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Thread: Abortions

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin flowerburgers's Avatar
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    Abortions

    Hey guys--I hope someone can help with this. I have a character who is getting an abortion in 1992, and I'm looking for details as to what that would be like, since I imagine there are some differences from today. She lives in San Francisco, so my guess is that an abortion would be somewhat accessible, but I could be wrong. Any information would be useful. I'll add that she's not the POV character...the narrator is her friend, who is taking her to the clinic.
    Last edited by flowerburgers; 12-01-2017 at 11:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Abortions were available legally by then. Had been for well over a decade.

    Do you need info on the procedure itself? I had a D & C (for other reasons) around that time.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Tazlima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Abortions were available legally by then. Had been for well over a decade.

    This.

    If anything, they were far more readily available across the country than they are now. Clinics have been closing at an alarming rate over the past decade or so.
    "One of the hardest things to do, I think, is learn to trust your own creativity." - Ambrosia

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerburgers View Post
    Hey guys--I hope someone can help with this. I have a character who is getting an abortion in 1992, and I'm looking for details as to what that would be like, since I imagine there are some differences from today. She lives in San Francisco, so my guess is that an abortion would be somewhat accessible, but I could be wrong. Any information would be useful. I'll add that she's not the POV character...the narrator is her friend, who is taking her to the clinic.
    Somewhat accessible? In California?

    It was completely accessible, but I think only surgical then?

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin flowerburgers's Avatar
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    Thanks! I don't think I need information on the procedure itself, because the narrator wouldn't be privy to it, but if you could tell me about your experiences going to the clinic, that would be very helpful. And would she go to Planned Parenthood? A general hospital?

  6. #6
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
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    Also, Operation Rescue was pretty active in the early 1990s, and there was a major Supreme Court decision about Roe v Wade in 1992.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin flowerburgers's Avatar
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    I hope my question about accessibility wasn't dumb...I knew that abortion was legal, but I wasn't sure how easy it was to get one.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Tazlima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerburgers View Post
    I hope my question about accessibility wasn't dumb...I knew that abortion was legal, but I wasn't sure how easy it was to get one.
    There are no dumb questions. You're doing research. That's never a bad thing.

    I just looked it up out of curiosity, and Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916. I knew it had been around at least since my mother was young, but I had no idea it was THAT old!
    Last edited by Tazlima; 12-01-2017 at 11:32 PM.
    "One of the hardest things to do, I think, is learn to trust your own creativity." - Ambrosia

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerburgers View Post
    Thanks! I don't think I need information on the procedure itself, because the narrator wouldn't be privy to it, but if you could tell me about your experiences going to the clinic, that would be very helpful. And would she go to Planned Parenthood? A general hospital?
    I don't think anyone goes to a hospital for an early abortion barring medical issues.

    She could go wherever she wanted? There are plenty of clinics in SF, I'd wager.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Abortion would have been accessible in the Bay area in the 90s and it is still available there now. It's mostly a swath of states in the South and surrounding states that are eliminating sources.

    The one thing that is difficult is getting a third trimester abortion but that doesn't sound like something your story includes.

    While Planned Parenthood does do abortions, there are many other places to get them in 'blue' states. Generally some OBGYN practices would do the procedure as an office (out patient) procedure. If the doctor thought the patient had some high risks like a complicated pregnancy or a pregnant woman with multiple medical problems, that doc might very well admit the patient to the hospital and do the procedure as an inpatient procedure in the surgery department.

    In case the question comes up, the abortion pill RU-486 wasn't available until ~2000 in the US.

  11. #11
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    But a morning-after pill WAS available by prescription in the early 1970s. I knew a couple of women in college who took it.

    My D & C was in a doctor's office. This doctor did not do abortions, despite having no morals scruples about them, because he was a guy who honored his word, and the Hippocratic Oath as administered in those days (but it might have changed by the time of your story, not sure when they removed the words) included an oath not to help a woman to end a pregnancy. Other doctors might well have thought differently. The procedure does not require hospitalization, nor general anesthesia, provided the woman is in good health and there are no complications.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW TellMeAStory's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone goes to a hospital for an early abortion barring medical issues.
    Sure they do. Depends on the hospital.

