My name is Jessica, I’m a sidewalk counsellor and this is my story.
It was a few minutes after 9am, when a couple walked out of the abortion clinic. The woman was sobbing. I asked her if she was okay, but her partner answered for her: “She’s fine”. She didn’t speak, but the tears continued to flow down her face. I asked her gently if she had had an abortion. Again, her partner responded for her, informing me that she was about to have an abortion. I asked her how far along she was and this time she answered, “19 weeks. Healthy baby boy.”
I listened as she shared with me the reasons she was there that Friday morning. She explained that she had “no choice” and it was “complicated” with her extended family also involved. I said how great it was that her partner was there with her, as many women come to the clinic alone.
“I hate him right now,” she shot back, without raising her eyes from the ground.
As we continued to talk, it became clear she felt pressured into the abortion by her partner, while he thought that it was her choice and she wanted the abortion. By the time they had talked it through, they were holding each other.
“Let’s go,” she said.
“Go where?” he asked.
Then he asked, “What about the rods?” The day before she had been administered three tablets and had rods inserted to begin to dilate the cervix for the procedure. Neither of them was sure of what the tablets were and whether or not they would be harmful to their 19-week-old son.
He called up the clinic to ask what had been administered and they refused to tell him. He became quite upset “They already have my money, why won’t they tell me, what does it matter to them?!”
While this was unfolding, she shared with me how she had asked the abortion provider the previous evening if it was possible to reverse what was happening and continue the pregnancy, to which they told her it was too late.
After several failed attempts to find out what they had administered, they left for the closest emergency department. Several hours later they texted me telling me that her waters had broke and there was nothing the doctors could do.
They lost their little baby boy, a choice neither of them wanted, all because they had no-one willing listen to them until it was too late.
Note: This testimony uses a pseudonym to preserve the identity of the woman involved.