Six Weeks Is Not Enough Time
I found out I was pregnant early. It was two weeks after Valentine’s Day and I was panicking because my period was late and I had taken two pregnancy tests that were false negatives. I took another test, and it came back positive. I knew I wasn’t ready to have a baby, especially since I had just stopped taking a prescription acne medication and it’s advised not to get pregnant while taking the medicine or six months after. I’d only been off the medicine for two months. I called my then-boyfriend and told him I was pregnant but had already made the decision and needed him to take me to the clinic in three days. This wasn’t my first abortion, so I knew the process. When I got there I went through the normal process, and the nurse took the ultrasound and asked me who told me I was pregnant because she wasn’t seeing a baby. After a vaginal ultrasound, it was determined I was five weeks and two days. The ultrasound tech checked with a doctor to confirm I could get a surgical abortion because it was so early, and I was approved. The procedure was completed and I felt relieved. After about a month I still wasn’t getting a period, and I was really depressed and having mood swings. I went to the doctor to talk about how I was feeling and she asked if I had gotten the abortion as we had talked about. I said yes, but the doctor insisted on me taking a pregnancy test. I did and it was determined I was approximately eight weeks pregnant, even though I had had an abortion eight weeks ago. I panicked at the thought of being pregnant again so soon. I reached out to the clinic to schedule a follow-up appointment. I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being pregnant again but I needed answers. When I got there I went through the intake process and got to the ultrasound portion of the exam. While I was on the table the technician asked if I was there for an abortion or a follow-up appointment, then proceeded to tell me I was 13 weeks pregnant although I had a surgical abortion eight weeks prior. To say I felt distraught would have been an understatement. When I finally calmed down I talked to a counselor and scheduled another abortion. I was confused myself but still had to try explaining this bizarre situation to a man. Nonetheless, he agreed to take me again because he knew I did not want to be a parent at that time. The day came for the procedure, and I remember the only question I had was, “what are the chances this procedure will fail?” I was told that this time there was no chance the procedure could fail. After a lot of therapy, I am now able to tell this story and advocate for women who are pro-choice. Lawmakers want to ban abortions after six weeks, but six weeks is not enough time to process this life-altering event and account for the possibility that an abortion may not be successful in a six-week time period. I hope my story helps educate and change the opinion of people who feel women should be monitored or limited on decisions regarding their bodies or futures.