The do-it-yourself abortion is becoming an ever more common practise among women, both in countries which do not place huge stigma on abortion, and places where it's illegal, including Ireland, Pakistan and Poland.
Personally, if I were in a situation where I couldn't continue with my pregnancy, there's not a chance I'd 'do it myself' at home. The risk of something going wrong would be too great.
Thankfully, I have a supportive family and partner, and live in a country with an excellent healthcare system, which I know would look after me from start to finish. And they wouldn't judge my decision unfairly.
Unfortunately, not everyone's so lucky. One woman admitted she would consider suicide if she was unable to abort her pregnancy - she didn't want her boyfriend finding out about the baby.
Rebecca Gomperts, M.D., Ph.D., and founder of the website Women on Web - a site which sends abortion drugs to women in countries where abortion is banned - said that she received nearly 600 emails in 2015 from Americans desperate to end pregnancies under hard circumstances.
In this article, we'll read experiences from 15 different women who've admitted to having forced a miscarriage, with the majority succeeding.
15 More Than One
Thinking about forcing a miscarriage once is enough to make me feel nauseous, but to do it several times...I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to live with that. But that's exactly what beanieandpeach must live with for the rest of her days.
"I tried to induce abortion several times. It was incredibly dangerous, and I'm lucky to be alive. I was fortunate to obtain a surgical abortion eventually, but I was determined to not be a mother, and honestly would've killed myself before carrying the pregnancy to term.
It makes me really upset to remember or talk about - that those were the lengths I had to go through because it was so incredibly difficult for me to obtain a legal, safe, accessible abortion, and it breaks my fucking every time I read another story about a woman who's had to do the same."
14 What She Bought Online
Natalie Towers, a 24 year old from County Durham in England was given a two and a half year prison sentence after taking poison she bought online to terminate the life of her unborn son. Natalie said she did it because she 'couldn't take the stress.'
The judge that gave her the sentence said the case involved the 'extinguishing of life about to begin.' Her son - who she later named Luke Clark - was found head-first down the toilet. The female paramedic who found the baby and who took steps to try and revive it said: "He was warm, pale but not blue, ‘small but fully-formed." There were efforts to try and revive the baby, but he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Natalie's partner Sean Clark, whom she lived with at the time of the incident, was unaware she was pregnant.
13 Take A Pill Or Be Arrested
In Ireland it is illegal to have an abortion, unless it's to save a pregnant woman's life. This leads to thousands of women travelling to the UK every year to have the procedure.
Hana was working as a waitress, and living with her family when she fell pregnant. She didn't have the means to support a baby, nor did she want one. When she told her family, they turned their backs on her. So ended up ordering pills online.
"When I took the pills I bled so heavily the second day that I thought I was dying. I couldn't go to the hospital because they could arrest me if I told them what I had done. So I lay there, bleeding in my friend’s spare room, praying that I didn't die. I will never forgive my country for that."
12 It Was Too Soon
It was summer 2015 and seventeen year old Renée discovered that she was pregnant. Knowing that she didn't want to be a parent, Renée forced a miscarriage.
Going to the local clinic wasn't an option as she'd seen so many protesters there. She said: “All that screaming, telling you, ‘You’re going to hell’—I couldn’t do all that."
She got hold of misoprostol, a pill to induce an abortion. When nothing happened for 3 days, she took more. “I had severe cramps and was feeling sick,” she said. In the end, “it was like a very, very bad period. I love kids. I’m just too young to have them now. But if I had to do it again, I would go to the clinic. I can’t deal with that sitting at home. I’d like it to just be done.”
11 We Stole A Prescription
When Anonymous became pregnant with her second child, she felt it would be an impediment to her dreams. So, with her husband they stole a prescription of misoprostol from a private doctor.
"We were pretty nervous, so I decided to take a few shots of tequila and before going to bed I inserted four pills. I fell asleep thinking that it was not going to work, but around 4 a.m. I began to feel horrible pains, like cramps. I went to the bathroom and expelled several blood clots, my whole body was shaking and I felt chills. After 5 a.m. I finally expelled the fetus. Really seeing it gave me a terrible sadness.
I continued bleeding for almost 50 days and did not seek a medical appointment, for fear they knew I had committed a crime. Now, two years later, it is something I have overcome."
10 It Was A Shameful Experience
28 year old Jessica from Texas - where furious battles about abortion continue to rage - once underwent a medical abortion, and says that it was "the most terrible, embarrassing, shameful and painful thing I have underwent."
When she wanted to abort her pregnancy at home, Jessica took advice from naturalmiscarriage.org - an online ebook which provides guidance on how to naturally miscarry at home without the help of anyone else - and claims that the book saved her life.
"I took the vitamin C (probably more than recommended because I was so afraid) used reflexology, intense exercise and uterine massage and this morning my long awaited bleeding occurred. It was much more uncomfortable than usual, but I almost cried from relief. A natural miscarriage was much easier for me mentally, emotionally and physically."
9 She Used A Coat Hanger In The Bathtub
In September 2016, 31 year old Anna Yocca from Tennessee, climbed into her bathtub and desperately tried to end the pregnancy herself with a wire coat hanger. When the bleeding got out of control, her boyfriend drove her to a nearby hospital.
Instead of being treated with sympathy and understanding after being unable to obtain a safe abortion, the young woman was arrested for first-degree attempted murder following the delivery of her 24 week fetus.
In an interview with local police sergeant Kyle Evans, he said that Yocca 'wanted to kill the child' and that she 'made very incriminating statements ... regarding wanting to end the child’s life.' He went on to add: 'the whole time she was concerned for her health and her safety, and never gave any attention to the health and safety of the unborn child.'
