Hania's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.
At the age of 17, I had a clandestine abortion in a private clinic. I made the decision to end the pregnancy with my partner, and his sister recommended the clinic.
Within a few days, I got a fever and I was in a lot of pain. I visited various clinics to seek help. However, doctors rejected me as a patient because of the risk they were exposed to if they treated me for a post-abortion infection. Abortion was, and still is, illegal in Costa Rica. I only survived because I eventually found a gynecologist who agreed to see me, gave me adequate antibiotic treatment and other medications and advised me to rest for a month.
At that time, the abortion was difficult physically and psychologically, but I never regretted the decision I made, because I was not ready to be a mother. I think it is particularly important that no one has to experience painful situations for choosing to terminate a pregnancy.
I managed to survive, but many women do not. States and churches must stop being complicit in the deaths of thousands of women who decide to abort for whatever reason.