Yulia

From an urban area in Ukraine, 42-year-old Yulia tells her abortion story from 1997.

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    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

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

The surrounding's attitudes towards abortion made it harder to make the decision.

Yulia

I had sex for the first time as a 19-year-old junior student. The man was much older than me, and we spent a night together after several dates. He was on a business trip in our city, so our relationship ended quite soon after he left for his hometown. I realized I was pregnant about a month after we slept together. 

I decided to have an abortion so my parents wouldn’t know about it. I felt ashamed of having to go to an obstetrician gynecologist. The surrounding's attitudes towards abortion made it harder to make the decision. However, the support of my roommates was very important to me.


After I had the abortion, I felt relieved again, since I felt no fear and pressure anymore.

Yulia

The obstetrician gynecologist's clinic was located near my dorm. At the end of the examination, which confirmed a 6-week pregnancy, the doctor asked if I wanted to keep the baby. 

The facts that I was only 19, that the father of the unborn child had vanished, that I was so afraid of my parents finding out, and, last but not least, that my whole future was unclear, helped me to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I received the referral from the gynecologist, and later I went to the hospital to have the abortion. After I made the decision, I was relieved. But I was still scared of the unpleasant medical procedure that was ahead of me. I was really stressed, as I had never had surgery before. After I had the abortion, I felt relieved again, since I felt no fear and pressure anymore.

Six years after the procedure I met my husband and decided to have a child with him. Then I felt consequences of the abortion, as it took us many years to conceive. We were even thinking of artificial insemination, but finally I got pregnant naturally again.

Everything is OK now. But I understand that I wouldn't have had to feel shame, fear and pressure if I hadn’t faced that situation as a young student.