I AM ADDING A RARE TRIGGER WARNING. THIS POST CONTAINS BLOODY PICTURES. INCLUDING ONE OF THE AFTERMATH OF AN ILLEGAL ABORTION. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, BUT THEY NEED TO BE SEEN.
Shout out to Lindsay Beyerstein for the lovely post she wrote on Monday. Thanks for the support!
Anyway. We got down to the nitty gritty yesterday morning at about 11:30 AM. That is when I inserted 4 misoprostol pills into my vagina. Not gonna lie, it was weird. I can describe the sensation shortly afterwards as dry and leading to paranoia. I was clenching like crazy because I was scared that the pills would fall out. The doctor informed me that the pills can take anywhere from 1 hour to 16 hours to start kicking in, but the average woman started to bleed in 6 hours. I started in 4 and it was actually quite a surprise when I did start. I am convinced now that doctors ( especially in Canada) are a fan of preparing you for the worst. I was told there would be cramping and was even given two different levels of pain killers. That was my biggest anxiety at this point because I’m a baby during the worst days of my period and I was drug happy for both my pregnancies. Apparently I can handle being smacked around in sports, but the second my uterus groans I’m like fuck it, drug me. Which leads to my favourite time, MYTH TIME!
IT’S SOOOOOOOO PAINFUL THEY NEVER TELL YOU HOW PAINFUL IT IS!!
But seriously….it was the most mild thing. I realize that every woman’s body reacts differently, and I have zero doubt that some women double over and have a lot of pain. For me though? By the time I discovered the bleeding, all I was having was a dull ache that is similar to what I get about a day before my period usually starts. At the worst of it? It didn’t even come close to my worst period. I was kinda nauseated and very, very tired. But pain? It was nothing. D&Cs hurt more than this, cementing the fact that this was the best idea ever. Also? Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, a comfy couch, and cheesy DVR movies. It was a relaxing day. The kids were even more behaved than usual, which made it a perfect environment to flush out the contents of my uterus. I had my kids around, with K offering many cuddles and tickle time. I had my husband, who took great care of me. It was comforting. Again, I do not doubt that there are women out there who have a hard time with it. Medication affects everyone differently. This fact, though, never seems to be taken into account when anti-choicers are telling women about how it feels to get an abortion. One woman’s awful physical experience could be another’s walk in the park. So basically, the truth is…you’re not going to know until it’s happening. How you physically react to having a medical abortion or a surgical abortion is just dependent on how your body handles it combined with your pain threshold. Now, onto the real meat of the subject.
Those fucking fetus pictures.
A simple google search will yield you some….well….interesting results in regards to what an early term abortion looks like. At the time of pill insertion, I was about 6 and a half weeks along. I googled “aborted fetus at 6 weeks” just to see what I could get. I found this one that is labelled an abortion at 7 weeks:
Now, before this experience I already was damn skeptical of these pics, since by and large, the “body parts” they are displaying are larger than the gestation they are suggesting. However, having this experience at home and seeing first hand what it really looks like brings a tear to my eye….a tear of laughter. Now, unfortunately I could not find my camera. That alone has been the most heartbreaking thing about this experience. I wanted to get pictures done and circulated everywhere to help bust the myth that early term abortions really look like anything worth getting attached to. Sure enough, my suspicions were right. So what does an early term abortion look like?
It looks like this. It was basically a bloody period with a lot of dark clots. I put on some gloves and pulled/pressed through the clots to find these baby bits I’m supposed to be seeing and honestly? You couldn’t really tell one clot from the other. I found it very fascinating and more than anything, the nature of the clots made me wonder if I have naturally miscarried a few times before and never even knew I was pregnant. I remember having periods that had clots like these a couple of times in my life. Now, it is common for women to flush out fertilized eggs and we do, in fact, miscarry without every knowing we were pregnant in the first place. So, basically, anti-choicers probably think we’re serial killers is what I’m saying. This woman miscarried at 7 weeks and she shared pictures of what hers looked like, it’s equally fascinating and impressive. I say impressive because it’s definitely bloody, but the dramatics of baby bits? It’s just not there.
