Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Teenager's abortion story goes viral: “I did it myself, in my room”

abortion.JPG

A new story published on the Humans of New York blog unearths the bleak horror of illegal abortions, as faced by an 18-year-old woman living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The post, illustrated by the anonymous woman’s hands and feet as she sits alone in a park, has generated a huge amount of attention thanks to its frank and heartbreaking narrative.

Humans of New York publishes photographs, interviews, and stories collected on the streets of NYC, and is currently working on a new project based in the Argentinian capital.


Read more: Trump signs anti-abortion edit – in a room surrounded by men


Sharing her story with the photographer, the woman explains that she had very few options available to her when she fell pregnant as a teenager.

“I didn’t want to be a mother,” she says. “We weren’t in love. I had goals I wanted to accomplish.”

Desperate to take back control over her own body and future, the young woman decided that her only option was to terminate the pregnancy. But, with abortion illegal in Argentina (except in cases of rape or when a woman's health is in danger), she was forced to turn to an extreme and dangerous method of terminating the pregnancy herself.

“I made the hardest decision of my life,” she says, adding: “I researched it on the Internet. I did it myself. In my room.”

The young woman continues: “If things had gone wrong, I could have died.

“Seeing it come out of me was the worst moment of my life. And I couldn’t tell anyone. Not even my parents. So I carried the secret with me.

“I felt like this thing was always in my chest, but it was stuck there. All day I’d act normal. Then at night I’d go to my room and cry.”


Read more: Irish women live-tweet journey to the UK for an abortion


Her story has sparked an outcry, with hundreds of Instagram users insisting that its stories like these which prove abortion needs to be legalised.

“When you ban abortions, they don’t stop happening,” wrote one. “They just become dangerous.”

Another added: “I am personally pro-life, because I believe babies are gifts from God and my heasrt tells me their lives deserve a chance. [But] As a voter, I am pro-choice because I don’t want to live in a country governed by religion, and I wholeheartedly believe that making abortions illegal only ends safe abortions.”

Women protest abortion laws in Ireland, 2016

Women protest abortion laws in Ireland, 2016

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 21.6 million women experience unsafe abortions every year — with some 500,000 of these performed in Argentina alone.

These procedures are usually carried out in bleak and unsanitary conditions, which means that, each year, almost 80,000 Argentinian women are hospitalised due to post-procedure complications. Botched abortions are the leading cause of maternal death in the predominately Roman Catholic country – and, across the world, it is thought that at least 47,000 women die each year due to complications from unsafe abortions. 


Read more: 36 of the most badass moments from the Women’s March


Now abortion rights have now been thrown even further into jeopardy by President Donald Trump’s global gag order, which bans US-funded groups around the world from providing – or even talking to women about – safe abortions.

“Women's health and rights are now one of the first casualties of the Trump administration,” said Serra Sippel, president of the Centre for Health and Gender Equity in Washington.

“The global gag rule has been associated with an increase in unsafe abortions and we expect that Trump’s global gag rule will cost women their lives.”

Related

hillary clinton.JPG

Hillary Clinton bans male ejaculation – in a room surrounded by women

abortion-protest-ireland_edited-1.jpg

Woman arrested for buying daughter abortion pills fights prosecution

rexfeatures_7977463f.jpg

Donald Trump signs anti-abortion edict – in a room surrounded by men

Comments

More

Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017