Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.
I work at a small, privately-owned abortion clinic in the Midwest. Our staff is small but we work hard to provide women with compassionate care.
During a meeting, several of my colleagues talked about their experiences with patients who were surprised about our kindness and willingness to listen. When asked why women assume differently, my colleague said that patients feel that if you work in an abortion clinic one would have to be uncaring, unsympathetic, and dismissive.
I was saddened to hear this but not surprised. I, too, have heard women tell me that they were relieved our staff treated them with care, asked gentle questions to help them clarify their decision, walked them carefully through the steps of their procedure, and assisted them in their recovery.
I had an abortion many years ago. I don’t have a memory that the staff that day was rude or uncaring but neither do I have a memory that they were kind and gentle. It wasn’t a bad experience but I remember feeling a great sadness that I was not able to share my story with anyone. It would have meant a lot to me to be able to take a few moments to verbalize what was happening inside of me that day. Because of my experience, I take whatever time is needed to listen to the stories of the women who come into the clinic before they have their abortion. I believe it makes a difference.
We, as clinic staff, have given ourselves the validation that we do good work for others. We have challenged ourselves to do more, to always work to provide the best care, and we have seen that kindness is a simple but powerful way to serve our sisters.
–Submitted by Jillian* through our website
I am a single mother of an amazing two-year-old who is developmentally disabled and autistic. When I found out I was pregnant I knew that I was in no place to bring another child into the world and I couldn’t bear the idea of knowing my child would be with another family if I gave it up for adoption. My boyfriend is very supportive but he has his own troubles so it wouldn’t be fair to anyone, including the child, if we continued on with the pregnancy. I never expected this to happen, but I was glad there was support for us.
–Submitted by Joan* through a member clinic