My story: I am a 27 year old proud Islander. I have recently returned to the Island after getting my education in a professional field. Upon my return, I commenced an internship in a well-respected establishment within my professional field.
Soon after returning to the Island, I began a relationship with a caring, loving individual, who I am still together with. A short time into our relationship, I became pregnant. I have always wanted children, however the timing was not right for me at this point in my life. As one could imagine, this is a busy time as I try to begin my career in a competitive environment. And frankly, I hardly even knew what this person, the potential father of my child, was like. I had to make the tough decision of whether to have this child, before my internship came to an end — potentially ruining the chances of building my professional career that I worked so hard at, through years of education and involvement in the community, or to terminate the pregnancy. I ultimately decided to have an abortion.
I went to my family doctor who I did not know well, but am so thankful for now. When I first told him my plan, he responded as a warm, understanding and caring human. He then went into “doctor mode” and explained my options and ensured I was sure about my decision, to which I told him I was. He was fantastic – setting up my 2 ultrasounds (the first one was too early in my pregnancy to detect anything) and my blood work as well as my appointment in Halifax. He also, I am assuming, took care of the second doctor referral needed, as I have not heard anything about this requirement yet. He gave me all the information he could, but was unsure of how the actual procedure took place so could not advise me on this. I learned about the procedure process through this woman’s blog , that I am so thankful existed. http://thefuckingfacts.com/2014/01/28/so-youre-having-an-abortion-in-halifax-nova-scotia/
My partner and I drove to Halifax, leaving in the middle of the night to arrive at my 8am appointment. For the first time since we met, there was silence between us. I arrived at the hospital and after some time was taken through a maze of the hospital, down, what felt like, a secret hallway and into a secure area that the nurse had to access with a code. The procedure happened. It felt as one could expect it would feel to have a fetus sucked out of your body. It happened.
After the procedure, I got back in my car and my boyfriend and I drove back to the Island, in silence. After not hearing anything from my doctor, I decided to contact him for a follow up two weeks later. Everything was “normal”. I was relieved to hear that my body would soon feel like it was back to “normal”. I could only hope the same was true for my emotional being.
I consider myself a strong and independent woman – but this has broken me. “This” being the idea that I have aborted a child in such a way that felt like I was lying and sneaking around. A child that was conceived in a loving relationship, with the financial means to support this child. I feel guilty and sneaky. The fact that despite having a loving boyfriend, a caring doctor and the best group of girlfriends around I still feel like I have not had the opportunity to deal with this draining emotional consequence that lingers over me.
My partner and I both had the ability to take time off work – although I did not specify why I needed the time off and thankfully they did not require a specific reason or a “doctors note”. I had the financial means to go through with this procedure and plenty of support getting me through it – but I have felt lost since coming back to the Island. Outside of my boyfriend and girlfriends, there has not been one person in a professional/medical or any capacity ask me how I am doing emotionally. This is where PEI’s healthcare has failed me.
I want to continue to be a proud Islander but the lack of reproductive rights on this Island is making it more and more difficult to be proud of where I come from and live. Let’s work together to bring home the reproductive rights Island woman deserve.
Anonymous – PEI