Protestors Made Me Cry the Day I Got a Medical Abortion -- In the Best Way

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coman considering abortion
fizkes/iStock.com

I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks ago. My period was late and I decided on a whim to take a test at work. I saw the faintest pink line start to appear. My heart started beating out of my chest, I hyperventilated, and I almost hit the floor. I have PCOS and always thought I would need to be purposefully ovulated with medication if I ever wanted to get pregnant. So to say this was a massive surprise is an understatement. I came home that night and let my fiancé know about the test. We spent the next three days discussing and deciding what we were going to do. I’ve always been pro-choice but I never thought it was a choice I would personally have to make. It was not an easy discussion to have or an easy decision to make. We poured ourselves into this decision. Although we would’ve been financially capable of raising this baby, we both decided now was not the time. We’d rather be fully prepared and completely ready for a baby if and when we decide to have one in the future. So on Monday I called a clinic back in my home town and made my first appointment.

  •  I was able to get off work to go in for my first appointment.

    In my state, there is a 48-hour mandatory waiting period between your initial ultrasound and consultation/counseling and when you can come back and receive your first medication dose. We were aware protestors would likely be at the clinic, but when we showed up, it was quiet and free of any protestors. That consult went quickly and easily and we were out and on our way. It all seemed a little too easy, but I wasn’t complaining.

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  • The day rolled around and we headed out of town for my second visit.

    Nerves and tensions were running a little high, but it was otherwise a good morning. We got close to the clinic and my heart sank. Protestors everywhere. I immediately began to sob. Then I realized the majority of protestors were actually pro-choice counter protestors. I grabbed my fiancé’s hand and said out loud through my tears “They’re the good ones.” I felt some relief just seeing their presence dressed in all pink with signs saying “honk for choice” and “pro-choice.” When we pulled in to park, we were yelled at through megaphones. We were shown signs of dead babies and called killers and liars. We were completely surrounded by these people.

  • And then these wonderful people in pink stepped in. They physically put themselves between us and the protestors. 

    They held up their signs and umbrellas to shield us from them. They yelled for the protestors to get back. To leave us alone. Told them that they had no right to be there. They sang songs loudly to cover up the nasty things being said to us. They escorted us all the way to the front door. Once inside the front door, we felt safe again.

    I went through the pelvic exam, more paperwork, and was then given the mifepristone to take in office. My abortion had started and I felt confident with the choice we had made. Sad at having to make the choice but confident we were doing the right thing. BUT. I didn’t want to walk back outside. I was visibly shaking thinking about going back out there. I have never in my life been looked at or talked to like I was. I felt so small. It made me feel gross.

    My fiancé and I grabbed hands and walked back outside together, as confidently as possible with our heads held high. And once again, these wonderful people in pink swarmed around us. They blocked us from the protestors so that we could get to our car and guided us out of the lot and back into the road. Once we left the parking lot, I realized I had been holding my breath. I finally exhaled a sigh of relief.

  • The polar vortex was still happening, so it was far too cold to be standing outside for hours on end.

    These people did not have to be there, but they were. They didn’t have to endure jeers and nastiness from the other protestors, but they did. They didn’t have to help two complete strangers. They didn’t have to encourage and lift us up, but they did. They gave us courage and strength. They didn’t speak a word to us (I’m really not sure they’re able to anyway), but it didn’t matter. Just their presence was enough.

    It's not that the anti-choice protestors didn’t belong there -- even though they weren’t technically allowed on the clinic property. They are allowed their own views just the same as I am. I won’t argue with that. I just don’t agree with the way they choose to show people their views. I think the counter protestors were just trying to protect us. 

  • It’s been a hard week and a half so far. 

     So many emotions and sometimes I’m still not sure how to feel honestly. Even though we weren’t ready for a baby and made the decision to have an abortion, we are still mourning the loss. I think that will settle with time. Or maybe it won’t? It was just a humbling and eye opening experience for me. It restored a little faith in humankind for me more than anything.

    What these total strangers did for us is the absolute kindest gesture I have ever encountered in my 33 years. I have cried over and over again replaying their kindness in my mind and discussing what they did for us with my fiancé. I honestly don’t know if anyone ever tells them thank you, or if they have any idea the kind of difference they are making with their presence. But if you are a pink protestor, thank you. From the absolute bottom of my heart. Thank you.


    This post was anonymously submitted to CafeMom and was published with permission.