How to have a Totally Crappy Abortion*

*Now keep in mind, this was way back in 1998, and things are a bit different now that the Abortion Pill (RU-486, also known as Mifeprex or Mifepristone, often prescribed in combination with Misoprostol), is available in the US. At the time I’m writing this, if you’re more than 9 weeks along, you’ll probably have to go the surgical (i.e., icky invasive) route. This doesn’t necessarily mean the process below, but I have a very low opinion of clinics and recommend reading the sister piece to this one, How to Have a Totally Awesome Abortion to understand why.

1. Get pregnant by a cowardly douche-bag that can’t stand the site of blood. Extra points if he’s selfish.

2. Freak the fuck out when you see the positive pregnancy test because the only information you’ve been armed with is media parades of controversy over the subject painting it in a terrifying light. Of course, you should tell no one that could offer some comfort – because for a lot of people it’s a really big deal and they would judge you. You would only regret having brought it up. Rely on aforementioned douche-bag for any sort of emotional assistance. Ask him to pay for half of the procedure despite the fact that you cover the much higher physical toll entirely.

3. Find some clinic that deals with stuff, and don’t spend too much time thinking about it, after all you just want it over with. Call your college health center in tears asking if they offer this sort of service (which they should as part of your health plan, but which they of course don’t, because they’re idiots),  they’ll recommend a few clinics to you. When you call the clinic they’ll tell you that you need to be at least 6 weeks along before they can terminate. So you wait, and make the best of it, and feel terribly self-conscious about it for the next few weeks.

4. You might feel conscious of the second spirit, and think out loud that you should treat it well during it’s short time on this earth. Your emotionless, loser of a boyfriend will tell you it’s little more than a parasite and such behavior would be pointless. Give serious consideration to this.

5. Get your doucherific boyfriend to drive you to the clinic the day of. They will recommend not eating for 12 hours before the procedure. You both head out bright and early. Outside the clinic is a rumpled and overgrown looking older gentleman holding up a half-page sized image of a fetus glued to some cardboard. He calls after you both, as you enter, “Give life a chance.”

6. Sit in the waiting room with all the other miserable-looking couples awaiting their turn to fill out paperwork, get a pregnancy test, and settle the balance. Your partner has filled the role of noble provider by scraping together 1/3 of the cost, despite the fact that he has already graduated and you are in school working part-time as a receptionist. Oh wait, that’s right, he’s unemployed. figures. Once you give a urine sample, get shuffled off to another waiting room sans-companion to discuss birth control with a health practitioner. In her pocket is a packet of birth control pills that she taps on with her ballpoint pen to emphasize her instructions. She’s done this many times before, and the pack bears many ballpoint marks left by her patter.

7. Get an ultrasound. Don’t look at the screen, because you’re afraid if you look you might change your mind — you’ve been frequently reminded that life & consciousness are linear & compartmental, not cyclical and interconnected, so the conception occupies something outside the idea of you, despite that you are what it is part of & dependent on. You don’t want to lose your cool, change your mind and subsequently ruin your future and youth by having a kid @19, for whom there may be less than adequate resources to provide for.

8. Round-up time, in waiting room #3. You’ve gotten changed into one of those ridiculous open-back hospital gowns, complete with slippers & a cap to match, and hand over your sharpie-labeled bag of personal belongings to one of the sympathetic-looking ladies in scrubs. Flip through the magazines a bit, watch some of the music videos playing on the CRT mounted in the corner of the room. Devo is playing. Chat with the other girls. There is a sense of comradery, but it is gloomy.

9. Showtime! Go into the operating room, get on the soft plastic & paper-covered table, put your legs up in the plastic stirrups. They’ll put a cloth down between your legs to spare you a bit of dignity while various aids move about around you preparing. The nurse at left puts an IV in your arm. The anesthesia works quickly.

10. You are waking up in the recovery room, opposite some of the same girls you remember from the waiting room, also groggily attempting to sit up in hospital beds. There is something soft between your legs. A nurse pushes up the back of your bed up roughly so you’re in a sitting position. The anesthesia has made you nauseous and disoriented. You ask for a moment and she says ‘no honey, you’ve got to get up, everyone’s got to get up.’ You ask if it is over and she says ‘yes it is honey, you’re fine’ and gives you a pat. She begins physically coaxing you up out of the bed despite your protests. The pad between your legs falls to the ground, white but for a small red blob in the middle. She picks it up and hands it to you. It’s difficult to walk. She supports you as you clumsily settle into a chair in the next room. She brings you some ritz crackers and ginger-ale. It’s difficult to chew; commands from your brain don’t seem to be getting distributed to the rest of you body. Another girl is being gingerly led by a nurse towards your chair, and you realize it’s time for your next move down the reassembly line. You get up without physical direction this time. You give a woman your name and she hands your belongings, and a bag in which to vomit, if necessary. You make your way through a row of dressing rooms to one unoccupied. You’ve put on your warm-ups and are busy figuring out your bra when the taste of warm bile wells up in your throat, as you look around for the bag, finding it just in time. Upon hearing your wretching, a nurse flings open the curtain, looks, frowns, then shuts the curtain again. You finish getting dressed, and go out towards the waiting room with another couple of girls.

11. The Waiting room is nearly empty, except for your boyfriend, who gives you a slightly bewildered look as he gets up. You both enter the elevator. One of the girls you chatted with gets into the elevator too. She is alone. I guess you ought not to complain. In the car he asks if you want to get something to eat. You shake your head, arms crossed over your queasy stomach. You just want to go home and lie down. Anesthesia is so miserable.

12. Back in your apartment you curl up in bed in the fetal position. You ask him if he can go buy you some pads, to which he balks bodily, then consents. You request something thin but he comes back with the bulkiest thing available, shrugging that he didn’t know what to look for. Still curled up he asks if you need anything else. You shake your head, and he replies that he’s going back to his apartment.

13. Bleed.

14. Spend the next several months yearning to talk about what happened, wishing he would ask you something, anything about the experience. Wonder if it ever happened, given how little tangible evidence you have after the fact. As for the unsettled balance of the procedure’s cost, wait patiently for him to take the initiative to pay you back at the very least enough to cover 1/2 the $350 it cost to have your insides scooped out. Ask him to cover 1/2 the cost of birth control moving forward, to prevent a rerun of this ordeal. Accept defeat when he vehemently argues against this, and tell yourself that relationships are about sacrifice — a great test of your patience, which you will pass, damnit. For the glossy magazines and tv say it’s so important to have a boyfriend. Express your anger at his dismissive and selfish behavior by being passive-aggressive. Break up multiple times, only to get back together because you’re lonely, since you haven’t bothered to cultivate many friendships during the 2 years you’ve been with him. Finally, after 2 years, dump his trifling ass, and feel rotten and angry about the entire lousy experience for years to come.

15. Years later he may come along googling you and groveling with a long email apology. The old ignorant self-centeredness you remember is apparent in his writing, despite the obsequiousness. In my opinion, life is too short to bother acknowledging losers like this.

16. Read, research, learn. It will help to get taken under the wing of older swinger & artist in platonic mentor relationship where you’ll learn that not all men are total creeps, and that there are a great multitude of ways in which people relate to each other, beyond the simplicities you’ve gleaned from the mass-media.

17. Heal.

How to have a totally awesome abortion>>

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