Every woman who has a pregnancy terminated at the Washington Preterm abortion clinic is given a form to fill out and mail back to the clinic. Most of the questions are medical.
There are several questions, however, that relate to how to woman has been affected by the abortion. Questions include: "What effect, if any, has this abortion had on your life?" "Did you experience any emotional reaction after the abortion? If so, what was it?"
Here is a sampling of answers:
One woman wrote that her emotional reaction was "hatred for the baby's father . . . It made me reevaluate my reasons for having sex."
"It made me realize the real necessity for birth control measures if pregnancy is not desirable."
"I wish I could have kept my baby but under the conditions and switchion (sic) I was in I am glad Preterm is there to help me out . . . Well now my life is back in order. And next time I can plan to have my babt when the time comes and keep it too."
"An experience I'd rather not have had. General disappointment in my own lack of responsibility; resentment toward men for not having to be concerned; and unhappy that my first pregnancy was not happy . . . Thank goodness for legalized abortions . . . Preterm."
"A slight reaction. Regret that I had not considered that it was a living thing that I would create. NOT regret as to my decision, but that I had not been more careful and thoughtful two months before . . . Given me a sense or realization of the ability of creating life that women have. Thank you."
"I had a good reaction. I felt very relieved; I felt good about my body and myself; I felt good that I had made the right decision for me and felt good about Preterm . . . It had no effect except that now I can start work in September when my daughter goes into first grade. Otherwise, if I had continued with the pregnancy, I would be planning to stay home at least three more years. I would prefer to start working at this time."
"I finally got rid of a boyfriend I didn't need."
"My emotional changes came before the abortion; the abortion itself was only the final clipping of a precious relationship which nothing could have kept alive, which was imperative to my wellbeing . . . It enabled me to continue a close, non-upright relationship with my 6-year-old son."
"Relief! Joy! Exuberance!"
"Depressed, guilt. Still remains (I feel I need to be punished). My marriage may be over or if it does survive, it will always be brought to my attention."
"General depression although no regret orr questions that I had made the best decision in the situation. Some anger that I, as a woman, was "stuck" with the biological changes of pregnancy and the pain of the procedure, including a greater sense of loss, than my partner . . . Clear now that I want to have children in the future."
"It makes me realize that no matter what precautions I take, if you have sex you live with the possibility of pregnancy."