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'I Decided How I Wanted This'

Illustrated by Sanya Agrawal

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City: Greater Noida

Age: 22

Marital Status during Abortion: Unmarried

Number of Abortions: Two

The Story
The first time I got pregnant I was 19. I have a history of Urinary Tract
Infection (UTI) so frequent urination, one of the major signs of pregnancy, was
something I went through a lot. Initially, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I
didn’t get morning sickness or nausea of any sort. But as weeks went by and my
periods never came, I started to get worried. I was sexually active and I knew I
had done it without protection even though I did take an ipill. My boyfriend was
in Mumbai at that time and I had come home to Guwahati for my semester
break. I wouldn’t have gotten through this tough time without him and few
others close to me.
I have irregular periods so my boyfriend didn’t get worried initially. As days
went by and I missed a month’s period and the next month rolled in, he started
getting stressed. Soon, I took many home pregnancy tests and all of them came
positive. I was five or six weeks in when I found out I was pregnant. All hell
broke loose for me. At the time, I was living with my family and to pretend like
my life isn’t falling apart was hard. My boyfriend assured me that I am legally
old enough to have an abortion without parent’s consent and that whatever we
do, we’ll not get involved in any shady business which might cause me harm.
He gave me few names of doctors whom he had already called and explained
the situation. I visited the doctor with a friend of mine and the doctor tried to
insist on a surgical abortion and didn’t even mention the pills. Luckily I had
done my research and decided how I wanted this abortion to take place.
After she was done telling me about surgical abortion, her fees and what not, I
informed her that I wanted the abortion pills which she failed to mention as an
option to me. She didn’t like the fact that I knew about it. Perhaps she thought
that now she will not get the money she had decided to charge. She quoted a
price for the tablets which, I only realised during my second abortion, was three
times the price for which it is sold in pharmacies. Additionally, she charged me
Rs1500 over the consultancy fee. I was too scared of trouble and just wanted

those tablets so I could get this over with the abortion. The doctor had explained
how to take it and what to expect. The first day of my termination was the most
painful day of my life. I was bleeding very heavily and the excruciating pain
didn’t help my weak body. I had to catch a flight to Mumbai on the very same
day and basically it was very traumatic.

What I Wish was Different
I wish the doctor didn’t try to con me into a procedure which could earn her
more money because I was young. I was healthy, without any complication, and
abortion by pill was a safe option for me. The doctor was very negative about
me opting for the pills which caused more stress and anxiety. Her whole
demeanour changed after I refused surgical abortion and that shook me. Until I
was 100% sure that my pregnancy had been terminated, which was like 20 or 25
days later, I was stressed. I would cry almost every day thinking that I will be
forced to have this baby.

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