Megan Brunston explains why it’s important to bring abortion out of the shadows.
AT AGE 19, I found out I was pregnant. I was living in Denton, Texas, and attending my second year of college at the University of North Texas (UNT). I was a busy college student who was interning for Texas Equal Access Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides abortion funding to low-income women.
Despite the fact that I was unexpectedly pregnant, I really felt lucky, and I remember telling myself, “At least I am pregnant while I’m interning at a non-profit that will provide financial assistance for my procedure. At least I can terminate this pregnancy and not have to scrounge up money from friends and family, or sell things, like most poor, working women do. At least I have a supportive community that will hold my hand the entire way.”
… I WENT through the standard Planned Parenthood protocol of signing waiver forms and speaking with a counselor to make sure I wasn’t pressured to have an abortion. I was given a sonogram and asked to look at my five-week old bundle of cells, and lastly given my RU-486 packet, otherwise known as the abortion pill. Being asked to look at the sonogram screen is a sick way to guilt women.
I was advised, after I returned home, to take my RU-486 packet and take it easy for the next day or so. I experienced the regular symptoms of inducing an abortion—nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, etc. Due to prolonged symptoms, I had to call into work and was told to put in my two weeks’ notice since my manager did not agree with me taking off work for having an abortion.
Not only was I asked to put in my two weeks at a place I dedicated three years of my life to, but prior to that, I was asked to bring in paperwork from Planned Parenthood to prove that I had an abortion. I ultimately think this was done to humiliate me. Now I had to wait to physically heal, and then immediately hit the pavement to find a new job.
I look back at that situation with anger, like, I’m sure, many women—single mothers, poor women, marginalized women—who are fired from their jobs because they had to take off work to have an abortion. Not only is this procedure expensive, but having to miss days of work and possibly pay for travel expenses and hotel costs if there is not a clinic within the surrounding area is not financially feasible for working-class women.
We live in a society that has pushed abortion under the rug, separating it from every other medical procedure, and silencing those who have experienced it. I am ready to pull it out from under the rug and make abortion accessible for all.
I think this is really important to hear, I will never understand the lack of support for women making responsible choices
My dog just burped and a fly flew out of her mouth… alive. It was really weird.
I hate the fact that if I am not smiling or being extra “bubbly” 100% of my day, my co workers ask me what’s wrong… I am human, I am not a machine programmed to smile all day. If I don’t have a customer anywhere near me why should I have to make pretend that I don’t hate being at work? It is not worth the effort/energy when I am already forced to work 12 hour work days, 5-6 days a week.
Not that I am acting miserable either, I just don’t feel the need to smile every single minute of my life..
This period in your life when you are no longer in your teens, or even early 20’s, and instead are rapidly approaching 30 is like nothing I could have imagined. When I was a little girl I always thought that I’d have it all figured out at this point. I remember imagining my house and my pets, and instead of worrying about having a career or making money, I always worried that I would be alone.
I think growing up as the “fat kid,” or the heavy girl in your circle of friends, makes you think that you’ll never have a boyfriend when you get older. I remember being worried that guys would never find me interesting or attractive, that I would never be kissed or even liked. That was my main worry, because I thought I was smart and driven enough to be successful in life I just couldn’t make guys like an ugly fat girl.
Instead I lost my virginity at 17, to a boy I loved with all my heart, and have basically been in a commited relationship since then (although not all with the same person, since that is how that just sounded). I have never had a problem getting a boyfriend and I am not alone, but instead living with the love of my life.
Yet I find myself, at this point, not understanding how people do it. I feel like I am getting closer to knowing what I want to do with my life, but I thought people figured this out in college, not after. And I am making decent money, for what I am doing, but I can’t even imagine being able to afford a house let alone plan for a future. I feel like I am living in that movie “Big” with Tom Hanks, where he wakes up one day and is a kid living as an adult. On the inside I am still the person I was at 17 and I don’t know what I am doing. I feel like I am missing an important peice of information or something.
I hate that I feel so unprepared and lost and behind. I just never thought this is how life would be at this age…