8 My Miscarriage Was Down To Angelica
Lisa is another woman who turned to NaturalMiscarriage.org to terminate her pregnancy, and used a combination of things to miscarry. She found out she was pregnant on a Monday and the following day started taking 2000mg Vitamin C, 2000mg Cinnamon, and Papaya enzyme tablets.
She also started taking Angelica which was ordered from Wal-Mart. It was the Angelica which got the process going. It was a matter of days after her positive test that she started to bleed, experience cramping and deliver clots.
"That Friday morning I woke up with blood everywhere in the bed, and cramping. I took two final doses Friday, causing more cramping and clots. Two weeks later pregnancy test was negative. Believe the key ingredient is the Angelica. Other vitamins just cause my skin to look good."
7 The Fruit Did It
Aleks is a woman who pays attention to her cycle, recording it using an app. However some unfortunate circumstances led to a slip up and her period was late. Immediately she began worrying, and doing everything in her power to terminate the pregnancy.
"I started taking 1000mg of vitamin c and 1000 mg of cinnamon. Every couple hours during the day. I did also take 800mg of aspirin. I ate pineapples and drank pineapple juice. Following morning I ate a unripe papaya and continued with the vitamin regiment of 1000 mg vitamin c and cinnamon every hour or couple hours.
By the afternoon I felt my cramps (Little stronger than usual) and I began bleeding. At this early of a stage, yes I was beginning to make cells, but what this vitamin regiment does, is make it so the cells cannot attach to my uterus walls."
6 Exercised Until It Was Gone
I am trying to be careful when it comes to exercise. It was a shock to my system when I realised that many of the exercises I was used to being able to do, were now strict 'no no's' until the baby arrives next year.
A woman known only as Kebab was three weeks into her pregnancy when she realised that she wasn't ready to have kids. So she started performing exercises which are renowned for contributing towards miscarriage.
Kebab would lie on her back, hands on her head then raise her legs on different angles, holding on for a few seconds. She also did commando pushups and rope skipping with more than 300 jumps a day. She also drank far too much caffeine, which worked to prompt her miscarriage.
5 I Put It Up There
Fchay took a pregnancy test a few days after her missed period to find it was positive. 21 and living with her boyfriend, she knew it wasn't the right time for a baby. She thought about a med abortion, but couldn't afford the $400 procedure. So she started her own regime to terminate to pregnancy.
"I started a vitamin c & parsley regimen. I took a 500 mg pill every hour until I'd reached 6000mg so 12 pills a day. On the first day I also made my parsley tea and let it steep for 3 hours, and all the while I had a few sprigs of parsley in my vagina touching my cervix. (Like you would place a tampon) At first it was odd to have the stems sticking out of me but it was easy to adjust to." Her regime worked, and before long she was bleeding.
4 I Tried But Failed
Paula Robinson, mom to two young children, tried to terminate her third pregnancy in the first trimester when the 'perfect' man she was seeing bolted after the news came. But now the 40 year old sees her previously unwanted child as a 'little miracle.'
"I feel so guilty and ashamed that I tried to kill my own baby. But although I've been through a terrible experience it has been a totally humbling one, which I believe has made me a better person.
I used to think of an unwanted pregnancy as just a bundle of cells that you could get rid of without too much hassle. Now, I feel many women, just like me, do not think deeply enough about what they are doing. I just feel incredibly lucky that after everything I've done, my baby is still alive and I will not have to live with that regret."
3 I Was A Slave And Tried To Miscarry
It was 2014 when 15 year old Nihad Barakat Shamo Alawsi was kidnapped by ISIS from her home in Sinjar in northwest Iraq. They tortured, violated and impregnated the teenager with 'a small ISIS man.'
Despite her numerous attempts to induce a miscarriage, Nihad gave birth to a baby boy called Issa. She managed to escape three months after her son was born, when his father decided to marry her to his cousin, but she was forced to leave Issa behind. He will be 2 now.
Now freed from the brutal rule of ISIS 18 year old Nihad is seeking to relocate to Australia, and hopes to be granted a protection visa by the end of the year, before completing her studies to become a teacher. About her child she said: "He is part of me but he's something from those criminals and he represents those criminals."
2 I Got Pills Off Facebook
Victoria from Brazil was 16 when she fell pregnant. She didn't tell anyone. Her parents would have been furious and her boyfriend would have wanted to keep the child. In Brazil it's illegal to have an abortion, so Victoria turned to social media.
"I got Cytotec from a group of girls I met on Facebook and took it as instructed. I didn’t feel any effect at first and I thought it had not worked. At night, I woke up feeling wet, ran to the bathroom, and there was a lot of blood.
I took a shower, but the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I got a sanitary pad and called my mother, running to the hospital without notifying my father or boyfriend. I still don’t feel clean, even now. It was an enormous trauma that stills haunts my nightmares."
1 Party It Out
When Anonymous was fresh out of high school she fell pregnant and turned to her friends for advice. Their response was to 'party it out.' The then 18 year old took a week off work and drank all day every day.
She said: "Aside from how badly I damaged my body, it worked. I got my 'period' Christmas day. Thinking it was a normal period, I was happy. Two days later, I had the most painful miscarriage. I was devastated, and the fact that I had destroyed my body tore me up.
I thought it was all over, but on New Year's Day I had to be rushed to the hospital, because I had woken up in a pool of blood so large, it had soaked through the mattress, and I was rushed into surgery. I am alive today thanks to that."
Sources: DailyMail.co.uk, BuzzFeed.com, NaturalMiscarriage.org, The Gurdian.co.uk, Reddit.com, BabyCenter.com
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