Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blood Money: a brewing shitstorm

Tonight, there's an event going on here on campus that is showing the pro-life bent abortion documentary Blood Money. Have you heard of it? Yeah, I hadn't either, so I looked into it:

This politically right-wing "documentary" about abortions and the secretive dirty acts by the Planned Parenthood organization is a film put together by those who very strongly oppose abortion and won't listen to any other views about it. 

After watching the trailer and reading the site: here, this whole thing reminds me of the debates I used to have with people who would NOT listen to the other side and hear each other out. So I opted not to attend this event on campus that will take place shortly. 

I'm a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood. I always have been and after they saved my life a few years ago I know I always will be. If it weren't for them giving me the advice and options I needed, I wouldn't be here right now. 

*And this is the point where I will end up losing followers*

I had an abortion in 2008. I was in the beginnings of a new relationship, where everything was new and exciting. We were practicing safe sex. And a few months in, I got pregnant. If recollection serves, I was about 19 at that time and scared out of my mind. I didn't want to be a mother. I hated kids (I still do, in fact) and I had PLANS! for my life, you know? 

So, with the help of my mother and this new beau of mine, I contacted Planned Parenthood and scheduled an appointment. I met with doctors and counselors; who examined me, determined how far along I was (5 1/2 weeks) and told me about my options. They didn't push me one way or another, just let me vent my feelings and come to my own natural decision. 

I chose to abort. I was five and a half weeks pregnant, so they gave me the medical abortion, which is a set of pills that release certain hormones, causing the uterus lining to break down and flush out. It was gruesome, like having the worst period of your life. I was sick for weeks afterwards and couldn't eat without throwing up. But I knew the side effects. I had made my choice.

My pregnancy was a little embryotic sac no bigger than a dime. Tiny. Just a clump of cells....there's no way I could wrap my head around the idea that I was killing a baby. That's what so many of my former "friends" tried to convince me that I had done, but scientifically that didn't make sense.

I was pro-choice back then. It's amazing how solid you think you are in your stance on an issue like that until you wind up in a bad situation of your own and have to rethink it all. And trust me, you do have to rethink everything. After all's been said and done, I'm still pro-choice. I'm just not pro-abortion.

It's a sad reality that many women wind up with unplanned pregnancies. In an ideal world, we could simply prevent that from happening and there would be no need for abortions. But we don't live in an ideal world, and so the necessity remains. We don't have to like it. We just have to let people choose. 

This was a very hard thing for me to write about here, and it's a very personal issue. I think that's why I opted not to attend the event. It hits too close to home and I'm already in a fragile state of mind. I don't feel like being accused of being a monster tonight. I faced enough of that back then....

I get upset when people demonize Planned Parenthood. They were there when I needed them. They got me through a tough time and even gave me free birth control after the fact. They're a godsend to low income families, especially those who can't afford health insurance. They do breast exams and cancer screening, birth control, counseling services, provide a ton of great information on safe sex and so much more. And most of this can be obtained for free!

Most Planned Parenthood facilities to not perform abortions. There's only one in my home state that does, the rest simply act as sexual health clinics and they do a damn fine job of it. 

Anyways...I think I've done enough rambling and shared enough of myself tonight. Toodles~


  1. Wow, Kayla. what an experience at only 19. I can't even imagine, not even BEGIN to imagine. I'm glad you're happy with your decision though and happy to see you're doing well. Well, as well as can be.

  2. Speaking out is one way for most extreme people to realize that abortion isn't the end of the world. I like stories like these out there so people can see from themself what work PP does. I have never had an abortion nor really want to have one, but if I end up needing one, then I like that option available. Some women really cannot afford to give up the kid or carry it through. And lastly, most people also don't realize that PP also helps with fertility issues!

  3. Your post really affected me. I think it's so strange that a discussion even exist. Were I live there is very few people against abortions and all the work that Planned Parenthood are doing is incorporated in the public medical service, and you dont have to pay a health insurance for getting that service, well for any service or help if you get sick. What you pay is a small fee at the visit that people can afford.
    To give birth to a child and raise it is a commitment for life, that is nothing you should be forced to do ( I have 2 kids).

  4. I would never demonize what you've done. It's a horrifying experience for you. It's horrible to think that some people think just because you're pro-choice means that you're going to throw away all contraceptives and use abortions liberally. It's ridiculous.

    I hope that you're okay with that event happening. We're all here to support you.

  5. I'd just like to thank you for posting this, especially when it is so personal to you. I hope that the event hasn't dredged up too many painful memories.

    I went through a very similar situation when I was just 19, with added medical complications (75% chance of my blood type being incompatible with the babies, possible fetal alcohol syndrome because I'd been drinking without knowing I was pregnant etc) I was about 6 weeks pregnant when I had my medical abortion too.

    Before I ever had to make the choice, I thought it would be easy (I was a first year undergrad with a drug addict boyfriend and no desire to ever have children). It was actually the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I didn't tell my parents because I didn't want to disappoint them and I didn't tell my best friends (who are very devout Christians). Another friend came with me to the clinic to get the pills but then she had to go to work so she just dropped me off at home. My boyfriend worked in a church and couldn't tell his boss so he worked that day too (even though I begged him to lie and say I was ill or even that I was miscarrying). I went through it alone and I will never forget that day. I will never forget the pain and the isolation. I will never forget my baby. Because I gave up that baby I've managed to gain a first class honours degree and go onto do a master's (maybe even a PhD) so I have to tell myself it was worth it. I think it was- I think about the life my shild would have had and who his father was and believe it would have been unfair to cause that suffering.

    I'm still Pro-choice but personally I could never do it again.

    I'm glad organisations like Planned Parenthood (and Brook in the UK who helped me) exist. I think we should be increasing their funding to improve services; the nurses at the clinic made me un-necessarily ill by not checking my weight (the anti-biotic they gave me said it was not suitable for those weighing less than 45 kg, I was just under and so suffered halucinations during my abortion). They do a great job in raising awareness of safe sex, preventing unwanted pregnancy and STIs.

    There were protestors outside the abortion clinic the day I went (with signs and leaflets and shouting 'your baby has fingernails, it can hiccup!' etc) and people who can take advantage of vunerable women like that and influence a decision which should be PERSONAL make me sick.

    However women that can repeatedly have abortions, or abort a child without feeling bad about it make me feel uneasy too.

    Thank you again for you honesty and your strength.

  6. thank you for that honest post!

    i think i am pro choice too. there are moments in your life (like the one you were talking about) when youre not ready to really take care of a baby or never want them because of whatever. and in case of rape for example who could blame a woman for chosing to abort? babies should be loved and it needs a lot of responsibility and stuff to make them get happy and good adults.

  7. I think women should have the right to choose, even if personally I don't think I could make the choice to have an abortion if I got pregnant tomorrow, but if something like that had happened to me when I was 19, I'd have probably made the same choice as you. Every pregnancy is a unique situation and just because I feel a certain way about something now doesn't mean I should dictate to others and the people who are up in violent protest about this sort of thing seem really cruel to me.