I had an abortion. Here’s why.

5 months ago by Marquis A Matson ∙ 8 min read

Last night, I had a beautiful experience that I wanted to pause and paint the image of. I didn’t want to forget a single moment, a single detail that could have made the night what it was.

As I was cooking dinner, I listened to B on the phone with his very good friend who is also one of my favorite people to be around. ([name redacted], this could be about you but you don’t pick up the phone! 😘)

They were looking at blocks of land in Australia, imagining all the different ways they could use them for their own. When they hung up, B filled me in: we’re going to go into property together and we’re going to build our tiny homes, our gardens, our workspaces, and everything else we’ve dreamed up together.

I was so excited that I felt like my heart might burst.

The idea of settling into land the exact way I’ve always dreamt of has always seemed so far-fetched. I remember after my divorce in Miami, I met with some realtors because suddenly I had all of this cash and nobody to spend it with. I looked at farm properties outside of Miami and wondered if I could find my slice of dream life there.

Then I imagined being the one responsible for it all after a long day working at the university. I imagined being tied to a mortgage that is tied to a city that I didn’t really want to be in.

So I took my cash, quit my job, left the country, and went on a hunt to earn a living that allowed me to have that. But on my terms.

A job with flexibility and freedom. A job that earned more than I could ever earn as either a licensed therapist (my education) or a professor or a counselor (my jobs).

And after the last couple of years, I’ve had that kinda work. Instead of looking at property, though, I looked at how my life looked and if I wanted that life on property.

The answer was still no. I was a minion to my clients, jumping through invisible hoops just to earn my “good” money.

So I took my good money and built a few websites. I hired a team and put everything into these websites, trusting that in a few years they’d replace my income completely.

I’m still on the path I set myself on in 2015, but this 🤏 close to reaching the goal of it all: time, space, and freedom to live on a piece of land where I can listen to birds sing and watch plants dance in the breeze.

So when B and I figured out, after moving to Mexico, that we actually make enough money together to put a hefty down payment on property like we both have been dreaming about for nearly a decade (at first on our own, then together), we started making moves to get there.

And then his buddy rings up and says he’s doing the same thing.

When I was 24, I was bamboozled into a life that I didn’t want but I wasn’t old enough to realize that… or to even know what I wanted exactly.

Ten years later and things are becoming clear in my mind.

These ten years have taught me my own strength and persistence, as well as how and when to soften. They’ve taught me boundaries and they’ve taught me how to grieve. They’ve taught me how to be happy and how to sit with sadness.

And now, after all of this time, I’m actually going to be able to waltz up to my dream life like it was a possibility all along. It really just makes my heart melt.

A lot of this is owed to time. Time is the greatest healer and the wisest teacher.

A lot of this is also owed to the abortion I had somewhere along that path.

At the time of the abortion, I was living in a country where it was illegal to have an abortion. Nevertheless, the moment I found out that I was pregnant was the moment I took action.

I asked my friends if they knew how I could terminate the pregnancy and one friend told me that she went to the markets to get some pills. I asked her where and what kind of pills, but as with many things in Latin America, there isn’t exactly a clear sign on the wall that tells you where you are or who you’re speaking with. The man at the market could be there still, or he could be four blocks down the road selling something else.

So I looked into getting those pills elsewhere.

The pills? They were medication for ulcers. When you take too many at a time, it can force your uterine lining to shed and, consequently, terminate an early pregnancy.

Well, the government and pharmacists knew about this and being in a very Catholic country, we had to find pharmacists who were willing to sell us these pills.

In order to deal with their moral guilt, no pharmacist would sell us more than 2 pills at a time. You need 8 for the abortion to work.

So we drove around for an entire day, from pharmacy to pharmacy, asking pharmacists to give us just 2 pills of ulcer medication without a prescription. The majority said no (and a few other things) but we eventually collected all 8.

I didn’t want to ingest them because, well, I didn’t actually have an ulcer and didn’t want to hurt my stomach. So I inserted them vaginally and then waited.

For the next week, I bled out. It wasn’t too painful. It was slow and it was uneventful. I wanted to mourn but didn’t feel like I lost anything. I wanted to be cuddled but didn’t have a partner that could provide that.

So I laid in bed by myself and bled until it was over.

For the longest time, I didn’t tell anyone.

Though I was in a committed relationship, the pregnancy was forced on me. It was a toxic relationship where my body was used as a tool to establish dominance. And in that moment that I became pregnant, I hadn’t invited any of it.

I was also too poor to afford a child. At the time, I was living on local wages ($600 a month) where rent ($300) and other bills left me with barely enough money to get to the job that paid my rent. I ate one meal a day during that time and that was the free meal offered at my job.

There was no question in my mind that I could not reasonably care for a child. I also just didn’t want one.

I don’t really feel bad about doing it, the decision has always been clear to me. I had goals for myself, not only to have a farm with land but to also have a happy heart that was worthy of raising children.

In the ten years that I worked my way toward owning land, I’ve also worked to come in touch with the woman within me.

At the time of the abortion, I was terrified to become a parent. I wasn’t even strong enough to be in a healthy relationship, let alone to be a parent. I had so much unresolved shit that I couldn’t imagine raising a child.

I was raised by parents who were so young that they were still raising themselves; I know what that’s like. And I know what it’s like to be an adult that has to teach herself the lessons her parents never learned.

Being a parent is a big ask and, of course, I am humbled by the effort and commitment that my parents put into it. But I saw first hand what that was like and it scared the shit out of me.

So I wanted to take my time to find stability within my business and within myself before subjecting another human to my unexplored self.

And last night, I realized that is where I’m at. I’m not fully explored but god damn it is a lot more exciting to think about children now than it was in my late 20s.

Yesterday is also when we all learned about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

I’m not even sure what to say about this decision, there’s a lot to unpack there. All I know is that I’m glad I had an abortion. It was scary to be in a place where it wasn’t allowed and I know at least a dozen women personally who have had an abortion under the same circumstances.

And that’s only the women who have chosen to talk about it with meit’s not exactly a topic that comes up casually very often.

I don’t want to get into a discussion about why this Supreme Court decision is bonkers. I just want to share my story so that the people out there who support this decision can realize that this woman in their lives is one of the many women who has happily had an abortion.

Lots of us have.

I want more of us to have this conversation because many of us don’t. We’re too scared to. We’re too afraid to admit that we did something “bad” in a country that has a moral barometer that reaches the depths of a muddy puddle.

Now, more than ever, we need parents who have had a chance to heal themselves so that they can raise thoughtful, considerate, and compassionate children.

If you or anyone you know would like to have an abortion, or needs one for reasons that you don’t owe anybody an explanation, here are some resources available to you:

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