The clinic was shabby & dirty and with abortion-related deaths in the news, I was beginning to change my mind

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I was a few weeks away from turning 18 when I found out I was pregnant for the first time in my life. I was scared of my family finding out because I was already being emotionally abused.

I told a friend who told me she knew of pill we could buy from a pharmacy. We tried asking about it but couldn't muster the courage to do so in our conservative country Ghana. Eventually, I told another friend who prescribed some herbal concoction which was ineffective.


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Now desperate I contacted another friend who took me to see a doctor. Meanwhile, my boyfriend had flown to England.

We got to the hospital and I paid for the abortion with borrowed money from another friend. The abortion clinic was shabby and dirty and there were about 10 of us teens waiting.

My friend had told me it was very painful and as it gradually got to my turn my heart was pounding within. Coupled with the abortion-related deaths that were so frequent in the news, I was beginning to have a change of mind.

The only thought that made me go ahead was the horror of the treatment I would receive from my family, that goaded me on.

Soon I was on the gurney in the 'abortion' room, legs wide open with a nurse holding me down. I was given no sedating drugs or pain relief. I screamed as the fetus was torn out of my womb. Finally, after about 30 minutes which seemed like an eternity, I slowly climbed off the gurney into a dirty washroom to throw up and clean up.

Then my friend took me to her house.

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