What I'm Really Thinking - The Girl in the Abortion Clinic
"In my experience, the undecided tend to carry on with their pregnancies. The vast majority of terminations are done for those who know it's a 'no', you know? They know they don't want a baby." The counsellor pauses. "You should do a pros and cons list – score each thing and add the columns up."
I'm sent back to the waiting room confused. The girl next to me is making a fuss about the finger prick she's just had to check her blood type. Her mum is sympathetically inspecting her hand. They know it's a no. The girl behind is texting someone ferociously while rummaging in her bag. She knows it's a no. If this were five years ago, I'd know it was a no, too. I could easily have come here and gone through with this. The procedure, I've learned, is surprisingly quick, the place is nice enough, the staff nonjudgmental. There's a comforting lack of "It's already got fingernails" pro-lifers outside.
But now I don't have big enough nos to know. I'm mature enough, I think. I'm in a stable relationship. I've got a good job. But I'm young. I don't feel ready and I'm scared.
I get called in for my finger prick. I'm given a document to sign to go ahead with the termination. I ask if I can have another think. "Of course, sweetheart. Don't sign until you're sure. Do you want to book in another counselling session? You could bring your pros and cons list in?"
I leave and don't go back.