Today, I saw a woman for a medication abortion. My nurse told me she was crying very hard. She was crying as I introduced myself to her, and she was holding the ultrasound picture of her pregnancy.
I said, “This can be an emotional time. Can you tell me what is on your mind?”
She said, “I really want this pregnancy. But my boyfriend is a drunk and verbally abusive. I grew up with my parents as both drunks who abused me. I promised I would never bring a child into this world unless they had two loving parents.”
I said, “I’m here to support you, no matter what your decision is.”
She cried harder. “I feel like I’m being selfish.”
I reassured her, “In my experience, women know and do what is best for themselves and their families. I want to make sure you are comfortable with the decision you are making.”
As a provider, my job is to make sure that my patients are sure of their decision, whether they are continuing their pregnancy or deciding to proceed with an abortion. I really felt for this woman as there were many emotions involved in this hard decision.
With a deep breath, she swallowed the medication. She thanked me for my time and walked out the door. I see women making difficult decisions every day, but this patient’s story left a lasting impression in my mind. Her life was very complex and I am thankful that she opened up to me so I could be a source of support.