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continued from US: Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly - NY Times 1/2
Regina, 28, blamed a faulty contraceptive Depo-Provera shot from an Army nurse in Iraq for her pregnancy. In Arkansas, she receives the injection in her hip, where it is most effective, but in Iraq she got it in the arm - she remembered by the soreness she felt slinging her rifle. "I was in Iraq 13 months," she said. "I guess I got a little happy when I got home."
She arrived at the clinic with a cut on her nose and bruises on her forehead and lip, which she sustained after telling her boyfriend she was pregnant. "He flipped out because he wasn't ready," she said. She had thought, upon learning of the pregnancy, that she "was about to get married," she said. She came in with two fellow sergeants, who wore their uniforms. Her boyfriend was in jail, she said.
"I've done this once and swore I wouldn't do it again," Regina said. "Every woman has second thoughts, especially because I'm Catholic." She went to confession and met with her priest, she added. "The priest didn't hound me. He said, 'People make mistakes.' "
In the operating room, a team of nurses gave her injections to relieve anxiety and pain. Dr. Edwards inserted a speculum and maneuvered a plastic suction device around her uterus. "Don't leave," she entreated Ms. Osborne. The procedure lasted about five minutes.
As she lay on the table, Regina wept and put an arm around Ms. Osborne, asking how things looked "in there."
"I'm not a baby, that's what's so sad," Regina said. "Thank you, ladies, for being here for me. I'm too old to make these mistakes."
She said the experience was emotional because she had expected more of the father.
She spoke to Dr. Edwards. "Thank you, sir," she said.
Ebony, 28, an operating room supervisor, rinsed the blood off the aborted tissues for Dr. Edwards to examine. Ebony, too, had a story. When she was 15, her aunt and grandmother had made her carry her pregnancy to term. Later, she had an abortion. As a Baptist, she still considered abortion a sin - but so are a lot of things we all do, she said. She squeezed Regina's hand.
"No problem, sweetie," Ebony said. "We've all been there."