Ivana

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I had an abortion and never talked about it with anyone

2002 United States (born in Mexico)

I am surprised at how long I have carried these feelings with me. In part I think it's because I never grieved properly, was in denial and threw myself into intense activity, working and studying as if my life depended on it. I also never really got to talk about it because of shame or not wanting to make people feel uncomfortable. I am just starting to realize that I need to do the grieving process properly in order to be able to heal. I don't feel guilty though, and I know it was the right decision. If anything I just wish I had taken better care of my emotions and made sure I had some support. I'm glad to have realized this now and started my healing process.

I tried first with herbs, a very intense schedule drinking infusions every 4 hours, even through the night, for 2 weeks. I had cramping and other reactions, but was unsuccessful. So I decided to go to a clinic. By then I was 6 weeks pregnant.

I felt like I had no support in the world and didn't feel capable of being a parent on my own and give a child a good life. I didn't want to carry a baby to term and give it away in adoption because I thought that would be even more painful.

Did the illegality of your abortion affect your feelings?

Abortion in Mexico was illegal back then, not sure how it is now. But the illegality definitely made me feel scared. I decided to travel to the US in order to not have to deal with any of the back street horror stories you hear about.

How did other people react to your abortion?

My boyfriend at the time wanted us to never tell anyone, so I didn't. But this in time made it more painful. I am still afraid of people's reactions.

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