Deborah’s Story

My name is Deborah.  I found out I was pregnant 6 weeks before I was due to fly to Boston to work. I knew immediately that I wanted to have an abortion. I also knew I would have to wait until I arrived in Boston which meant that I was 14 weeks pregnant when I had the abortion.

I will never forget waiting for those 6 weeks. I was extremely stressed and worried that someone would find out. That shame is something I still feel to this day.

“Pro-Life” Protesters

I got a taxi to the clinic. The “pro-life” protesters outside were shouting and roaring; I was terrified. 

Woman looking out of a taxi window and anti-choice protesters

Inside the clinic, I changed my mind 3 times about the sedation which resulted in me having to pay an extra $100. When I was called into the surgery, the first thing I saw was the ultrasound. That was when I started to cry and I thought I would never stop. The doctor couldn’t have been kinder. He told me to look away, that he had to check my womb. I was given the sedation and the next thing I remember is the doctor saying “it’s ok… it’s over, you’re going to be ok.”

All I felt was relief. I don’t think I’ve felt that kind of relief since.

I was allowed go home after a few hours. I walked outside and one of the “pro-life” protesters roared “murderer” at me, shoving a blue baby grow in my hands. I was stunned, just completely stunned. I got into the taxi but at this stage I was in a lot of pain and I had to get the driver to pull over. The closest place I could find was a pub. The toilet was in the basement and I was hanging onto the sink waiting for the pain to pass. I thought I would never get home. But I did and I got through it.

That was 19 years ago. 19 years of shame, of silence, of stigma.  I did nothing wrong. I made a decision based on what was best for me at the time. I don’t regret it for one second and I think about it every day.

Woman looking out of a taxi window and anti-choice protesters

Artist: Aimee Gallagher.

Audio: Kate Finegan

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