreak. One gloomy day I collapsed and I was taken to the school’s local clinic. The nurse was so lovely and she insisted that I take a pregnancy test. I was so convinced that I am fine and I’m not pregnant so I denied it. She however did blood tests on me to find out why I was always weak and tired plus collapsing. The blood tests were what completely changed my life. I found out I was pregnant 4 months down actually. I was in despair, I was only 18, on a scholarship, and gay not to mention how my family would always talk about getting pregnant out of wedlock. I had never wished to have my own biological children from a younger age its something that I have never looked up to so the moment the news got to me I was very sure I was going to have an abortion. I called NK and told him I was pregnant actually the reason I was collapsing and all it is because I am anemic and carrying a baby with anemia it’s no child’s play you need to consult a doctor before you decide to have a baby. NK clearly told me that e can’t have the baby and what are the odds that we both didn’t want the child now here began the rush to find ways to have an abortion. I googled solutions, I asked around, and stupid as I am someone convinced me that I could use a hanger because I was too far due for any other way. I went to this dodgy old lady who inserted scissors looking like an item into my vagina wanting to open my uterus. The pain was gruesome but the abortion didn’t happen then. NK informed me that he had a friend from SA who could help us smuggle some pills which would help me and that’s the option I ended up going for. Now, because my vagina was in a lot of pain from the horror that the first attempt got me being told to insert a bunch of pills into my vagina was torture for me and NK offered to help. The guy shoved about 3 pills in my vagina and I was told to wear a pad and go to sleep. It was around 2 am when I started having cramps, the cramps felt like my uterus was about to be dragged out of me. I crawled on my hostel room floor and I was bleeding heavily. I was in serious pain and alone so I had to call NK. He arrived later and I honestly do not know what time because I had been knocked out all I remember is I woke up in a hospital alone. They informed me a young man had left me there and promised to come get me which he never did. They also informed me that I just had an abortion and an infection also that I had lost a lot of blood. The doctor was very nice a man who was probably in his 40s and he also informed me that I could get arrested for what I had done. He made me narrate my story and discharged me to be in charge of his wife whom I later figured was a pastor because of the frequent church visits I was made to attend to after that. I stayed in the care of my doctor and his wife for 2 weeks. Did NK ever come back you may ask? No, he didn’t I only saw him when I later went back to school. The doctor and his wife promised me that they would never share my story or tell anyone till I was ready and that I was always welcome. He is well on to put me on UDI. Life after the abortion was a roller coaster, the guilt I would always find myself in and how I felt dirty and unworthy. I went on a full self-discovery journey to accept myself. Took me 5 years later to come out as gay and actually express myself sexually. It is my hope that one day we will have to stop the fight on what women should do with their bodies. I will end with an RBG quote as her spirit was by my side through this process. “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices. It is essential to a woman’s equality with men that she be the decision maker, and that her choice be controlling. If you impose restraints that impede her choice, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex.” I do not regret my abortion decision and I honour my story. My heart is with all teenagers who will one day have the decision to have an abortion. It is well sweetheart. With Love, From a sister