A photo of protesters waving abortion rights flags in Argentina.
A photo of protesters waving abortion rights flags in Argentina. | Rafael Idrovo Espinoza, Unsplash

Abortion: the most arduous decision

After deciding to perform an abortion myself with pills, I ended up in a hospital, bleeding and at the edge of death.

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A photo of protesters waving abortion rights flags in Argentina.
First-person source
María García is a young Argentinean who two years ago decided to have an abortion.

I got pregnant just as I ended the most painful relationship of my life. 

I didn’t want to have it, but I didn’t have information or know where to go, so I decided to perform an abortion myself.

A WhatsApp group guided me through the entire process.

I ended up in a hospital, bleeding and at the edge of death.

The worst news of my life

I decided to have an abortion at home. 

I felt a complex range of emotions: fear, ignorance, despair, helplessness, anxiety, sadness, anguish. 

Compounding these feelings: I was alone, away from my family and friends: . 

It was a secret that I was always going to carry with me, and, it suffocated me to know that I had a person inside me as a result of a very toxic relationship. 

In the end, I didn’t want to have any connection with the person who made me suffer for so long.

Biggest disappointment

The abortion happened two years ago.

I met Juan, my ex-boyfriend, through the internet, and the beginning was dreamy. I fell in love with his kindness, his constant attention, and his companionship. 

As the months went by, all of that faded.

He started asking me for more money and he said he had financial difficulties. 

I was very disappointed and I became very depressed. 

I realized then that I was in a very toxic relationship. 

News gets worse

Two months after breaking up, I received the worst news: I was pregnant.

I was desperate and didn’t know what to do. 

I cried a lot. 

My family is very religious, and because of that, we did not discuss these issues.

“Why is this happening to me?”

I felt anguish, sadness, and anger against my ex-boyfriend, but I calmed down and tried to focus on the solution. 

Finally, I took the decision: I was going to abort the pregnancy. 

Looking for the answer

I knew what I wanted but not how to do it. 

Abortion is taboo here, and therefore, there is not much information.

The best option was to do it illegally in a clinic, but I did not have the funds to pay for it. 

I started to look for more information online, and I ended up buying some pills. 

After receiving them after ordering, I opened the box and it was empty. I’d been duped.

The weeks kept running, and I didn’t have much time left.

Abortion was becoming a dangerous option.

The thought of salvation

I kept searching the internet until I found a WhatsApp group that was my salvation. 

It was a space where I was listened to and respected. 

They didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them.

They guided me throughout the process through videos, texts, and audio. The group had already helped women perform around 300 abortions since its inception in 2017. 

Although they have no medical training, they study each case and indicate the dose and how long the process will take. 

RELATED: ‘Historic day for Argentine women’: Abortion legalized

Lonely and desperate

The day I received a package with pills sent by the group, the abortion was already underway. 

I felt so bad that I had to call Juan — my ex-boyfriend — who I never thought I would see again. I didn’t feel guilty because he was also responsible.

The moment had come, and I took the pills. I started to feel weird. I lost consciousness, and I fainted after losing a lot of blood. 

The next thing I remember was waking up in the corridor of a hospital. 

Juan was desperate. He feared for my life. 

That night was horrible. The bleeding did not stop, and my life was at risk.

I didn’t want my family to know about my situation. 

Taboo

Days after, I was fully recovered and able to get home, and I pretended that nothing happened.

The silence of the hospital brought loneliness and reflection.

During my time there, I decided to tell my mother what happened. She is the person I love the most in the world and the one I trust, but I knew she would condemn me for life. 

That’s why I didn’t say anything in the end. 

Some years ago, you couldn’t talk about abortion. It is more common than you think. 

Feminism brought it to the debate and, today, in Argentina, it is law. 

I’m sharing my story because of what we achieved as a society.

I hope that no more women have to go through what I went through.

According to official information from the Ministry of Health, https://www.argentina.gob.ar/salud, the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVE), Law 27,610, is law since January 24 throughout the Argentine national territory.

Following https://argentina.as.com, this law guarantees the right of every woman to decide and access the voluntary interruption of pregnancy until the 14th week, inclusive, of the gestational process and until the 15th if the pregnancy was the result of rape or if the woman’s life or health is in danger.

How does the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy work?

The person requests the right to IVE and the health system has 10 days to guarantee it. In addition, information about the procedure and aftercare should be provided to the applicant, health care throughout the process, and information and provision of available contraceptive methods.

What happens if the right to IVE is not respected?

In the event of any problem, refusal, or obstacle to access the IVE, the person can contact the free number 0800-222-3444 from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What does law 27,610 establish?

The Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy law establishes that women and people with other gender identities with the capacity to carry a child have the right to:

Decide on the interruption of pregnancy in accordance with the provisions of this law.

Require and access care for the interruption of pregnancy in the services of the health system, in accordance with the provisions of this law.

Require and receive postabortion care in the services of the health system, without prejudice to the fact that the decision to abort would have been contrary to the cases legally authorized in accordance with this law.

Prevent unintended pregnancies through access to information, comprehensive sex education, and effective contraceptive methods.

Until when can the pregnancy be terminated?

Up to 14 weeks of gestation. Outside the period established in the previous paragraph, the pregnant person has the right to decide and access the interruption of her pregnancy only in the following situations:

If the pregnancy is the result of a rape, with the request and the pertinent sworn statement of the pregnant person, before the intervening health personnel.
If the life or health of the pregnant person is in danger.

Journalist with more than three years in radio, graphic media, and producing independent documentaries.

Traveling is one of my passions along with the radio, writing, and reading.

I am passionate about interviewing characters of all kinds: political, social, musical, and cultural.

I am always trying to communicate looking for the other side of the news or the story, but always with the truth.