So I had a pregnancy scare over the weekend. Despite always practicing safe sex, I thought there could be a good chance I was with child. After all, there is always the off chance birth control might not work.
I’d been having some weird, lighter periods the last couple of months. After consulting with some girlfriends, they suggested it could be implantation bleeding. This is light bleeding, that could be a range of colours from pink to brown, which can be an early sign of pregnancy.
Obviously freaking out, I rushed to buy a pregnancy test. Once I took it and found it was negative, I suddenly felt very silly for being so scared. I was able to buy a pregnancy test so easily and I took the test within the comfort my own home, with somebody supportive by my side.
I also started thinking about what would happen if it came back positive.
I have a boyfriend who would support my decision no matter what. We’re nowhere near ready for a child but I know if I really wanted to keep it, he’d would go along with it. I have a family I can be open and frank with; I would be able to discuss my options with a positive attitude and I wouldn’t be judged. I could get an abortion at ease; it would be very simple to arrange and I know I would have a safe procedure. Although the world isn’t completely free of abortion stigma, I know any judgement would be easy to ignore.
Yet, it isn’t so easy for others.
Recent research revealed that between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women ages 18 to 49 have attempted to terminate their own pregnancies without medical assistance. There is still such a stigma surrounding abortion that women are going to any extent to terminate their pregnancies. Women are risking their lives just so they can avoid the shame of having to get rid of a baby. Other ways these kinds of attitudes harm those wanting to terminate include shutting down services (Planned Parenthood), stopping facilities being made and forcing children to have a bad life.
“I just wanted something to work,” a 26-year-old from Corpus Christi said to the researches of the study. “I didn’t want to have to spend the money again. I didn’t want to have to do the drive. Not to mention, you know, I don’t have other family. My family lives out of the country so I’m stuck in this town by myself. And my boyfriend I have, but he works… and I have to find somebody who’s willing to drive me two and a half hours and back.”
Although this was a frightening experience for me, it’s one that I welcome. In fact, I welcome anything that reminds me of how lucky I am to have access to safe procedures and the right to do what I want with my body.
- This post was submitted anonymously