My body, My Decision poster

My abortion at 24

When I found out that I was pregnant, I called my friend for lunch and told her my decision. I wasn’t sure how she’d react. We were good friends but would she have my back?

Relationship gone wrong

I started by telling her how fake my ‘fantastic’ guy had turned out to be. Turns out he had made another girl pregnant just before we met. He claimed it was from ‘angry sex’ with her because she was a stalker. Apparently he didn’t care about her and it was the only way he knew to make her go away. He only confessed because she had called him a few weeks go saying she was pregnant.

‘She wants to keep the baby. I can’t have two babies,’ he explained. He was hugging me and looked like he was about to cry.

It made sense to me but in a different way. I was 24 and I wasn’t ready to be a mother. My friend reached across the table and told me she understood. There was a time when she wasn’t ready either. I breathed a sigh of relief.

By that time we went to the clinic with my boyfriend, I had already peed on many cheap pregnancy sticks. It was his idea to go there for an appointment to reconfirm the pregnancy and to look at the cost of the abortion procedure. I didn’t even know about that clinic. My idea of protection those days was using condoms. In the toilets of my university, there was always that red ‘Sure’ government brand. I didn’t trust them but I was too shy to buy ‘Trust’, ‘Rough Rider’ or ‘Durex’.

I thought that if I had one on me I would look like a slut. I would tell myself that ‘I wasn’t a bad girl’. I only had sex with boyfriends and they were the ones who were expected to have the condoms. The other option was the implant but women got fat from putting it in their arms. Even though I was already fat, people would know I had it and that I was having sex.

At the clinic the doctor was nice and he first told us about all the options available for contraception. There was a type of implant that didn’t make women fat but my boyfriend could also get a vasectomy if he wanted. He was 28 with two babies on the way but we didn’t tell the doctor that.

They took some of my blood and later confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. There was no escaping it now or praying it was just a bad dream. It was only a few weeks pregnant so I had some options. He recommended the vacuum method. It was supposed to be the fastest and most efficient one. The cost was a bit high but that was an option with pain medication.

No money for pain medication

We left to go hunt for the money. That’s why I had to tell my friend about my plan. I was a broke student. She gave me some cash and I added some from my pocket money. My boyfriend promised to find the rest but was only able to give me half of what we discussed. By the time my appointment date arrived, I had enough for the procedure but without pain medication. The two nurses in the room were very nice. I will never forget them. I couldn’t look at what they were doing and at some point I started screaming but one of them held my hand and helped me through the pain.

When they took me back to the bed there was a small bucket placed on the right side. As I wondered why it was there, my body just started to twist itself around and I was vomiting. My boyfriend rubbed my back and he waited for me to sleep a little then he took me home.

We broke up two months later and it’s been many years since that time. My ex is married now and I see him once in a while but I don’t ask about that other girl or the baby. Maybe that’s who he ended up marrying, I don’t know. I just know that I made the right decision for myself. I’m not shy about buying condoms any more, and I take much better care of myself.

did you find this useful?

Tell us what you think

LoveMatters Africa

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships