Ulla

Ulla grew up in a town in Sweden. When she was 14 years old she got pregnant and then had an abortion. Her story is from 1964.

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    OTALT/Helene Karlsson

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

The nurse just told me that I had done this to myself, and that it was right that I suffered so I wouldn’t do it again.

Ulla

The year was 1964 and I was 14 years old. My mother and I had just moved to a new town after my mother’s divorce. As a trailing child with older parents I was overprotected and spoiled. For me, it was exciting to move from a quiet suburb to an apartment in the centre.

On Saturdays I would listen to the pop charts with a friend and then we would go to the café. There he was, Hasse. He was five years older. He gave me love and attention. I was a good looking girl: I backcombed my hair, sprayed it with sugar water, and I had lots of clothes.

Hasse and I experimented a lot. We had the apartment to ourselves when my mother was out. My mother met a new man and we were to move again. I suspected something was wrong since I had not gotten my period, but I didn’t say anything until after the move. My mother had not explained anything about birds and bees and protection. I had to take a pregnancy test and my suspicion was correct.

Everything went very quickly after that. My mother didn’t talk to me about the pregnancy. One day two police officers in civilian clothing came to our home to interview me. I had to answer lots of questions. My mum had never met Hasse, so I had to answer all the questions alone. It was a horrible experience. 

I wish my mother would have explained about sex and relationships, and that I would have had someone to talk to.

Ulla

A week later my mother said: - You have to get rid of the child and it’s to be done tomorrow! She drove me to the hospital and there I had an abortion. My body was revolting when the fetus was leaving it. The nurse just told me that I had done this to myself, and that it was right that I suffered so I wouldn’t do it again. Mother didn’t even visit me. I would have liked to tell Hasse, but that wasn’t possible. My mother just said that he would be convicted since I was so young.

Some time later my mother said we had received some financial compensation for the damage, but she said the money was not for me. I was not allowed to contact Hasse, he deserved his punishment. That autumn I hitchhiked back to where we used to live to try to find him. I didn’t, and I never saw him again. I felt I had been robbed of my life.

I wish my mother would have explained about sex and relationships, and that I would have had someone to talk to. I have tried to talk to my own children about protection, and encourage them to talk openly. I want them to understand that it’s something beautiful. You can’t treat a child that coldly.