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I had Three Abortions.

2011 Australia

I've had three abortions. From the age I was 29 to when I was 33. It sounds like a lot and this kind of stigma stays with me so much that I usually only tell people I've had one. A lot of women I've spoken to have also had more than one and this is not uncommon. All three abortions were at a clinic and done surgically. Two were in New South Wales and the last one was in Queensland. I used the same clinic (they have clinics in all states here in Australia) and was in and out the same day. The first abortion I had was by far the most nerve wracking just because I wasn't sure of the procedure and if it would hurt. All three abortions I was less than 8 weeks pregnant and I had a twilight anaesthetic (so I was pretty much asleep and out of it for the whole procedure) and I had a vacuum curettage: Which is described like this: 'after the anaesthetic is administered the medical practitioner widens the cervix a few centimetres using dilator rods. A small, soft tipped instrument called a cannula is then inserted through the cervix to the uterus and gently suctions away the contents of the uterus. A curette (spoon shaped instrument) is then used to check that the uterus is empty. The instruments are then withdrawn and the woman proceeds to the recovery room.' (childrenbychoice.org.au). So after the procedure that took about ten minutes (not that I'd know because I was asleep and didn't feel anything) I was wheeled into the recovery room. The first abortion I had I left the recovery room too soon and I ended up throwing up in the sink (I didn't make it to the toilet) and had to go and lie down again in the recovery room. There were other women in there and a nurse gave us some juice and cookies. Not that I felt like eating, but I guess they think it's nice to have a snack afterwards. Anyway, after I'd recovered enough to go home, my Mum drove me home and put me to bed. In all of my abortion experiences with surgical abortions I only had a few drops of blood on a pad. I never bled much at all and experiences no pain and was going about my day the next day. The worst thing for me about ending a pregnancy however is the hormones that get all confused and don't know where to go which is just my interpretation, I'm sure a medic will give a better explanation. I had a horrible time emotionally when the hormones died down and it would have been absolutely fantastic to have had a support group to talk with during this time. I was in a country town for my last abortion and so the internet and abortion forums became a real support to me. I had my last abortion in June 2011 and afterwards I decided to also get sober from alcohol on December 3rd too. So 2011 was a pretty massive year for me with lots of exits and renewals. Since then I've remained sober for nearly 7 years this December and try and tell my story about surgical abortion to any woman wanting to know what it's really like. Here in Australia abortion is covered 50% by Medicare and so in 2011 my last abortion cost $400 out of pocket. The two out of three abortions were funded by my partners at the time and the first abortions I had, I paid for because the guy went AWOL. The clinic I chose was absolutely brilliant in every way and I was so thankful that in Australia we don't have crazy right to lifers picketing at those clinics here and even in some states there is a boundary law that prevents this anyway. That said, I would not wish an unplanned pregnancy on any woman, but I would hope that should she be faced with that situation that abortive services are accessible , free and on demand. I hate that this is still a dream but will keep fighting for a woman's right to choose not matter what her situation.

Did the illegality of your abortion affect your feelings?

Yes, because I knew that medical professionals were undertaking the procedures.

How did other people react to your abortion?

I don't tell most people I've had three, but the people I do tell are supportive.

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