By Sarah Terzo
A woman named Kim told her story:
“He just left me there. He drove me downtown to the Women’s Community Clinic – you know the one on Santa Clara – and waited for me to get out of the car. It was a little before 8 o’clock in the morning… I asked him, “Are you going to come in with me?”
“Are you kidding? I’ve got exams today. Anyway, I wouldn’t want anyone to see us here together.”
I watched as his car drove off. I was 17. I’d never even been to the doctor without my mom. When I opened the door to the clinic, the waiting room was so full there weren’t enough chairs for everyone. Girls, some with their boyfriends, were sitting on the floor; others were standing up and down the hallway. No one looked at anyone or said anything, I mean, we all knew why we were there.…
I wanted to run, but there was no place to run to.
I was there for an hour or so before my name was called along with five others. A nurse came in and told us to follow her. She led us into a room like a lab or something and asked us to line up. It was like a production line: she pricked our fingers, smeared the blood onto a glass slide, took our temperature and blood pressure.
While we were waiting, I saw this man dressed in green surgical scrubs rush by, blood splattered all over the front. I got so sick I almost fainted. I was so scared…
I wanted it over quickly. I was worried because my parents thought I was in school. I needed to get home before they did.
After about another hour, I was led into a room. The nurse pulled back the curtain and said, “Take off your clothes. Tie the gown in front.” I looked into her eyes. I needed an adult to tell me I was going to be all right.
“I don’t know if I should do this,” I said as I stared into her eyes.
“Everyone says that. You’ll feel better when it’s over and you’ll go on with your life.” She handed me a pill. “Here, take this, it will help you relax,”…
She was right. The pill she gave me made everything slow down. My body felt heavy…
They led me into a small examining room, where they told me to get up on the table. My feet were placed in stirrups and I waited, alone for a long time. Then the door opened and the doctor came into the room with two nurses. I couldn’t see him clearly because I was lying down. He didn’t say a word.
One nurse said, “This may hurt a little, but don’t worry, it will be over before you know it.” She rolled a machine near the foot of the examining table. It sounded like a loud vacuum cleaner.
Before I knew what was happening, I felt a scraping sensation on the inside of me. I heard a sound as if something were getting caught in the vacuum. A sharp pain surprised me. I began to cry, “Stop, stop!” But that sound didn’t stop.
I wanted to scream, but I just hung onto the nurse’s hand. Finally it was over. I wanted to die. That’s when the cramps started. I was so afraid. I thought, I could die right here on this table. The doctor left without saying a word…
I was the last one in the waiting room when Keith finally arrived. I wanted to run to him, to feel his arms around me, pulling me close to his chest like he always did. He didn’t even look at me.
We walked outside. He opened the car door for me, then said, “For God’s sake you’re a mess. You better comb your hair and put on some makeup or your parents will know something happened.” His voice was cold. I bent my head to open my purse. Tears filled my eyes, but I didn’t say a word. “Our baby just died, don’t you know that?” I screamed in my head.
When we pulled up to my driveway, all he said was, “I’ll call you.”
But he didn’t call. I couldn’t tell anyone, not my sisters, not my mom, not anyone. I was all alone.”
Patricia A Bigliardi, Beyond the Hidden Pain of Abortion (Lynnwood, Washington: Women’s Aglow Fellowship International, 1997), pp. 164 – 167.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.