Abortion as an Initiation into the Invisible Sisterhood
The abortion experience is an initiation into an ancient sisterhood. Making this choice connects you to every woman who has ever made this choice before, and all who come after. While everyone’s individual experiences are different, the collective truths of abortion bind us in their similarity.
To be a creator and decide not to create—for whatever reason –is one that brings up an endless fountain of ancient feelings. We want you to know you are not alone in everything you are feeling, this complex cocktail of hormones and emotions has been felt by countless others through the ages.
Healing one’s abortion has historically been done in secret, and often in shame. To create a ceremony around your own abortion is a self-invitation to heal in the ways that make the most sense within your own spirituality and beliefs.
If you notice that you feel angry at the hoops you have had to jump through to get your abortion and the difficulty in accessing pills, you are not alone. There is no other health service that is legally monitored like abortion globally. The difficulty you have faced in accessing your abortion pills is intentional on the part of anti-choice movements worldwide.
Only those of us angry enough at this injustice will change the world for women accessing abortion for years to come.
The Truth About Self-Managed Abortion
Any abortion can be an intense, spiritual and deep experience, whether it is in a clinic or in your home with pills.
The main difference of having your abortion at home with pills is that the procedure mimics a miscarriage, so you will be bleeding for some weeks, and may not have medical support to tell you what is or what is not normal.
It will be up to you to be your own best midwife and pay close attention to your blood: the consistency, the color, the amount of blood each day, and other symptoms of your body. Your monthly period is a good gauge for “what is your normal” and it is important, above all else to follow your intuition.
Your Voice is Needed for the Abortion Archive!
The most commonly experienced part of medication abortion is wondering if what you are experiencing is normal. This is the loneliest, scariest, and most anxiety-inducing part of the process, and together we can alleviate this.
As you prepare for your abortion, download the Abortion Bedside Guide and jot down your details.
- Pay attention to when you start bleeding
- The consistency of the blood (again, be your own best midwife).
- Write down any complications or difficulties you have, or anything else of relevance.
- Take pictures of your blood and any other meaningful moments.
We will add our abortion stories to the archive, not the complex social reasons we chose abortion–but the actual physical experience of abortion itself. How did our bodies physically experience this?
How will this be useful?
As you start your own abortion and wonder if something is normal, you can search the archive to find another person (for example) who had an abortion at 6 weeks pregnant, with misoprostol alone. How many times did she use the misoprostol? When did she start bleeding? Does she have any advice?
Together our stories will create a wave of information that will continue to support and assist people in self-managing their own abortions for years to come.
This project is just starting, and there are only a few entries. View the Archive HERE
Where Abortion Is Illegal
Since the dawn of time, people have been accessing abortion in a myriad of ways, with herbs and potions in the best cases, and poisons and sharp objects in the grimmest of circumstances.
Throughout history–and even in some countries today–seeking an abortion could mean death—a risk many have been willing to take.
Today, in many countries, we have access to abortion pills. Whether you have been able to access mifepristone + misoprostol or have managed to get misoprostol alone, you can be assured that you can self-manage a safe abortion at home.
Depending on what country you live in, and how you have obtained your medication, you may either take all of your pills on your own at home, or you may be forced to take the pills at a clinic, in front of a doctor. It is totally safe to take ALL pills alone at home.
Legislation in your state or country may demand that you take some or all pills in a clinic, in front of a doctor.
The Price of Senegal’s Abortion Laws. Read this article to better understand the realities of women in countries where abortion is illegal.
More Resources about Abortion Experiences around the World
- A great short BBC documentary about the difficulty of accessing abortion pills in the UK can be viewed HERE
- A short documentary by Broadly about the struggle to keep medical abortion available around the world, view HERE. This documentary features safe abortion She-Roes Melissa Grant from Carafem and Dr. Rebecca Gomperts from Women on Waves.
- A news story about buying abortion pills online in the US. Also features Dr. Rebecca Gomperts and her pills by mail website AidAccess. You can view it HERE.
- VERY IN-DEPTH panel discussion by Reproaction on Self-Managed Abortion with pills. It’s over an hour-long, but details the politics and research studies about abortion by pills. View HERE
- What emotions have risen in you since discovering you were pregnant? Have any of them felt new? Have any of your emotions felt ancient?
- Do you know many people in your life that have also had abortions? If 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime, how many people in your life do you think have actually had abortions?
- Why is abortion such a hidden experience? If so many people have them, then why do we pretend otherwise?
- How will your emotions impact your healing after the abortion? What do you anticipate now? What emotions do you want to release in your healing process? Which emotions do you maybe want to hang on to? (positive emotions may arise, like relief, or feeling like one has a new lease on life!)