Woman describes her “grim” abortion experience

One post-abortion woman tells her story:

“I remember the clinic was very odd. It was set back from the street. There were lots of trees outside. It was a sunny day, and I remember the contrast with the clinic itself being so dark for some reason. There were so many people in there, and it was very ‘factoryish’ for some reason. I don’t remember any individuals. I don’t remember particular kindnesses. It was very business-like in some ways…. I remember that vacuumy sound, after the nurse had set up the equipment, and the doctor came in and very briefly sort of suctioned it out… I do remember—probably the worst part of the experience—being in the room with all of those other recovering women and the moaning of at least one other woman and thinking ‘Oh, God, this is sort of hellish.’ …

I remember the room being dark, and that is almost incorporated as a physical sensation. It seemed grim. The sound of the vacuum cleaner, the suction, seemed almost grotesquely juxtaposed with the New Age music that was playing in the room. I knew it had to be done. … The whole thing felt grim; there was nothing good about it. It was definitely exacerbated by that moaning, that I’ll remember till the end of my life, as we were all recuperating in [the recovery] room together. And then having to be escorted out the back because there were protesters in the front. It was a very sobering experience. I think it would have been really traumatic had I been raised religiously…

I remember the doctor and nurse being kind of abrupt, not hostile or mean or anything, but just abrupt. There were so many other people there. I didn’t feel comforted by anybody. I think they did what they had to do. I think they were probably feeling pressured. I do remember thinking, ‘God, how awful this would have to be to work in a place that was picketed every day.’ I think that felt stressful. I think there was a more stressful environment in the first clinic, among the people working there.”

Cara J. Marianna Abortion: A Collective Story (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002) 113-114

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About Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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