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My Backwoods Abortion/The Scariest Day of my Life

When I was in high school I knew a girl who had an abortion at age 17. I remember thinking to myself ‘I will never do that’. What’s that saying? We make plans and God laughs? God must have been howling.

In the early fall of 2009 I was 18. I was a freshman at Reinhardt College in North Georgia, which is affiliated with the Methodist church. I was an Psychology major with plans to become a therapist (again, God laughs). I lived on campus and was still working on making friends. I had been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for a little over a year and I was head over heels in love. We were sexually active and I was on birth control. Things were, overall, pretty good. I was struggling a little with my mental illness, but it was generally under control. And then it happened. On a clear day in September I realized I was 3 weeks late.

I called my best friend at the time in an all out panic. There’s no way, right?! I’m on birth control! So, I bought a 2 pack of pregnancy tests all while trying to convince myself that I was overreacting. I peed on the first stick and awaited the results for 5 minutes (longest 5 minutes of my life) and then I looked. 2 pink horizontal lines. I was in the doorway to my bathroom and I collapsed. I sat there in shock for a few minutes before I began sobbing. I called my best friend and took the second test while on the phone with her. Again, same result. In that moment on the dirty, cold, tile, bathroom floor I thought to myself “I can’t do this”. It was a defining moment in my life. On that beautiful fall day I went from being “pro life” to “pro choice”.

I called my boyfriend and gave him the news. He was shocked. “So, what do we do?” he asked. “I’m going to have an abortion” I responded. But first I was going to talk to the school nurse. I went to my SUPER LIBERAL RA and delivered the news. She went downstairs with me to talk to the nurse. With tears in my eyes and a shaky voice I told the nurse my dilemma. She listened to me and my decision, handed me some tissues, and then placed a little box in my hands. Inside the box was a tiny 1 inch baby on a bed of cotton balls. “This is what your baby looks like” she said. To which my RA responded “No. Her FETUS looks more like a semicolon” and then we walked out. I sobbed for a bit in my RAs room before heading back to mine.

Again, I called my best friend. She helped me find a clinic. There were only 2 options that we could find anywhere near my area and I called up the closest one, 45 minutes away. 2 hours after finding out I was pregnant I had an abortion scheduled for 3 days later. Some might view my decision as “hasty”, but I knew what was best for me. I was not emotionally, mentally, or financially stable enough to have a child. I was on life saving medications that would most likely cause serious birth defects or miscarriage. I didn’t want to drop out of college. When you know, you know. I have no regrets.

Three days later, on a murky and cool Friday, my boyfriend drove up to take me to the clinic. I signed in at the front desk. We paid up front and in cash so it wouldn’t show up on my insurance because I didn’t want my parents to know. We waited for roughly an hour before my name was called. I cannot stress this enough- it was the most terrifying experience of my life.

In the back, I was given a handful of pills to take before the procedure. I was given little explanation as to what the pills were, but MY GOD did they take effect quickly. I was then given forms to sign and, in my state, I could hardly hold the pen let alone read what was written. But, I signed them nonetheless. The nurse (or whoever the hell she was) told me to strip down and gave me one of those blue medical sheets to wrap myself in. She led me into the next room and sat me down on a red COUCH along with 3 other women. For the life of me I can’t remember what the other ladies were talking about, but I listened to them converse for 20 minutes before a different nurse ushered me into the procedure room. I was instructed to removed the sheet and lie on my back on the table. The nurse conducted an ultrasound and I can still hear her say “Do you want to see the baby”? I promptly slurred “NO!”. Moments later the doctor entered the room and the nurse put an IV in my arm. I don’t remember anything after that.

I don’t know how much time passed, but I woke up to my boyfriend rubbing my right shoulder. It was over. I was HEAVILY sedated so he had to help me put on my sweats and shoes. Upon leaving I was given a bottle of pain pills with a scrap of paper with dosage instructions. No number to call. No follow up appointment. My boyfriend more or less carried me to the car. He told me later there were protestors present. For some unknown reason I told him I wanted chicken nuggets so we drove to McDonalds. We were waiting in the drive thru line when I was overcome with pain and nausea. I opened the car door and leaned out as quickly as I could before throwing up bile for the next 10 minutes. I felt like my insides were falling out. It was completely terrifying. It is the most pain I’ve ever been in in my life and I had brain cancer as a kid so I’m no stranger to pain.