Speaking of which, all those late term abortion pics they post? They may not even be North American abortions and they may not be taken with the patient’s consent. In fact, that link has a pic of a “7 week” aborted fetus (hee!). But let’s get into why those pics are disturbing for reasons beyond emotional pleas. Let’s say those pics were taken in China, in all their one child policy glory. China is an anti-choice country and against everything that choice stands for. My heart breaks for women who want to give birth but are forced into an abortion. That isn’t a choice. So, anti-choicers who swing one way exploit mothers from a country that is anti-choice the other way. Even if they try to justify late term abortion pics as being from North America, we all know damn well that those abortions are done for health reasons. Also, that “Partial Birth Abortion” you thought was barbaric? It was easier on the fetus and the mother. It also allowed the mother a chance to hold the baby SHE WANTED afterwards and have a moment. The procedure they have to use now? Not so much. So now you have anti-choicers exploiting grieving women who wanted their pregnancies. They have the nerve to call US barbaric. But they’ll exploit anyone just to help themselves sleep better at night, because if you look around the world and the state of child poverty, anti-choicers give less of a shit about born children than a honey badger about anything. They just don’t care. They say they will to exploit what they want out of you, damn the consequences. But let’s take a look at what illegal abortion does to women.
This makes my heart break in so many ways. This is Geraldine Santoro. She died June 8, 1964. Her story is here if you feel like you need a good cry today. Who do you have more sympathy for? If you’re anti-choice and reading this, you probably feel worse for the blood clots than you do for Gerri. This pic was posted on Facebook, and here are some amazingly pro-life quotes from anti-choicers in regards to the link with the stories of women who have died trying to get abortions:
“Chuz Life: Anti-Abortion Activist Can you tell me how much sorrow we are supposed to feel for a person who accidently kills themself while in the act of killing their child?” (Chuz Life’s real name is Loren Brown)
“Don Cameron They chose to perform an abortion. It’s no one’s fault but theirs. Like suicide bombers.”
“Loren Ortiz Over (Like way over!) 1,000,000 Human females are aborted a year!
So really, who hates women?” (this guy gets the missing the point award of the century, but hey, at least he was not outright like the others AMIRITE LADIES??”
Visit any pro-life page anywhere, read it for more than 10 minutes, and you’ll realize that once all the veneer of “caring” and “sympathy” is gone, this is what you get. These people do not care about the women that have died out of desperation because they didn’t pop out another kid they don’t even give a shit about. These people do not care about me, and will probably scold me for not ruining my family’s life just to make them feel better. These people do not care about you. They will not be there for you in a genuine way. They hate agency and they hate that something like this is out of their control. They will shame you, they will call you names, they will attempt to browbeat you into feeling bad. The problem? That shit works. If it didn’t, we would stop this whole ridiculousness about what a hard choice this is and feeling weird about women who aren’t appropriately solemn about it. We would stop the whole “legal, safe, and rare” mantra and keep it at “legal and safe”. I mean, what’s it to us how many abortions are performed? We would stop trying to have a dialogue with these people and realize that our choices are NOT up for debate and there IS no middle ground to be had. We would also stop being “buttery” with our stance. Nothing grinds my gears more than “I’m pro-choice BUT it shouldn’t be used as birth control” (slut shaming for the win) or “I’m pro-choice BUT women shouldn’t have multiple abortions” (this is my second one, fuck you) or my personal favourite, “I’m pro-choice BUT I would never have an abortion”. It makes it look like we’re pandering to people who do not give a shit about us. It’s othering to those of us who ARE having abortions. More than anything, and we may not even realize it, it makes us come across like we’re better than THOSE women, the ones who get abortions. I mean, with allies like these, who needs anti-choicers? We’re so busy committing microaggression after microaggression against our own damn movement. They salivate over this shit. No more compromise, no more debate, no more buts. We need to be pro-choice all the way. Just imagine if we didn’t have to fight about our right to choose abortion anymore. I can’t wait for the day when we can move on from dealing with slut shaming, nosy, self-important people with control issues and onto more important things.
Whew. Tanget over. As you can probably tell, this experience has made me more passionate and more pro-choice than ever. I can’t say I feel relieved just yet, I’m saving that for the blood test and ultrasound next week. For now, I’m going to go brush my hair and pick up some blueberry muffins. I think the family has earned a treat. Tune in next week for what I hope is the thrilling conclusion of my foray into medical abortion. Wish me an empty uterus and lower hormones!