To abort or carry the baby?

What you need to know:

Along with the innocent babies, 110,000 women die while procuring abortions or from related complications. One woman narrated her painful ordeal to Fosca Tumushabe

It was end of my first year at campus and I had found out I was pregnant, said Sophie (not real names). There was no way I could let everyone know I had conceived. I had to explain myself which I was not ready for. My only option was to abort but the question was how to do it. At first, I went to a café to surf about the different ways it could be done; and one was either to use drugs or have surgery. Because I thought using drugs could be cheaper, I tried to get the necessary drugs. However, one could die from this so I had to be very careful and brave at the same time. Unlike other girls, I was lucky my boyfriend could afford to pay for the whole process.

I was able to get methotrexate and misoprostol and I thought I could do it on my own. But I got scared and thought I should check into a clinic first. I quickly dashed to one clinic in town and while in the doctor’s room, I was straight to the point. My pregnancy was now five weeks and I was told it would require Shs200, 000 to abort.

While at the clinic, I called my boyfriend who was then at the airport, scheduled to leave the country in an hour’s time. There was totally nothing he could do for me. I got nervous and confused because I couldn’t raise the money. I breathed in and out fast but calmed myself as no one was supposed to tell I had problem. That night I drunk the whole 50mg of methotrexate before going to bed for I thought I could use the medicine I had. Days later, I didn’t have the courage to take misoprostol to have a complete dose as the doctor had earlier warned me of over bleeding and terrible pain. There was no one I could confide in so I swallowed the bitter pill.

To my relief, a week later, my boyfriend sent me money to have a successful abortion. I quickly made an appointment with the doctor. There I was, thinking it would not be painful, I expected the doctor to hypnotise me but he didn’t. While in the theatre lying on the hospital bed like I was going to give birth, the doctor inserted some nut like instrument into my privates. Feeling every bit of what he was doing with tears stream out of my eyes I thought of what I could do if the operation was not successful. What if I died or got very sick and failed to get myself home? I snapped out of my thoughts but in terrible pain. I recall the doctor seemed to be drilling a hole into a piece of wood. He kept telling me the operation was going to take about five minutes when I first visited. But no, it was hours. To make matters worse, he kept mocking me, telling me to relax and feel good as he also asked the whereabouts of my boyfriend. Finally, he gets done but even removing the nut-like instrument it put me through more pain.

Unconsciously, I got off the bed, crawled to the bathroom to empty my stomach and then took a 20 minutes nap. On gaining my consciousness, the pain simply intensified and I passed out again for like one and half hours. Bedridden for two days while taking antibiotics in the clinic, doctor and I agreed to tell my aunt that I had painful menstruation periods. On leaving the clinic, I was glad I had survived the whole process and the truth was just with me and the doctor.

But this act has kept haunting me for life, and as I tell this story it’s one thing I would not wish another person to go through. The pain I endured was enough to kill ten horses.

Tips on self-help after abortion

Getting through the trauma of an abortion is no self help project you need to involve another person preferably a counselor.
Denial doesn’t help, it is important to accept what has happened and look to move forward.
Speak to a person who does not make you feel guilty since it’s already done.
You need to face the people involved if you were pushed or forced to do it and let them know what it did to you.
You need to stop condemning yourself and look at not going down the same road again.
Grieving is okay, just make sure you pick the pieces and resume living.
Dwelling on what could have been will destroy you. Acknowledge what happened and focus on the future.
Make sure you do not go through the same again.
Do not carry resentment and anger towards anyone however much you think they are to blame.

­­‑Resty Ingabire
counsellor with Pro Life Movement

Seek help and support at:

Pro Life Movement/ Family Apostolate
Kampala Archdiocese Youth Centre
Nsambya, Kampala.

Human Life International-
US based organisation
Tororo, Uganda
Crisis Pregnancy Centre
Mengo, Masaka and Kisubi on Entebbe Road.

Bishop Dunstan Nsubuga
Memorial Community Care
Nakulabye, Kampala.

Mirembe House Pregnancy Care Centre
Old Kampala

Seecm Couselling Services
Kisingiri Road, Kampala

Step Family Association off Uganda
Butikiro Road, Mengo, Kampala