This article is part of POPSUGAR’s 50 States, 50 Abortions, a large-scale storytelling project that aims to raise the voices of people who have had abortions. For more information on how to find an abortion clinic near you, please visit The Cut’s abortion services finder.
I was 19 when I conceived. The guy I was seeing really wanted to hang out before going to that Christmas party. We were out of condoms and at the time I didn’t take contraception because I lived with my parents and my mother “didn’t believe in contraception”.
My boyfriend said he would retire, and I told him that was a really bad idea. We started arguing about it. We went back and forth. I didn’t want to be late to the party. So finally, I just gave in.
Fast forward to maybe five weeks later. It was January 5. I remember looking at my period tracker app. He said my period should start on my birthday, which is the next day. My period never came, which seemed very uncool of her, since I’m pretty regular.
I decided to give it a few days. A few days turned into four days, then four days turned into a week. Eventually I called my boyfriend and said, “We have to go to Walmart, and you’re going to buy me a test, because I think something’s wrong.”
We took a test and went back to him because I couldn’t take it to my parents. I told him that I did not want to know the results. If the test was negative, we could pretend it didn’t happen. If he said anything else, I didn’t know what we would do.
I peed on the stick and went out to eat the lunch we picked up on the way to the store. He came out of the bathroom three minutes later and said he had great news. I was like, “Is that negative?” He replied, “What? No. The good news is that I’m not sterile, and neither are you afterward.” I freaked out. I threw my sandwich on the table and immediately burst into tears.
I decided that I had to leave. I was supposed to meet a friend at Dunkin’ Donuts, so I grabbed my purse and my work outfit and booked it there. I was trying to keep a facade, but my friend noticed I looked weird and asked if I was okay. I told her it was not okay and that I thought I was pregnant. “Oh my God,” she replied.
I knew I couldn’t go through with it because the relationship I was in wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t interested in being a single mom in Amarillo, Texas where I was living ‘era. So I met him the next day and told him that I didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy and that I needed him to pay for the abortion. Initially, he was united. He had to get a loan from the bank to pay. He told his mother, who was to co-sign the loan, that he needed money for school books.
We quickly realized that there was no Planned Parenthood in Amarillo. The closest was in Lubbock, and they didn’t do abortions. So the next best thing was Albuquerque, NM. He asked one of his stoner friends to drive us to Albuquerque, where we had rented a hotel room. They smoked the whole way. I remember being very nauseous because I was pregnant. He laughed at me because I couldn’t handle the smoke very well.
Finally, we arrived in Albuquerque. My appointment was the next day at 9 am. We were greeted by protesters who yelled at us as we entered. My boyfriend was arguing with them.
Once inside, I remember being told, “Your insurance would actually cover this. Are you sure you want to pay out of pocket?” I was terrified of my parents finding out, so my boyfriend paid for it, and then instead of waiting with me in the waiting room, he went back outside to yell at the protesters. He came back when my name was called, but they told him he was not allowed to come back with me.
I had an ultrasound first, and I think the doctor was worried that my boyfriend would force me to have the procedure because he asked me, “Even though you’re eight weeks pregnant in perfect health, are you still sure? don’t have to do that?” I was like, “Yeah. I am on. I don’t want to have a baby. I really don’t want to have a baby with him.” (Editor’s note: Although some states require doctors to provide state-mandated “advice” at the time of this article’s publication, New Mexico does not, according to AbortionFinder.org.)
They gave me two types of pills. They give you one at the doctor’s office to take in front of the doctor, and then they give you the second one to take home the next day. I took the first one, then the doctors and nurses – who were really nice and supportive – sent me home. We returned to Amarillo. The next day I took the second dose.
It was really, really painful – probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. My boyfriend was there, but he only supported the night of the abortion. The next day, I woke up and decided to leave work to rest. He insisted we had things to do, so I ended up running around town with him all day.
Eventually that relationship ended and I didn’t really have a support system outside of that. Amarillo is a very conservative city. I didn’t want to tell my parents about it and I didn’t know any friends who had been there. I didn’t trust anyone enough to tell them without feeling like they would judge me.
So I carried it on my own.
— Anonymous (she/her) (Texas), as said to Chandler Plante
Image sources for “Click for stories from each state”: Unsplash/Aaron Burden, Getty/Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library, Unsplash/Manik Roy and Photo Illustration: Patricia O’Connor