  13. #13
    figuring it all out
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    One other thing to consider with your character is the potentially complex emotional reaction post-abortion. There is something called "PASS" (post abortion stress syndrome) you may want to research. Physiologically, it can take months before hormones are completely back to normal, so there's a lot for the body to deal with. Grieving is important.

    Just to clarify, the morning-after pill is not an abortion, it's essentially a strong dose hormonal birth control that prevents implantation, and if implantation has already occurred, the morning after pill won't stop it. RU-486 forces contractions and shedding of the uterine lining, thereby removing what has been implanted. How both of those work in the body and the side effects are two very different things.

    Is your clinic in an area where they would have been protestors?

    I'd imagine the character's feelings about her decision would color the experience. Availability of abortions in the area would also affect it--are there so few clinics, she has to take a number and wait for ten hours before her appointment, or is the care streamlined and she's taken in right away?

    When I waited with someone at a clinic, the first thing that jumped out at me was how it was filled with women of all ages, from all walks of life. There wasn't a demographic. EVERYBODY was there. Some were with family, some were with friends, some were alone.

  14. #14
    Benefactor Member WeaselFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerburgers View Post
    I have a character who is getting an abortion in 1992, and I'm looking for details as to what that would be like, since I imagine there are some differences from today.
    Go to your local abortion clinic and ask. The biggest changes aren't in the clinics or the procedures, they're in the politics.

    Jeff

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeaselFire View Post
    Go to your local abortion clinic and ask. The biggest changes aren't in the clinics or the procedures, they're in the politics.

    Jeff
    Well,that's not really true, as most abortions 25 years ago were surgical and most now are medical, so the procedures have wholesale changed, and thus much of the clinic process as well.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW Dmbeucler's Avatar
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    I had an abortion in 2013. I had mine done at a hospital, because mine was due to a missed miscarriage (ie the embryo had already died) and under my OBGYN's care. For my procedure they knocked me out, but for my friends who have had the same procedures in a clinic, they didn't have a general anesthesia.

    After the procedure I felt immediately not pregnant. I had been having fairly intense morning sickness, but that and the hormonal sides to my emotions vanished. I ended up not being in pain afterwards, although I had intense pain during my next menstrual cycle. I've heard that may not be universal, and my abortion was done using a more modern surgical technique, so I am not sure if it would apply to 1992.

    Hopefully that helps. If you have other questions I don't mind answering them here or in PM.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW travelgal's Avatar
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    I've been doing research on abortion myself, except my character Cecile gets hers done in 1979 in Riverdale, New York City. She's sixteen and her parents don't know. The clinic is legal but is owned by a gang (Cecile doesn't know this, of course).

    Is this plausible? My main concern is how long she'd have to be in surgery (cos it was surgery in those days, right?), and how long she'd have to stay in the clinic. Most the info I've found pertained to today's procedures.

    She's two and a half months pregnant.
    Last edited by travelgal; 12-06-2017 at 11:46 AM.
    Fly on the Wall-105k YA Historical set in 1979-80-help!

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelgal View Post
    I've been doing research on abortion myself, except my character Cecile gets hers done in 1979 in Riverdale, New York City. She's sixteen and her parents don't know. The clinic is legal but is owned by a gang (Cecile doesn't know this, of course).

    Is this plausible? My main concern is how long she'd have to be in surgery (cos it was surgery in those days, right?), and how long she'd have to stay in the clinic. Most the info I've found pertained to today's procedures.
    Why is the clinic owned by a gang? A gang of what, actually? I mean gangs aren't exactly taking out business loans.

    She's probably stay in the clinic a few hours? Yes, they were surgical up until 2005 I think.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelgal View Post
    I've been doing research on abortion myself, except my character Cecile gets hers done in 1979 in Riverdale, New York City. She's sixteen and her parents don't know. The clinic is legal but is owned by a gang (Cecile doesn't know this, of course).

    Is this plausible? My main concern is how long she'd have to be in surgery (cos it was surgery in those days, right?), and how long she'd have to stay in the clinic. Most the info I've found pertained to today's procedures.

    She's two and a half months pregnant.
    Riverdale isn't exactly gang territory.

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW travelgal's Avatar
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    No it isn't, but they're on their way of going legit.

    Thanks for the info, Cornflake.
    Fly on the Wall-105k YA Historical set in 1979-80-help!

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