Inspiration: Van Gogh – cafe terrace at night
They wanted to be drawn “staring non-chalantly out of Ubers”.
“After a fairly long relationship with zero pregnancy scares, we had concluded we were infertile. Turned out we weren’t. Boyfriend had just moved abroad, I had joined my first office and now lived alone in a new city, a city that suddenly smelled strongly of paan stains.
Seeing two lines on the test gave me a vague sense of accomplishment. I had never imagined my body to be capable of this, plus I had nothing much going for me at that point. My girlfriends stood by me and asked me not to think too much. I tried it out anyway. Nothing happened. I’d never wanted it, I still didn’t want it. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people to be parents.
My doctor had kind eyes but also used the term ‘baby’ emphatically to refer to the amorphous clump of cells. Boyfriend and I later laughed about it over video call. I went alone for my appointments, feeling almost proud about the way I was handling this. But I also threw up out the windows of multiple Ubers while considerate drivers stopped their cars and cleaned up after me, reprimanded me softly when I offered to help. Every step of the way, I was also starkly aware how this choice was a luxury afforded to not all women. To top it off, I had a hypothetical conversation with a male friend who gasped at the very idea of an abortion.
I was led to believe that I’d feel differently about abortions once I got pregnant, that I’d feel guilt, but I was still the same. There was no hostility towards this thing inside me, but also no tenderness, no melancholy. I did cry once, about being unable to eat anything because of all the throwing up. All my concern was directed towards myself, who I considered somewhat ill. I’ve wondered if it’s alright to have felt that way, or if it makes me less human or less woman. I mean, I used to wonder. It doesn’t cross my mind anymore.”
My Abortion Story is a crowdsourced project in partnership with Mybodymychoiceindia campaign. It hopes to provide a platform for people to share their experiences with abortion in their own words. There is so much discourse around right and wrong but little about people’s experiences. Through My Abortion Story, we are hoping we can address this gap by bringing all kinds of personal narratives to life.