My saint of an RA let my boyfriend stay in my dorm room for the weekend (I had a private room), which was 100% unacceptable at Reinhardt. He heaved me up onto my lofted twin sized bed and I quickly fell asleep for a few hours. When I woke up I thought I was dying. I took some pain medication and then made my way to the bathroom to throw it all up. Slumped down beside the toilet, I beat my knuckles bloody against the white cinderblock wall. I was in complete agony and petrified. As I was given little information at the clinic, I did not know what to expect. But, I was sure that something had gone terribly wrong.

My boyfriend and RA took care of me while I recovered and by Monday afternoon I was myself again. I remember eating a lot of Easy Mac and chewy chocolate chip granola bars during that time. Life went back to normal and my boyfriend and I never really brought it up again. But, you remember how I said I thought something must have gone wrong? For 2 years after the abortion I refused to have a vaginal exam. I was convinced I was “broken”. Thankfully, I can tell you that I eventually did have an examination and everything is in working order.

About 2 months after my abortion that clinic was shut down due to unsafe conditions and expired licenses of both nurses and doctors. There were multiple arrests.

I tell you my story because there is a president in the White House who is trying to make abortion illegal. He wants to take away a woman’s right to abortion which is considered by the UN to be a basic human right. Outlawing abortion will not stop it, but it will make it unsafe. My backwoods and unsanitary abortion will, in many ways, become a fairytale story. Do you know how abortions were preformed before Roe V Wade was passed? Women shoved coat hangers and sewing needles up their vaginas. They used bleach or turpentine douches. While it may not go back to those extremes, the procedures will not be regulated. Any random Joe who puts “Dr.” in front of his name could perform an abortion.

Our president wants to defund Planned Parenthood because PP assists women with abortion. Fun fact: Under Title X, PLANNED PARENTHOOD RECEIVES NO FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ABORTION SERVICES. What will happen is women and men will lose access to a myriad of healthcare services including affordable prescribed birth control and other contraceptives, cancer screenings, assistance with rape and sexual assault, HIV/AIDS and other STD testing, high blood pressure screenings, thyroid screenings, anemia screenings, pap tests, and more. Only 3% of women who go to PP are seeking abortion services.

Having access to affordable birth control and honest sexual education (enough of that abstinence nonsense) reduces the rate of abortions. As access to these services has increased, the abortion rate has decreased. The rate of abortions has decreased drastically since the 1980s.

If you have religious concerns regarding abortion, I completely respect that. That is you right as an American. But, America is not a religious entity. That whole separation of church and State thing is a thing (although it’s gotten completely out of hand). While I am not a Christian, I am a daughter of a Lutheran minister. I was raised to believe in the love and compassion of a savior with the authority to absolve all sins. I was taught that I was saved my God’s grace and His grace alone. I was taught to hate the sin and not the sinner. If you believe abortion is a sin, OK. But, spreading hatred based on your religious convictions just adds fuel to the Devil’s fire. Jesus broke bread and drank wine with the untouchables of the world and instructed His followers to love our neighbor as we love ourself. If you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Through his struggle we are forgiven of all sins. We are loved unconditionally. What’s that slogan? What would Jesus do? Remember that the next time you judge others that “sin” differently than you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

So, that’s it. That’s the story of the scariest day of my life. I invite you to share your own stories because it’s time to speak up if you can. In the meantime, I will continue to be open about my experiences and struggles because I know there are people out there who share my pain in silence. I will not go out without a fight and I’ve got enough passion to last me till the bitter end.

Thanks for reading!

Defunding Planned Parenthood doesn’t help anyone. Pro-Lifers seem to be so fixated on the womb that they forget that PP offers sexual health services to men and women alike. Planned Parenthood provides affordable care to individuals much faster than standard ob/gyn clinics can as well.

It’s important to remember that those who want to or need to get an abortion will get an abortion, regardless of whether or not they have access to clean, safe clinics with professional care physicians. Taking away Planned Parenthood only hurts, because then you’re taking away clean, safe clinics with professional care physicians. What we’re left with are unsafe and dirty environments that could potentially lead to fatality in both mother and child.

That leads me to the real question: are Pro-Lifers more concerned with the fetus of an unborn child than they are with the woman who carries them? What does Pro-Life actually entail if not the health and safety of the mother, a living, breathing being?

Watch on 1dvinez.tumblr.com

I HATE THIS SO MUCH

anonymous asked:

I’m confused about women’s health issues, including access to abortion, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, etc. Could you write a layperson’s version of what we’re facing in the USA in 2017? You have a lot of experience as a nurse and midwife, and a great deal of education, plus you’ve worked with all sorts of populations around the world. That’s something I liked about marching on Saturday. I marched to support rights of women in ALL countries, including American women living in poverty. Thank you

Oh dear anon… this would be much easier to answer if you asked me to reply in 100 words or fewer. I shall attempt to do my best to answer your question.  

