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Abortion: The Real Stories

To anyone considering an abortion,

I found out I was pregnant when I was 18. It 6 weeks before my exams at the end of my first year in college in 1998. He was my first serious boyfriend and I had lost my virginity to him 6 months previously. I was on the pill but had been sick for a couple of days. I thought I knew better.

In my heart i knew I was pregnant but when the doctor at college confirmed, I had only one reaction - that there was no way I could keep it. When I told my boyfriend he was against me having an abortion. He got really angry, then cried and then used to get his mother to call me to beg me to keep the baby. He eventually realised that he wasn’t going to change my mind. I was going to go through with the procedure with him or without him. I loved him and I think that he loved me.

I had horrific morning sickness. It lasted all day and never abated. I had to do my exams in sick bay. I failed my first year and had to repeat.

I remember the night before I went to London and I had to travel to the airport from my college which was a couple of hours away. I got the last bus & slept on a chair in departures. my boyfriend arrived at about 4am for a 6am flight. He was drunk and had been drinking since about 7pm the previous evening. It was awful.

Once we arrived at the Clinic the staff were amazing. I felt nothing but supported and genuine concern. I was mortified that my own country had made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I never ever felt that I was doing anything wrong. There was no decision as far as I was concerned. I was 18 and I did not want a child. I couldn’t tell my parents and only one friend knew outside my boyfriend and his mum.

I had to stay in the clinic overnight because I had a general anaesthetic. I don’t know where he slept. He told me he stayed in a B&B but he was still drunk the next day when he came to pick me up. The nurses were so lovely. One of them was Irish and she really looked after me. I am sure that she is like that with all her patients but I wondered whether she was being extra nice because of the fact that I had to travel. That I couldn’t do this at home. I was in agony on the plane on the way home. When I got back to Dublin airport I got straight back on the bus to college to finish my exams as I had 2 left.

I have never told my parents. I have no regrets about what I did. It was the only choice for me at the time. It breaks my heart that women still have to travel. When I look back I think that I must have been on autopilot but I firmly believe that it was the best thing for me at the time.

We broke up shortly after. Maybe 4 months later.

I don’t see children in my future. But that isn’t because I had an abortion. I just don’t see them as part of my life.

To any woman going through this situation now - I am sorry that our country is still failing you. Maybe sites like this will help. And more features in the papers. and on the radios. We need to make women in this situation feel loved and supported in their actions. Not like they are criminals.

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