When I first heard that abortion pill reversal (APR) was controversial, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that states like Colorado are fighting to prevent mothers and fathers from learning about, much less using, something that could save their unborn children. I know better than anyone because APR saved my daughter’s life.
Just over a year ago, I was stuck in a toxic, abusive relationship with my boyfriend of five years whom I thought I was going to marry. Then I discovered I was pregnant.
My boyfriend pressured me to have an abortion, so in fear, I went to the local Planned Parenthood to learn about my options. I was almost eight weeks along, and I really wanted to keep my baby.
The entire experience at Planned Parenthood worsened my fears. The clinic staffers said chemical abortion was my best bet because of how far along I was. For those who don’t know, chemical abortion involves a two-drug regimen. The first drug, mifepristone, essentially starves the unborn baby of nutrients, and the second drug, misoprostol, helps expel the deceased unborn baby from the womb.
My anxiety was heightened when the clinic staffers told me that once I took the first pill, there was nothing in the world I could do to reverse the chemical abortion. Even though I had tears in my eyes, they didn’t bother to ask if I even wanted more time to consider the pill.
They monitored me as I took the pill, and then they sent me on my way. I spent that entire night crying without any support from my boyfriend. The Planned Parenthood staffers’ warning that there was nothing I could do to reverse my decision haunted me, yet deep down I had a glimmer of hope. What if they were wrong? What if the pill didn’t work right away and there were other resources out there for me?
I began researching my options and looking up places with family members that offered ultrasounds to see what, if anything, the first pill had done to my unborn daughter. I came across the Hope Clinic in Fallbrook, California, and saw some information on its website about abortion pill reversal (APR), which uses progesterone to reverse the effects of the first chemical abortion drug, mifepristone.
I knew I had a 24-hour window before it was too late, so I rushed to Hope Clinic the next day. The women at the clinic were so supportive and loving that I quickly felt at ease. When they gave me the ultrasound, I began sobbing. My baby was OK! My surprise quickly turned to excitement and joy, and mentally I began planning what was next. Now that I knew she was OK, I would do anything to preserve my precious baby’s life.
Afterward, the women at the center explained how APR worked and that it might save my baby. Although it wasn’t certain, I felt immediate peace and relief. I threw the other chemical pills in the trash and began the progesterone treatment.
The women at Hope Clinic were incredibly supportive throughout the next few months. I went back several times for ultrasounds to monitor my pregnancy and make sure my baby was developing healthily. They helped connect me to receive treatment at Kaiser, which is now my primary care hospital. They would have helped me with many other available resources, but unfortunately, I had to move out of state and get a restraining order for my abusive ex-boyfriend.
Even then, they continued to reach out and make sure everything was fine with me and my daughter. Today, we are still in touch and check in with each other often.
Nothing could mar the joy of welcoming my beautiful, healthy daughter, Amelia, into the world with no complications just a few months later. Today, Amelia is a chubby, adorable nine-month-old whose bubbly giggles and baby talk fill my home with love and peace. I love watching her grow and hit all her milestones. Just recently, she took her first steps! She is my whole world.
I thought my life was over when I first discovered I was pregnant with Amelia. Yet my pregnancy with her ultimately helped me make the necessary changes to turn my life around — such as cutting ties with my abusive ex, working toward finishing my education, becoming more selfless, and learning more about myself as I find joy in the daily life as a stay-at-home mom. It’s also blessed me with closer relationships with my mother and sister, who live nearby and help so often.
Looking back, I am so grateful for APR and the women who stepped up to help me save my baby’s life before it was too late. I learned firsthand how painful it is to let anxiety and fear push you into an unwanted abortion. I also know the excruciating pain of thinking it’s too late.
I wish more women and girls who find themselves in similar situations knew APR is an option. I know, thanks to the incredible love, resources, and support of women like those at Hope Clinic that no woman should feel forced into abortion, and that there is a second chance to give your baby — and yourself — a life.