I will say at the outset I wish women did not ever have to choose to have an abortion. I have spent nearly 30 years working with women, so I’ve spoken more often than the average bear to women who have had an abortion. But I’ve yet to meet a woman who has said, “I’m happy I had an abortion.” There may be women who are happy they’ve had an abortion - I’ve just never met one.

Every woman I know who has aborted feels sadness and/or guilt to some degree. Still some women will choose to abort, and if abortion is illegal in the US, many women will find a way to self-abort, or at least they will attempt it. This means more women will die. Some of my older colleagues have cared for women who tried to self-abort. To a person, they say “never again should women in the US be forced to try to end a pregnancy without competent and skilled care.”

In a perfect world, all pregnancies would happen at a time in a women’s life when she is supported and loved. That perfect world does not exist. I do not believe Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but I DO believe the Trump administration will cut funding to Planned Parenthood. There are about 650 PP locations in the U.S. In addition to abortion services, PP clinics provide STD treatment, pap smears, breast exams, and family planning services.

It is well documented the U.S. is facing an increasing shortage of maternity care providers: http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/Statements/2017/ACOG-and-ACNM-Improving-Access-to-Maternity-Care-Act, http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/08/15/a-shortage-in-the-nations-maternal-health-care, http://www.acog.org/-/media/Departments/Government-Relations-and-Outreach/2015CLCHPSA1Pager.pdf

About 50 percent of all counties in the US do not have a maternity care provider, i.e. an OB-GYN, Nurse-Midwife, or Family Physician qualified to provide care to childbearing women. The good news is the recent Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, a bipartisan bill that would require the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to identify regional shortages of maternity health professionals around the country. The bill would allow the National Health Service Corps, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services created to address medical provider shortages in underserved areas, to place more OB-GYNs and certified nurse midwives in those areas. The bill goes next to the Senate and if passed there, it goes on to the President’s desk for signature.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, has enabled millions of previously uninsured persons to obtain health care coverage. Vulnerable populations have benefited greatly under health care reform. Many of us are wary about what the nation’s new political landscape portends for health care benefits, particularly for poor and hard-to-insure people. The ACA has enabled health insurance coverage to reach an all-time high in our country, with more than 90 percent of individuals in the U.S. covered, but it is under grave threat.

The Trump administration has already begun to repeal major provisions of the ACA. With Republican majorities in Congress, and a president uniting with them in opposition to the ACA, the path for repeal legislation to pass and be signed into law is wide open. This would be devastating to the 22 million Americans who have benefited from the law’s provisions, and to those who care for them. The ACA is not perfect - President Obama was the first to admit tweaking was necessary in several areas. But repealing major provisions without having a clear replacement plan ready for implementation is foolish and shortsighted.

What saddens me most about what I’ve heard from the Trump administration about health care is the seemingly increased focus on American nationalism - the “make America great” and “America first” mentality - will likely lead to significant decreases in foreign aid to organizations providing care to vulnerable populations globally. We are not an isolated island, we do not stand alone, we are all interconnected, and we will be much less the country our foremothers and forefathers intended us to be if we turn our backs on the suffering people of our world.

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Quality health care, affordable birth control & STD screenings. When you want it, where you want it.

about Planned Parenthood..

When so-called Catholics start to speak of the glorious wonders and fantastic benefits of Planned Parenthood, as in practically hinting that PP will cure cancer and stop lions from getting killed in Zimbabwe, I just smile, yawn, and think, “Wow. Ok. And now for our next circus act.”

“PP pays for birth control.” Yeah, so do 99% of all insurance policies. “But PP does so much sex education.” Seriously? Besides public schools, you can find that on YouTube. “PP does mammograms.” Ask your older female relatives how many had mammograms at Planned Parenthood–you would be shocked at how many have gone to their own doctor for this.

So what is the great service that PP does that isn’t obtainable with most family doctors, nurse practitioners, low-income clinics, or Obamacare? Well, they push through contraceptive and abortion friendly laws thanks to a large, well funded and capable lobbying apparatus. And they do abortions. 

And in spite of the fact that many post-abortive women feel relieved or grateful for having an abortion, there are millions who have been through PP clinics who recount that experience as the worst one in their lives, leaving indelible scars, not to mention the carnage of the children who will never be born. 

