My girlfriend and I live in a country where abortions are illegal. Early in our relationship, we had an unexpected pregnancy. We were terrified. As well-educated people (even educated people make mistakes), we both knew instantly that having a baby would be crazy; we had only known each other for a few months, we didn’t have the financial stability to raise a child, and neither of us wanted a baby at that point in our lives.
We went to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy test. The doctor flatly refused to talk about abortion – it really wasn’t an option. Telling our families was absolutely out of the question … they would disown us. My girlfriend ended up telling a few friends about the pregnancy and they were so excited that she couldn’t face telling them the truth. In a very real sense, we were completely alone.
Every day was filled with endless cramps and morning sickness, compounded by fear of what was going to happen. My girlfriend and I stopped going to work and I never left her side.
After weeks of searching on a submarine, we finally found a black “clinic” that performed illegal abortions for about $3,000. It was apparently the best in that category, the most expensive in any case, so we made arrangements and one day we went there.
The clinic was a home. Only women were allowed in and I had to stay outside, knowing full well that my girlfriend was terrified.
She came out an hour later a little groggy and disoriented, and I took her home. She told me that there were a dozen girls inside, mostly younger and poorer girls who looked even more helpless than she was. The atmosphere was horrible… everyone was scared and no one knew what was going to happen. The man who carried out the operation was in his sixties and came from another town.
That night the cramps got much worse and the bleeding started. And it got worse. Two days later, my girlfriend fainted from the pain and I took her to the maternity ward. After she had a scan, she was operated on immediately. Half of the fetus was still inside her. The doctor said it was a total mess.
Fortunately, after 24 hours of hospitalization, my girlfriend was released. I learned that what had happened was all too common. Illegal abortions had a low success rate and the doctors at the hospital were familiar with this notorious clinic.
These kinds of illegal clinics close and reopen… but there are always terrified and helpless girls who need them.
We are so grateful that there was no damage done to my girlfriend.
When abortions are made illegal, they are done underground. What happens is horrible and leads to abuse and suffering, especially for the poorest and weakest.