I think the pills are so incredibly important as an option for abortion. But I hope people know it isn’t a one-to-one substitution. Abortion pills can be very painful, and I feel I wasn’t properly warned about how sick I could get. I thought I could just chill out and cramp it out, but it wasn’t like that at all. I needed support and care, which was luckily available to me.”
Alina, 26, she/her
“When I found out I was pregnant, I was researching my options, and the medication abortion just seemed a little bit more accessible and easier for me. I liked the idea of being comfortable at home. I wanted to hear about other people’s experiences with medication abortions, but there wasn’t that much available out there (that I could find, at least); I was lucky to have a supportive partner who was able to take care of me, but truthfully, it was a difficult and painful experience in a lot of ways—until the next morning, when I was just tired.
I went through Planned Parenthood, and while they do great work, they also gave me a phone number to call if I experienced any worrisome complications, and then it turned out that number wasn’t connected. Honestly, I wish there was a resource I could have called upon in order to explore my surgical options a little bit more.”
Amy, 28, she/her
“I guess I could have had a surgical abortion. I didn’t even think about that. I think there’s a lot of stigma about the process, but to me, the medication option seemed like what you do earlier in the pregnancy, whereas the [procedure] seemed far more invasive. I’m really vehemently pro-abortion, and my experience is part of that; when I realized I was pregnant, I didn’t tell the person who was the other half of the equation. I knew that it would be potentially a situation where our views differed, so I was like, I’m not sharing this information. I felt really ill, though, because it’s not easy to be pregnant, right? I remember feeling so tired and unable to go running, and even eight weeks along, you can feel the pregnancy progressing and growing. I had this horrible feeling of, you know, I don’t want to be pregnant.
When I went to the clinic, I was so freaked out; I was like, Oh my God, there are going to be picketing Christians throwing insults at me. Ultimately, though, there was nobody protesting. I remember the waiting being nerve-racking because I had to come back to the clinic the next day. They ask you all these questions, and I remember them being like, with some trepidation, ‘Are you sure that this is what you have to do?’ I think they have to ask something like that, and I was so enthusiastic, like, maybe inappropriately enthusiastic for the level of gravity that was coming at me. The process of taking the medication was like a horrible, extremely bad period, but they do prepare you pretty well. I knew what to do, but I had no idea what my housemate would have thought was happening at the time.
Afterward, I remember immediately feeling so much lighter, so much safer, and so relieved and free. I think a lot of people have a grief experience, or they feel really torn about [having an abortion] or harmed by it, and I get that, but I think I had a very different experience. It was really painful, but in a way that a bad period is painful; in comparison to being pregnant and being fatigued and the pain of an actual pregnancy growing inside you, it was a no-brainer. It was such a relief to be like, I’m not forced into this situation anymore.”
These interviews have been edited and condensed for length and clarity. This article was originally published by Vogue.
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