Content warning: Contains graphic description of abortion that some may find distressing.
As a Welsh woman living in England, there are certain things I am obligated to do because of my heritage. I root for the Welsh team to win in rugby (even if I can’t name any of the players). I quickly correct anyone who refers to me as English. I instantly bond with any other Welsh person I meet. I brag about the (few) ways in which Wales is ahead of the rest of the UK – we were the first to introduce the 5p bag charge, the first to drop prescription charges, and the first to ban smoking in public places.
Now my role as a proud representative of the land of dragons and daffodils has become even easier. A new policy is going to allow women to take the abortion pill at home.
I have been in the unfortunate position of having to undergo a medical abortion twice in my life. I have also broken my wrist, had a kidney infection, injured my hip weightlifting and even been kicked by an elephant. Nothing has compared to the physical pain and emotional distress of the medical abortion.
A medical abortion involves taking two pills. The first tablet ends the pregnancy by blocking the action of the hormone progesterone. The second induces contractions in the uterus to expel the pregnancy. This tablet, Misoprostol, is often given one or two days later, requiring a second trip to the abortion clinic.
Under the new policy, it can now be taken at home.
I was 17 when I had my first abortion. I was young and scared and wanted it over with as quickly as possible. The only clinic which had space to see me quickly was in Bristol. As the two tablets had to be taken a day apart, it meant staying in a hotel with my boyfriend.
After swallowing the Misoprostol we hurried back to the hotel room to wait. It was a bloodbath. When the cramps started in earnest I sent my boyfriend out, so I could writhe like an animal in pain alone. I passed out for about 20 minutes, and when I came to I staggered to the toilet just in time for the gestational sack to be expelled.
Despite the heavy duty menstrual pads I was wearing, I bled so heavily all night long that the once white sheets were soaked in blood by the morning. Although my father never mentioned it to me, I’m sure he must have received a hotel charge for a new set of bed linen.
If I had been allowed to take the pill at home, I wouldn’t have needed to be in an unfamiliar hotel room during one of the worst nights of my life.
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My second abortion was no happier. This pregnancy was actually planned and very much wanted. Sadly, a progesterone intolerance and severe hyperemesis gravidarum that did not respond to medication left the doctors with no choice but to recommend a termination for medical reasons.
Desperately ill, I inserted the tablet into my vagina so I wouldn’t throw it up. I had to lay there for 30 minutes, before we started the hour-long car ride home. I was a bit more prepared this time, and wore bladder control pads in a pair of my husband’s boxers and sat on an old red towel.
It was still the worst car ride of my life. I hunched over a sick bucket, fighting to stay conscious and dreading the pain and gore that I knew would soon follow. Every traffic jam made me want to cry, I was so eager to get home to my bed and, more importantly, toilet.
Although I firmly believe an abortion does not have to be a big emotional trial, for many women the pain and grief they experience will be unmatched by anything else. Being able to have an abortion at home does not mean that the process will be any less physically painful, or emotionally easier, but what it will mean is we will be able to get through it in a place where we feel safe, without worrying about things like car rides or hotel rooms.
Thank you Wales, for making it a little bit easier for us.
Bethan is writing under a pseudonym.Advertisement
Source : https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/29/taking-the-abortion-pill-at-home-would-have-made-my-experience-less-traumatic-today-i-am-even-prouder-to-be-welsh-7670674/