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"The Pain Never Goes Away" — Black, Single, Empty

The following is a short journal personally written by a black single parent who shares her abortion experience in August 2002 . 

The young lady is still in deep grief and has asked to be protected but she wanted her story out.  

I am a 22 year old mother of 3.  When I first found out I was pregnant, of course I had a lot of mixed emotions; but reality set in and I realized that I was going to be a mother again.

Along with my emotions, came the stigma of being the mother of three, and pregnant again. I received no support from anyone, and unpredictable mixed emotions from the father. I would talk to my mother about my situation, and she was totally against my having another child. 

My mother finally convinced me that having an abortion would be the best alternative. 

On the morning of the abortion, I arrived at the clinic, there was this woman outside who tried to talk to me, and it was as if I was outside of my body, I didn’t even hear her…I went in. I filled out what they called confidential paperwork. I received what they called counseling, for about 14 minutes. The same person that counseled me was the same person I paid for the abortion. After I spoke with her, I was asked to sit in the waiting area again. After giving urine, and blood, I was called to the back to take what they called anesthesia.

Nothing was confidential.  I as in a room with 5 other women. I was given 2 pills, which only made me sleepy. We were prompted to go in a room, we all were given a tote bag basket with a paper gown in it and told to change. It was about 5 minutes later; patients were being called to the back.  The abortions were spaced out in like 6-minute intervals.

Finally, they called me to back of a place that looked like it should have been condemned. I was placed in a room and the nurse came back with the nitrous oxide (laughing gas), I heard the doctor cut the loud vacuum off in the other room, so I knew that he was on the way.  He came in; he began to do a pelvic exam. After the pelvic exam, he injected a drug into my cervix, to make it dilate, this was painful…a tube which was connected to the vacuum was inserted. The baby inside of me was sucked out of me. This process they call “gentle-suctioning”, was very painful for me.  Then the nurse looked at me and said, “we’re almost out of gas, I’ll have to get some more after you.” I could tell that the tank was empty or near because I was fully alert and responsive to everything that was happening to me.

I could feel the pain and I knew that it was a mistake. I wanted to get up and leave, but the anti-depressant they had given me earlier had started to take effect. All I could do was cry out.  During the entire procedure, all I felt was pain. 

I remembered crying out, and the doctor told me to “shut up,” you’ll scare the other girls. I replied, that “it hurt!” and he said to me that” he knew it hurt, what did I think that I was there for, and to be quiet, that I was a grown person and to quit yelling because I would scare the other girls.  After he was done, I felt the blood run in between my thighs, I knew it was over and that I had made the worst mistake of my life.

It was over, and no matter how much I cried, I could not get my baby back! I was taken to the so-called recovery area (a room with 2 old recliner chairs in it).  One of the girls was in one and I was in the other. She left 2 minutes after I arrived. 

I heard the doctor go into the other room to perform another abortion. After he came out, he came into the recovery area where the nurse said, “I see we have some screamers today!” and at that time I knew that I just had to get out of there, so I asked the nurse “could I go?” She looked at her watch and told me that I had 8-minutes left. I was asked to show her my bleeding, on my sanitary napkin. She explained the do’s and don’ts and asked me what type of birth control did I choose. On my paperwork, I opted for the patch, (Ortho-Evra). I was given a small paper bag, which contained my follow-up appointment, Ortho-Evra, do’s & don’ts, and a gingerbread cookie. I was given my tote and directed to the restroom to change and discharged.

When I walked through those doors, I HATED myself for what I had just done. I felt that I was no better than a murderer…I was hurt and wished that I could change that terrible decision that I made. It really hit me once I got home, I realized the baby that was once a part of me, was no longer. I now go to the bathroom, and I’m afraid to look. 

I can’t even face others or myself when they ask of my pregnancy. I couldn’t see how myself, someone who was so strongly opposed to abortion, could end up in an abortion clinic. Everyday, I live with what I have done. The pain never goes away…I now know that the woman who spends her days outside walking up and down the sidewalk of that particular abortion clinic, was an my guardian angel, sent by God to warn me of what pain I would be in if I didn’t listen.  Instead of running from her, I should have run to her! I learned to always listen to my inner voice, and to never second-guess myself.  Never consider the worst, God will always work it out for you!

For a confidential email contact, visit www.optionline.org, call 1-800-395-HELP, or go to the Resources section of this website.