“ It was sweltering on the pavement the day I took myself in for an abortion. Two crowded buses to an outer-city suburb, on one a man was pressing his erect penis up against my back as we stood hanging onto cords.
The abortion clinic didn’t look clean but the stench of bleach was profound. The staff were practical and kind rather than sentimental, which I appreciated. Those who could afford to pay paid, those who couldn’t didn’t.
I waited with teenagers and their pimply, put-out boyfriends. Teenagers with their mothers who looked worried, firm, stressed. Older women with male partners. I waited with middle-aged women who had come alone, like me. I didn’t like being in a waiting room with boys and men, but there wasn’t a separate space, and I didn’t begrudge other females needing their own terms of support. Although some of the men were perving on…
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