Larusa's story is collected especially for the SHHH project. All informants and stories in this project have been anonymised. All names are changed.
I got married at 19, my husband was 15 years older. We didn’t have kids at first. Then, after two years, I had a boy who died his first week. Later I gave birth to two healthy children, who were born two years apart. After that I had numerous pregnancies, my husband didn’t want any more kids, so I had to have around 20 abortions.
I already had two children, this helped me to make the decisions. Those were unwanted pregnancies, and in the beginning my husband insisted I should have abortions. Then it turned into a kind of habit. Every woman around me was doing exactly the same.
I learned about how to proceed from an obstetrician gynecologist during the first examination when I wanted to find out the reason why my periods were late. I usually went to the closest town to have an abortion.
I was young and I didn’t think of the consequences. We had so much work in the villages back then, so I never had time to rethink it. Now, I’m sorry it affected my health that much. I started experiencing health problems at 40, and later my disability became officially recognized. I’m also sorry about the fact that during the USSR period we didn’t know any other contraception methods. The abortion was the only method known to us and my husband hasn’t taken proper care of me.
I wish young women won’t ever face this kind of problems and have a variety of choices.