Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days.
Today’s story is from Michele, and was originally published at the Shout Your Abortion website. She talks a lot about shame and guilt, and there are trigger warnings for sexual abuse.
I believe our experiences are stored in our cells and that being shamed about having an abortion can add to many physical illnesses. I’ve had my share! Not to mention all the bullshit lies and fear tactics meant to keep us silenced. That’s why I love this platform & have been so encouraged by reading others’ stories. Thank you all!
For goodness sake! I won’t even tell any of my doctors that I had an abortion or pregnancy on those irritating little intake forms, in fear of being judged or labeled. Especially since my abortion was due to incest/sexual abuse.
I was 10 when the abuse first occurred & 14 when I had the abortion. Imagine that……I’m 52 years old now & still ashamed that I was sexually abused & made the decision to have an abortion. Unbelievable!
I lived in Richland, WA at the time where there was thankfully a Planned Parenthood (PP), as I needed to find help in secret because the incest was a SECRET don’t you know. If anyone ever found out, I would be…..ruined for life, so my abuser told me. He said that if I ever told about the incest that he would tell everyone that I had an abortion.
Finally, when I was 16 almost 17 I realized he would never tell because then he would be incriminating himself. But this took me two years to find out! I never told anyone until I was 18.
Even though PP was located in our neighboring city of Kennewick, WA they did not perform abortions, and I had to travel to Sunnyside, WA the summer of my 14th year. I remember being determined and terrified all at once, as my abuser drove me there and paid for it. Days after I began hemorrhaging & wouldn’t even go seek medical attention as I didn’t want anyone to find out. I walked to a payphone & called the PP emergency number in Sunnyside. The doctor said the bleeding might stop on its own but if it hadn’t by morning I would have to go to the local hospital. That night was so much scarier than the actual abortion. I told my mom I was having a heavy period and went to bed. I cried and prayed that I would survive and see another morning, which I did.
I’m so very thankful I was able to have a safe place to have an abortion and wasn’t forced to tell anyone until I was ready. I’m so thankful that Shout Your Abortion is now giving me the opportunity to SHOUT the secret & release the shame!