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Laura is 31 years old and lives in Guatemala. She tells about her experience of a medical abortion.

  • Drawing illustrating a woman.
    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

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

I had just lost my job; I was about to receive notification of a scholarship to which I applied, and I had just started dating the boy I became pregnant with. My life was not prepared for having someone else in it at that time.


In the span of 36 hours I took 17 pills. One pill the day before, 24 or 48 hours prior to taking the larger doses. Afterwards, I took muscle relaxants, and four hours later, I finally put four pills under my tongue to dissolve them. 

Then I waited..., until I had to go to the bathroom. There I stayed, sitting on the toilet. I think I may have passed out at some point. Because of the pain. 

I remember that the bathroom window was open (because I like the windows to be open) and I was listening to the neighbour's daughters playing, turning on the garden hose, and enjoying a snack. A barbeque was going on. I remember that I could not stand up straight, because my body wanted to be in fetal position.

It was important to have a place on my own, a bathroom for myself, and chicken soup the next day.


For me it was important to prioritize myself in the decision. I realized that I was not ready to reproduce, so I decided to interrupt it. It was also important to be open about it, so when I shared it with those I had to share it with, I could do it firmly and transparently. In such announcements you do not ask for opinion nor consultation. You only notify people without expecting a response.

That year I had taken a university course in feminism. There, some women had shared stories of how they had accompanied other women to terminate their pregnancies. They were supporters of abortions. So, I wrote to one of them. She did not know where to go, but she made all the contacts with the one who gave us the pills.

I had a hard time talking about this with some friends. I think I was, and that I still am, afraid of stigma.


I did not want to have a child at that time. I thought I had to change my whole life for someone, and I did not want to. Now, I think I made the best decision, and I do not regret it. Still, it was kind of nice to see the changes that my body went through, my breasts grew, the ultrasound, that was beautiful ... but I do not regret having the abortion.