Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. Below is an excerpt that opens Faye’s story about her abortion when she was 35. She speaks to issues of ageism and the difficulty of sharing her decision with female friends due to stigma and their different experiences with fertility and parenting. Read her full essay that was published by Stylist UK.
“Sitting in the waiting room, I pretended not to stare at the teenager sitting next to me. She was texting her friends and laughing loudly. I flicked back through my magazine when she elbowed me right in the ribs. “Are you having an abortion?” she asked. “Is it your first one? Are you nervous? Do you have a boyfriend? Is something wrong? How old are you?”
The answers, in no particular order, were as follows: I was in my mid-30s, and dating a man I liked – really, really liked, actually. I’d never had an abortion before, and nothing was wrong with my health. But I was nervous. I was nervous that everyone was looking at me sitting there, with my rogue grey hairs and fine frown lines, thinking I was too old for this; that I should know better. As the nurse approached me, I suddenly found myself apologising for taking up her time. I knew being 35 didn’t mean I had to raise an unwanted baby any more than the teenager sitting to my left. But I couldn’t escape the feeling that I’d made a mistake; I’d fallen pregnant despite not trying to, and at my age, I was an unlikely visitor to the clinic…”