I Decided Against Abortion, But I Was Really Happy To Have The Option
Like some 49% of pregnancies in America, mine was unplanned. My partner and I had flirted with the idea of children, but we had securely filed it away in the “Maybe Someday” box. More pressing in our minds were things like me graduating college, saving up to move out of our crappy studio apartment, my partner starting college, and learning to drive so we could get a car. That’s why it was like a punch in the face when I stared at that test; the test I bought for one dollar because I was so sure I couldn’t possibly be pregnant.
I rushed out of the bathroom, tears streaming down my face, calling for my boyfriend. I called Planned Parenthood the next morning. I got an appointment for about a week after I called. I decided not to go through with my abortion – I chose to give birth. But this is not a piece to discuss that choice, and how and why I made it. This is a piece to discuss the process I went through in arranging the procedure and the choices I had to make.
There are two kinds of abortions; medical and chemical. A medical abortion is the kind most people seem familiar with, where suction is used to terminate the pregnancy. A chemical abortion is where two pills are administered. The medication is what causes the termination of the pregnancy. For either of these procedures, a woman is required to report to the building and be under the care of a medical staff for the whole procedure. These also require follow up visits to make sure everything has gone according to plan.
I opted for the chemical abortion.
It is not free to get an abortion. I called to schedule my appointment and was initially quoted seven hundred dollars. That was more than I had, so Planned Parenthood was able to offer me a discounted price based on my income. Now, I did have insurance, but my insurance would only cover an abortion that was deemed “medically necessary”. In that case, a doctor would have had to state that having the baby would either result in my death or result in damaging me severely. I hadn’t even seen a doctor about being pregnant at that point, so I opted just to take the discount offered to me, which lowered the price to about two hundred dollars.
I couldn’t just walk into my local Planned Parenthood and get an abortion. I called in and was told that my location didn’t even perform abortions. I would have to travel to one of two locations; one was forty five minutes from me, the other was two hours. Being that neither my boyfriend or I were able to drive, this presented a problem. We chose to go to the Planned Parenthood forty five minutes away and ask for a ride from someone we trusted. I found that I would also have to have my follow up appointments at the same place, so this would mean I would need to schedule even more rides.