Ivana

Ivana is 42 years old and comes from an urban place in Serbia. She tells about her two abortions; the first happened in 2001 and the second in 2009.

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    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

Ivana's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.

I think that the attitude towards abortion depends on the way the pregnancy has happened, whether it was planned or not.

Ivana

The first abortion was traumatic, but the best decision of my life. The second abortion occurred due to a fetal death. After the first one, I started taking the pill. I wouldn't have even started doing so, if the abortion hadn't happened.

I was 20 and not ready to be a parent. Mom and Dad played a big role there. We talked about the responsibilities that a child brings, about parenting. My partner at the time said that he would support me in whatever decision I made, the classic avoidance of responsibility.

I went to my doctor at the "Narodni Front" (Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic), where I used to go for check-ups, and he did the abortion. Since I am AB negative (blood type), I was worried whether everything would be fine with the procedure, the RhoGAM shot and whether all the measures would be taken, but I trusted my doctor.

The first time I went home the same day, and the second time I stayed to sleep in the hospital. It hit me hard both times, but in a different way. I think that the attitude towards abortion depends on the way the pregnancy has happened, whether it was planned or not.

It is important that the woman talks about it, that it is her decision and that she has the support of her environment.

Ivana

The second time, the fetus was strangely placed in the womb and I needed a curettage, so I was worried if I would be able to get pregnant again later. 

The second time was awful. The operating room was like a slaughterhouse. And the doctors wore those aprons like butchers. There were three tables in the room. I remember that one woman had started waking up during the procedure, because they probably didn't give her strong enough anesthesia, and she started coughing, choking. A nurse had told me to turn my head and not look at her (the woman). 

I was also horrified that they later placed women who had abortions, women who had cancer and those who had miscarriage in the same rooms. It was kind of morbid to me, above all. Such a dehumanized approach and overmedicalization.