Monday, November 11, 2013

Abortion stories in NYT Mag feature coercion, scary clinics and complications

New York Times Magazine has published 26 stories from women who’ve had abortions. 

Many of the stories are sad and show how abortion is far from empowering for many women.  Nicole shares how she didn’t want an abortion but was coerced into it by her boyfriend.     
We went to get $1,000 from a gas-station ATM. I was hysterical, and he said, “Okay, you don’t have to go back.” I was so happy. Then he said, “We drove all this way. Stop crying, act like a woman.” I was angry, but I was so sleepy and tired of fighting.
Heather notes her experience during her first abortion and shares how her in-laws pushed her into a second one.
My first was two years ago. My husband and I were having financial problems and were considering separating. I just had to shut my conscience down. The doctor was grotesque. He whistled show tunes. I could hear the vacuum sucking out the fetus alongside his whistling. When I hear show tunes now, I shudder. Later, he lost his license.....

They gave us $500 cash to bring to the clinic. I felt very forced. I felt like I was required to have an abortion to provide for my current family. Money help is a manipulation. I’m crazy in love with my daughters—imagine if I did that to them? It’s almost too much to open the door of guilt and shame because it’ll all overcome me.

Dana Weinstein’s story is featured and she describes delivering her dead child (at 31 weeks) while sitting on the toilet. 
At six in the morning on the day I was supposed to return to the clinic, I felt my water break. I was alone in a hotel bathroom so far away from my home. I wanted to protect my husband. I didn’t let him in. I delivered her intact, sitting on the toilet, and I sat there until the doctor and nurse came and took her away properly. It’s different for me than my husband. I carried her. I didn’t have relief until my next daughter was born.       

Abby’s experience with a RU-486 abortion didn’t go well.
After the contractions started, my hands turned into claws. I was dehydrated. I had this underlying feeling that I was being made to suffer, to repent for my situation. I called my boss. He took me to the ER. It cost $2,000. When I stood up, the bed was covered in blood.

Madeline (in a Catholic high school at the time) shares how her parents took her for a 20-week abortion that cost $2,000. 

I found it notable that many of the women also share the circumstances around children they didn’t abort or make a point to mention that they have living children.  Overall, the stories paint a rather bleak picture of abortion as an often frightening procedure you have because you're coerced into it or you feel you don't have another choice and then often think about for years afterwards.

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