Abortion Story #181: L’s story

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The below excerpt is by a woman who identifies herself as L, age 29. Her full narrative is from a collection of abortion stories originally published by Elle magazine. L. describes seeking her abortion at Planned Parenthood for more affordable care, as a US policy restricted her insurance – which she had as a federal government employee – from covering her care.


“I worked at the Department of Homeland Security for eight years. I was doing the whole Blackberry, working 24 hours a day thing. I was really burnt out, and took a month away from Washington during the government shutdown. About two weeks after I had returned to D.C. with all this energy, I realized that I also felt really sick. I took a pregnancy test. I was completely shocked. My period is really irregular, so I had no reason to think that anything was wrong until I started [having] morning sickness.

When I went to the doctor, they told me I was a little over two months along. When they realized I was a federal employee, they told me they could not provide the abortion. Congress passed a law that says federal employees cannot access [abortion] within their health plan. That wasn’t fun information to receive.

So then I went to Planned Parenthood, where I had to pay out of pocket. There’s a clinic in Washington D.C. I was racing out of my doctor’s office. They had given me the number and were like, “Listen, you’ve got three days to get a medical abortion. That’s it.” Once you pass nine weeks, you cannot get a medical abortion. I’m not exactly sure why, but I really had it in my head that I wanted a medical abortion. There was something about it that seemed like the less invasive, less scary option…”

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