“The emotion associated with my experience is that of frustration. It has nothing to do with doctors, abortion or post-abortion care. I am not denying any of those painful experiences. But even today, I remember being frustrated the entire period. Yes, the emotion I am associating with the entire abortion experience is that of frustration.
My periods were 10 days late and I contacted my friend who was studying MD and he gave me two options: either follow his instructions or go to a gynaecologist. I was living in a village in Central India then and going to a gynaecologist in a town was out of question. I did not want to be interrogated so I went ahead with an option that was convenient for me, my non-judgmental friend. The only person who gave me a judgmental stare was the pharmacist.
I was aware about the process so I was mentally prepared for the pain. And I acknowledge my privilege that I had access to friends who were there to support.
This is not what I wanted to share. When I think of the abortion, the conversation with my partner is more frustrating than the process of abortion. I still clearly remember, when I told him that I’m pregnant and I am going ahead with an abortion, he was shocked. His only reaction was how can do it? I was like, it is my choice and I have every right to take that decision. But I wanted him to support me in the process. And I know that he believed that it is not right. Because I wanted him to support me, I patiently tried to explain to him elementary biology, reproduction, what happens in abortion, etc. After all this, he kept bringing up the same point again and again, that is he was not okay with abortion.
I was tired and angry with him for not being supportive. By the end, I lashed out on him, asking him if he was ready for child? Secondly, if he is ready for responsibility? And thirdly, if he thought I had a choice to make this decision? He said no for the first two. He took some time to think over the third question and said it was my choice (glad he did otherwise I would have broken up with him). So, I angrily told him to support my choice and not bring up his ethical dilemmas. I went ahead with the abortion.
I was frustrated that, my partner, who is a liberal cis-man, did not support me in my decisions and it took so much time and energy to convince him. I was tired and broken that I had to educate him to support me and empathise with me. It made me more frustrated with myself. Why do women have to do emotional labour to explain the choices they make? Why is it that we have to convince our partners to accept our decisions? Why do we need approval from them when we have already made our choices? Why did I have to convince him again and again when I had made my choice?”
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.