If even one woman feels that she was violated, dehumanized, traumatized, exploited, and broken down because of her experience at Planned Parenthood, that should at least give a Catholic pause before they pull out the pom-poms and start cheering for the spread and increase of Planned Parenthood.

im pretty sick and tired of how many pro-choice people sound so.. idk anti-abortion? I’m not just talking about the “I would never have an abortion because it’s wrong and horrible but i wont stop someone i don’t know from having one” crowd, but it feels like every conversation revolves around things like how most women who get abortions already have children, and therefor have already fulfilled their womanly duty, unlike those horrible childless women who are the minority! or how abortion isn’t/shouldn’t be (depending on where you live) publicly funded, how only 3% of planned parenthood services are abortions, and abortion isn’t available at all PP’s, therefor it’s not all evil and horrible, it’s 97% good! (and an even worse obsession with how PP provides health services for men being the top reason why it’s good an should exist) how many women get abortions for “good reason” rather than “bad reasons” (good reasons being something like “i really want a child but i just cant afford one right now, bad reasons being things like “i dont want to be pregnant/i dont want kids”) and now the somewhat newly re-sparked debate within pro-choice circles of whether or not stem cell research is literally the work of the devil. I’m just really tired of hearing it.

anonymous asked:

Planned Parenthood isn't the only place where women can get cheap birth control and other healthcare services. Plus, PP doesn't provide mammograms. Get your head out of your ass, liberal scum.

Do you know why (some) Planned Parenthoods don’t provide mammograms? The machines are huge and expensive and paying the specialists would cost way too much money. Planned Parenthood does offer manual breast exams for all people with titties and will provide referrals so you can get a mammogram cheaper.

Who cares if they don’t provide mammograms in-house? My fucking gyno doesn’t provide me mammograms in-house, should she get shut down?

Here’s a short list of what you want to defund:

  • Contraceptives
  • Prenatal care
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • LGBT+ peer groups
  • HIV/AIDS screenings and treatment
  • STI screenings and treatment
  • Birth control counseling at schools
  • Male sexual health
  • And so, so much more. I could literally go on and on and on.

Many Planned Parenthoods don’t even offer abortion care, like the one Dear shot up. 

Now, why do so many people want to defund a medical provider so active in female and minority rights and health care. Hmmmmmmmmmm….I just can’t seem to understand!

On Perpetuating Abortion Stigma

It bothers me that so many proponents of Planned Parenthood feel the need to show their support by highlighting the other services PP provides besides abortions. Abortions are important. Women are going to get abortions with or without the “support” of other people. Planned Parenthood provides people with safe and legal abortions. They save lives every day. It is frustrating that there are Planned Parenthood supporters who tend to address abortion as a “separate issue.” I came across an article that showed its support for Planned Parenthood by talking about the “non-controversial” services PP provides. Here are some excerpts:

“Only a measly 3% of their services are actually abortion-related….Do they know that? Did you know that? Well, in an effort to combat the “big bad abortion wolf” narrative…”

Reading entire articles with this same language perpetuates abortion as a hot-button issue. It ACCEPTS that this completely reasonable and necessary option is still worth debating; it makes a healthy choice vulnerable to being mistaken as an unhealthy one.

When it comes to abortion, you are an ally when you help normalize what is being stigmatized. You are NOT an ally when you continue to “other” people who have made a choice that you have not experienced. If you stand with Planned Parenthood, support all of its services. Talk about abortion as another amazing service PP provides, not as “that other service that has to be addressed.”

Here’s the thing… I keep seeing people pushing back against the attacks on Planned Parenthood with facts like ‘only 3 percent of the services PP provides are abortion-related, while the rest is women’s health, particularly for poor women’ and ‘government funding covers exactly zero dollars of PPs abortion funding’, and both of those things are true, but to me those feel like accommodation of the anti-PP/anti-choice arguments, when what it comes down to is this: women are people and have bodily autonomy. That’s the end. Women who want an abortion should be able to get one, because women are people and have bodily autonomy.

Let’s talk about Planned Parenthood...

This is the problem about the whole “defund planned parenthood” thing; they aren’t truly trying to make a difference. If they wanted to reduce/stop abortion, what they could have done was talk about that. Draw up legislation in regards to abortion, create alternative healthcare options, do something that actually has to do with abortion. 

Instead, they simply voted to defund PP altogether. An action that completely misses the point and throws all of the other PP provided health care services under the bus. More than that, it completely discredits all the women in need of services aside from anything relating to abortion.

Whether you agree or disagree with abortion, this is something that absolutely must be understood about “making a difference.”

if you #StandWithPP

please consider calling your state senators and telling them to oppose S. 1881! it’s a bill that would prevent any federal funds from being made available to planned parenthood affiliates or health centers. this bill could potentially deprive hundreds of thousands of people from receiving life saving and necessary medical care, so it’s vital that we let our representatives know that we expect them to vote against any attack on PP and the health services they provide.