Patricia's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.
Having an abortion was a dark experience. It was not traumatic to make the decision. I never hesitated. However, I had to cross a path full of taboos, silences, and illegality. I had the abortion performed in 1986, at a time when abortion was illegal in Buenos Aires and Argentina. It was not legalized until December 2020.
At the time I sought abortion care, it was important to me to have the support of my partner, the money and place to do it. I knew who to contact and where to go because a friend of mine had had an abortion there a year before.
My abortion experience can be summarized as “dark”. That moment was dark, the place where I did it was dark, the rooms were dark. I had to go alone, and my partner had to wait in a bar on the corner. At that time, I was lucky that I was able to access abortion services that were relatively safe, but I was always aware of the illegality of it. I cannot stop thinking about poor women, alone, without protection from the state, with the church and other religions saying abortion is a crime.
Before abortion was legalized in Argentina in 2020, the youngest generation was raising the flag of legal, safe, and free abortion. That fills me with hope. They are making society less hypocritical and treat this issue as a public health issue, so that women do not have to die or have to go through difficult experiences like the one I went through. However, looking at other women’s abortion stories and what they have experienced, I think that mine is not so terrible.