Clinic consultation

A Fake Abortion Clinic Tried To Sabotage My Termination

  • A Missouri woman had to cross state lines to access an abortion after Roe v. Wade.
  • She was targeted by pro-lifers posing as abortion clinic workers who tried to shame and pressure her.
  • Here is her story, told to Bethany Dawson.

This article is based on conversations with Anna Smith, who requested that her real name not be used, of Kansas City, Missouri, who needed an abortion in a state where the procedure has been illegal since the Supreme Court ruled. quashed Roe v. Wade in June. . She detailed the problems she faced trying to cross the state line to get an abortion.

Roe v. Wade is canceled broke my heart. In the red state of Missouri, we had a trip ban pending the Supreme Court judgment. The moment this happened, I knew that every woman in my condition would see her life changed.

But I didn’t realize when, and how personally, it would affect mine. I already have five children, three of whom are mine and two are my stepchildren. I love them with all my heart, but my partner and I had no plans to expand our family. One, we couldn’t afford it, and two, I had difficult pregnancies and couldn’t put my body through that anymore. I decided that from the moment I gave birth to my last child.

Three weeks after the Supreme Court ruled on the Dobbs case, which allowed states to pass their own abortion laws, I started to feel sick. But we were in a Heat wave, a pandemic, and I’m on birth control, so the chances of it being a pregnancy were low. Asking my partner to give me a pregnancy test was just a precaution to ease my racing spirit, and I assumed it would come back negative.

But the two lines came out very clearly. They also appeared on the second, third and fourth tests. I learned that I was six weeks pregnant.

A positive pregnancy test

A positive pregnancy test.

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Immediately I knew what I had to do: I had to have an abortion. There was no doubt. But because of the new abortion ban, I knew I had to cross state lines to Kansas City, Kansas.

Before these pregnancy tests, I thought I had cancer. It’s horrible to say, but I don’t know what would have been better. Honestly, there were times when I wish it was cancer because at least I could discuss it with my very pro-life family. I felt so isolated from them. They wouldn’t understand the situation I’m in. They still have no idea.

I realized that these people were not there to get me out of a dangerous situation. They put me in one.

The week leading up to my abortion was pure panic. I constantly insisted that the wrong person would find out and tell the police. With each state’s laws changing so quickly, I didn’t even know if I could be sued.

The only thing I could think of was that I had five kids and couldn’t go to jail.

Traveling out of state was not an easy option for us. Taking time off from work – me to have an abortion, my boyfriend to take care of the children – meant losing money when our incomes were already low.

However, we didn’t think finding a date would be so difficult. Or so dangerous.

We started calling all the clinics that showed up when you google “Kansas City Kansas abortion.” The first spot had no availability for weeks and I didn’t have much time to wait.

The second clinic also had no availability for weeks, and so did the third clinic I called.

Exhausted woman lying on desk feeling overwhelmed.

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Then I called a fourth, a clinic called A Better Choice. They said they had appointments available and would schedule me for a consultation. Great, I thought, because we all know there is a limited time to get an abortion, especially since I wanted a medical abortion, which is only available up to 11 weeks after your last period. . My time was running out.

I explained to the clinic worker that I wanted to have an abortion. I was expecting a suggestion of available dates, but instead they started talking about my other options, specifically focusing on adoption. I already knew it wasn’t good for me. When they persisted, I realized that these people weren’t there to get me out of a dangerous situation. They put me in one.

“You don’t have to do this,” said the voice on the other end of the line. My blood froze. She didn’t just make sure I “knew my options”.

“You don’t have to end this innocent life. You have other options. You can put them up for adoption,” the now ominous voice said.

I wasn’t considering adoption. As I said, my health was endangered by being pregnant. In my other pregnancies, I had experienced intrahepatic cholestasis, a painful liver condition that causes intense and unbearable itching. This condition was not only excruciating but terrifying, as babies whose mothers have PCI are more likely to be born prematurely Where stillborn.

I told this to the woman at the clinic, who was begging me to reconsider – as if it were her body – but she had no answers on how to fix the systemic issues with our system. adoption. She just told me about families who wanted a baby.

“You don’t have to do this” and “you’re making a mistake”, read the texts

It’s not my job to give birth, I thought. They acted like it was my duty just because I had a womb.

Obviously I wasn’t going anywhere, so I hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of relief. I was done with that.

But then my phone rang, making it clear that they weren’t done with the conversation.

Frightened woman runs away from hands coming from mobile phone.

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“You don’t have to do this” and “you’re making a mistake”, read the texts. “You can make an appointment with us now.”

I wasn’t just angry that these complete strangers had been given the nudge to tell others what to do with their bodies. I was terrified.

I wondered what would happen if these people gave my phone number to the police. Could I be arrested for having an abortion out of state? I couldn’t be taken away from my children – they need me.

Before the call, my mind was already racing, and that made the situation worse. I felt nauseous.

My phone rang again with the same messages. They also tried to call me.

I blocked the number.

It was already a scary time. I needed an abortion in a state that strongly believes that women have no choice but to do what they want with their bodies.

I had to have an abortion, knowing that if my parents ever found out, they would disown me.

I sat staring at my phone, waiting for the creepy stranger to crawl out and yell at me for not putting a baby up for adoption – or worse, waiting for the police to be called. But I didn’t have time to wait.

I took a deep breath and started dialing numbers again. Finally, I found a Planned Parenthood in Kansas City that would be able to pick me up.

Two friends drove me 40 minutes on a Saturday to the Planned Parenthood clinic, where I was given two abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. I took the first pill at the clinic, as is the norm.

A pill

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As we arrived at the clinic, I prepared to see pro-life protesters at the entrance, ready to shout in my face about my choice.

Instead, there was a small group of people holding signs that read “Fake clinic this way.” I was confused. When we looked closer to see what they were talking about, we saw that they were warning people about yet another fake clinic posing as an abortion clinic. All the buildings along the street looked identical and were built so close to each other that anyone could easily have taken the wrong direction or been wrongly persuaded by a sign. Thank goodness the protesters directed us to Planned Parenthood.

It’s funny, when I saw the sign of the fake clinic and saw the group of protesters defending my (diminished) right to abortion, I knew I was doing the right thing.

It broke my heart, knowing that seeking medical care was now a risk

There was very little to report on the visit to the clinic once inside. I took a pill. I was given a green piece of paper saying I had an abortion. I won’t show this to anyone in Missouri, in case it gets me in trouble.

Then I came home and the bleeding started.

It’s normal, and I know it. But then it let go. What if the abortion hadn’t worked? What if there was something wrong medically? My mind kept racing.

I was equally confused and worried when on Tuesday the bleeding started again and the cramps became so bad that I had to leave work.

I was terrified. I didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t in an abortion. I had never done it before, and the reason I was on birth control was because I didn’t want to have to.

I wanted to get checked out, but I didn’t dare go to the emergency room in Missouri. What if I was arrested? I felt sick of being treated like a criminal for choosing my body for the sake of my family.

I just didn’t want to take that risk, and it broke my heart, knowing that seeking medical attention was now a risk.

I ended up having to go to the hospital for a different issue a week later and whispered that I had an abortion. I grimaced and waited for the cold, harsh judgment of their words and braced myself for a criminal charge or a call to the police.

Nothing. They took my blood and continued to do their job with care and compassion. But fear still haunts me.

The government prevents us from doing anything now without fear. I am afraid that I will be refused my contraception; I’m afraid to seek treatment. I’m afraid of everything. They put great fear in everyone. It sounds like “The Handmaid’s Tale”. We’re just here to give birth, breastfeed, and then do it again and again and again until we die.