Are DIY home abortions safer and less traumatic for women? Are they the “silver lining” to this pandemic?
After taking the pills sent by the abortion clinic, most women are shocked at how they are affected. It might be like a bad period. It might be days of pain and fear. There will be blood, there could be sickness; anxiety as to whether the process is going as it should. Possibly the worst thing is the lack of human contact and reassurance. The lack of knowledge – were my dates accurate? Does it matter if they are wrong? There is no scan. No medic who can give answers to the questions. No-one to hold your hand.
Then the large clot is passed. The baby has left your body. Now what to do? Should you really flush it down the toilet? Or put it in the dustbin? You might weep, you might wish you could have gone another way, but there is no-one to talk to. Your bathroom is a mess, your body is tired, your heart is broken. No-one cares. There is no-one to help.
The next day you get up and go to the bathroom to clean your teeth - the place of such trauma in your home. Will home ever feel safe again?
When you go out it’s impossible to tell anyone. If you try to share what you have been through the response is nearly always hurtful. The isolation and secrecy to protect yourself might last for years.
DIY abortions are traumatic. Abortions at a clinic are traumatic. This is not a triumph for women’s rights or the best amendment made to the abortion act. This is forcing women deeper into isolation and secrecy that will harm them, scar them and in some cases destroy them.
There is a way forward after a DIY home abortion or a clinic abortion. Post Abortion Support for Everyone has a recovery course which allows you to process what has happened, your feelings and fears, with a small group of women who have been through a similar experience. It is led by women who have been there, and recovered. You can recover.