Hi, my name is Melissa. I am one of many patients at American
Women's Services. The decision to have an abortion is never an easy one. It is something
you will never forget, and should never be taken lightly.
I'm not telling you my story because I am proud of the decisions I have
made, although I do not regret them. I am telling you this so that if you have made your
decision and are researching it, or if you are not sure and need some information, we are
here to help and inform you.
This is how it happened:
It was the nausea that set it off. I just couldn't shake it, and it was
lasting too long for the flu. I had not gotten my period yet, but that was normal for me.
I never knew when it would show up, so I bought a test. The two lines started to show on
the stick and my heart fell into the pit of my stomach. How is this possible, I thought?
I'm a freak, I haven't missed one day on my pills. How is this possible again?
I started to cry remembering my last experience when I had the local
procedure. Could I do this again? The last procedure was one that had taken me years to
stop crying about. The whole process was so awful, and people there were so mean. I still
feel sick when I drive by the office. Was I going to hell? What do I do? Help me! Help
me just kept repeating itself over and over in my head. I couldn't have a baby. I couldn't
even pay my rent. How could I be a Mother?
So many reasons and so many fears led me to the phone book. I opened it
to the yellow pages. There it was in black lettering: Abortion. I called a few places, and
settled on one. It was not because of the price or location, but because the woman who
answered the phone was really nice. She answered all of my questions, and even offered
me some answers to things I hadn't even thought about.
The day of my appointment, I was so nervous and afraid. When I got there,
the staff was wonderful - especially the counselor who went over all the options I had and
why I was choosing this one. She didn't pressure me at all, and told me that if at any point
I changed my mind up until the time the procedure was happening, I could just leave. They
would refund me for everything I hadn't had done.
It was a long day; I was probably in the office for about five hours.
In that time, nobody looked at me like I was a bad person or made me feel afraid. Everyone
just kept saying that I was there because I had the choice. They were there to help me feel
safe and comfortable with the decision I had made, which is one of the hardest decisions
any women makes in her life when she is pregnant. Any decision can be life-altering.
I had my twilight procedure, though I don't actually remember anything past
when they gave me the injection of the medication, and although there are risks, everything
Afterward, I got to hang out in a comfortable room with recliners. They gave
me a Tylenol for after the twilight drugs wore off, antibiotics, and instructions on what
to do for the next two weeks until my follow-up. They also gave me an 800 number and said to
call if I had any questions or problems- that someone would be there 24 hours a day to help me.
At my follow up, I decided I wanted to go on the Depo shot since pills just
didn't seem to be working for me. (Contrary to what my other gynecologists told me.) Once
again, all the women at American Women's Services were extremely helpful. They took the time
to explain everything that was happening.
I just couldn't believe the difference between this experience and my
last one. They made me want to help give other women the same experience, so much so that
I asked them if they were hiring for any part-time positions, since I was still in school.
I have been working with them ever since - the past two and a half years.
I am not the only patient/employee at American Women's Services, and all of us are here because
of the kind of care we had when we were patients ourselves. We wouldn't be working here without it.
I like to think I am a product of the care that was given to me - the same care
I now try to pass along to others. I have worked in every office in this organization. I have
talked to hundreds of patients from all nationalities, backgrounds, and in many different
Not every encounter with these offices will be the same as mine, because
every woman is different and every situation is different. However, I can tell you that in
each and every office we have, there is a woman there that has gone through an abortion and
is now working with us in order to make your experience a better one.
Melissa worked with American Women's Services for several years and
her dedication and compassion contributed greatly to our organization. Her story continues
to inspire both patients and staff. We thank Melissa and know she will continue to touch
those around her and shine in all her future endeavors.
Legally required disclaimer: "i. This procedure may not
be suitable for every patient. All patients must be evaluated by a physician as to the appropriateness
of performing the procedure. ii. The above testimonial represents the individual's response and reaction
to the procedure; however, no medical procedure is risk-free. Associated potential risks and complications
should be discussed with the physician rendering this procedure."