Don’t Assume I’ve had an Abortion

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Credit: Pixabay

To be clear upfront, I am pro-choice. What other people want or need to do with their bodies should be entirely up to them. The only body I have a say in is my own. I have never been pregnant, had a miscarriage, or an abortion. From an emotional standpoint, I didn’t know how I’d handle it if I ever became pregnant. I knew I never wanted kids, and I didn’t want to be faced with the choice, so I made sure I had myself sterilized. Even then I’ve always taken additional precautions, just in case.

I don’t go around screaming to the heavens that I’m childfree by choice, however I have frequently been asked if I have children in casual conversation. It seems to be a popular thing to ask anyone who is perceived as female, regardless of how masculine we may try to present ourselves. When I inform them that I am childfree, some have followed-up by asking how many abortions I’ve had.

However, a few years ago I was at my doctor’s office for my annual exam. The medical assistant (MA) looked at me in all seriousness and asked me, “when did you have your abortion and were there any complications?” I’ll admit I was so stunned I didn’t know how to respond right away.

Once I regained my composure, I responded with, “none, I’ve never been pregnant.” (This information should have been in my file, which is why I was both shocked and confused by the question.)

The MA then gave me a disgusted look of disbelief. “It says right here you had a D&C done. Now when was that?”

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, D&C stands for Dilation and Curettage. It’s a procedure that scrapes away the endometrial lining within the uterus. Now, it’s true that it’s a procedure that is done following an abortion. However, it’s not the only reason that procedure is performed.

In my case, I was suffering from a lot of pain and other issues with my reproductive system. My gynecologist suggested I have a D&C followed by an ablation, which cauterizes the interior of the uterus. This can help reduce a lot of issues, although it comes with various risks. It’s not recommended for anyone who still plans on bearing children. Unfortunately, the ablation my doctor planned for me failed because my uterus has an odd shape and their tools wouldn’t fit, in order to do it properly.

So, in my medical records it only shows I’ve had a D&C, which the MA assumed meant I’d also had an abortion. Initially, she didn’t believe me when I explained to her why I’d had the procedure done. She gave me some of the most disgusted, judgmental looks I’ve ever had from someone who worked as a medical professional.

Recently, I’ve had another D&C, this time for diagnostic purposes. It was necessary if I wanted approval from my insurance to get the hysterectomy I’ve wanted for decades. I am hoping the next time someone sees I’ve now had two D&Cs in my medical charts, they won’t jump to the conclusion I’ve had yet another abortion. It’s bad enough that some people make that assumption simply because I’ve never had kids, but to get that from a medical professional is highly unprofessional, in my opinion.

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