I had an abortion in Oakland on the advice of my Planned Parenthood doctor

I had an abortion in Oakland on the advice of my Planned Parenthood doctor.  A few months before that, I had moved to the Bay Area from Spain to attend college. My parents were very strict when I was a teenager. They wouldn’t let me go to any of the parties or dances my brothers were allowed to attend.  They said I had to be an example for my younger sister. It felt very unfair that my brothers could do everything they wanted to do. I didn’t want to be a role model. I wanted to have fun with my friends.  I decided I would go to college as far away from my family as possible so I studied very hard. I only applied to schools in America. I earned a scholarship and my parents could not argue with that.

Sometimes I felt a little lonely and homesick but I had been enjoying the freedom of being on my own for the first time.  I joined as many clubs as possible and went to every party I heard about. I went through a phase of partying and drinking a lot. Somehow, I managed to keep my grades up. Then, close to the end of my freshman year of college, I started feeling ill and decided to see a doctor at Planned Parenthood because it was close to campus.

I had been drinking so much, I figured it was a sickness from the drinking. And besides, I kept getting my period so I didn’t even think I could be pregnant. I was so shocked to be told I was pregnant! And then, it got worse. The doctor did an ultrasound and said that the fetus had an irregular heartbeat.  He told me that he didn’t think the baby would have a normal life so he recommended termination. I didn’t understand what he meant by termination. After he explained it to me, I decided to pay to have an abortion in Oakland.

I was very conflicted because abortion is not what I ever thought I could do.  To be honest, a part of me was a little relieved. I didn’t want to go home to Spain for the summer with a big, pregnant belly. I could just hear my parents say: “I told you so! This is why we kept you home. You are so irresponsible. Look at the bad example you have set for your sister.” It was a very hard summer for me. I felt so sad and guilty for what I did and more guilty for feeling relieved. I was so depressed all summer that I just stayed in my room and slept. I almost didn’t go back to America but I still had my scholarship. Focusing on my studies proved to be a great distraction.

Now, I am in my late 20’s and finished with grad school. I enjoy working at an art gallery in the Bay Area and dancing with my salsa group. I am pregnant again and I want to handle my decision-making for the pregnancy differently. I went to Support Circle because they offered free ultrasounds and were close to the gallery. I felt more empowered when the nurse asked if I wanted to see the ultrasound screen.  This time, I was able to process the information my Support Circle advocate shared and take time to make my own decision. My advocate was kind and supportive when I talked about the abortion I had in college. She made me feel better about myself.  I wish I had found Support Circle during my first pregnancy, before I decided to get an abortion in Oakland.


I went to Support Circle for an ultrasound before getting an abortion near me

Recently, I knew I was pregnant and decided to get an abortion near me. I needed an ultrasound to date my pregnancy because I wasn’t sure how far along I was and I wanted to know exactly what my abortion options were. A flier near campus said Support Circle does ultrasounds at no cost so I went there.

The nurse asked if I wanted to see the ultrasound screen. I told her I did not. She was great about it and didn’t pressure me at all. I started to tear up and had to wipe away my tears. The nurse was so kind and supportive of me. She was also very informative about my pregnancy and abortion options.  I was confident in my decision but I just couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my face. I was embarrassed and confused as to why I was reacting like that.

When I met with the advocate, Irene, the tears just kept falling as I shared that I had an abortion my senior year in high school. Irene was so accepting and supportive of me without even saying very much. She didn’t have to – I just kept talking and talking. I told her that I had not spoken to a counselor or even cried like this over the first abortion. Until that moment, I didn’t realize that I could or even should get counseling or grieve my first abortion. It was an end or a loss so it makes sense that I should grieve it.  In all this time, I had avoided my feelings surrounding that abortion. It felt good to talk and to get it all out.

Then I talked about why I wanted to get an abortion near me this time. My boyfriend, Morgan, and I have been together for a few years but I just wasn’t ready to have a baby. Morgan knows I am pregnant and said he would be supportive of me and whatever decision I made. There’s been so much going on and I just can’t have a baby now. Irene was supportive and encouraging. I appreciated that she respected my decision. Irene told me she is available for crying sessions. I laughed and thanked her. She really was wonderful. When I left Support Circle, I told Irene that I wish there were more people in the world like her and the nurse and asked if I could have a hug.

I am thankful to Support Circle for giving me an ultrasound to date my pregnancy and explained my options before I got an abortion near me. They gave me the time I needed to feel heard, were supportive of me and respected my decision.

I found Support Circle in a Search for Abortion Clinics Near Me while on a trip

 I live in China and every year, my parents sent me and my siblings to spend time with our family in San Francisco.  I continued this tradition with my sons. I took a pregnancy test the day after we arrived and immediately began searching for abortion clinics near me.

My husband is not the man I thought he was when I married him. He said he was supportive of me working and pursuing my PhD. But then, when our oldest son was born, he forbade me from working and became physically abusive. I had tried to leave once and that did not end well.  Traveling to America with my three boys every year had been our only break from him. I absolutely did not want to bring another child into this world with him as the father.

I found Support Circle Clinics while searching for abortion clinics near me. Since I did not know how far into the pregnancy I was, I decided to go to Support Circle for their free ultrasounds. I was further along than I realized. The nurse explained that I would not be able to have a medical abortion, as I had hoped, and she explained my abortion options in California.  Before I left, I talked to the advocate and explained my situation. She shared community resources that were available to me as a non-resident.

My cousin works at a large tech company in the Bay Area. While I was still in China, she had told me of a position that was perfect for me and arranged for an interview.  A few days after the interview, I was offered the job.  This meant that I could legally stay in America with my sons. The new job, supportive Bay Area family members and the resources I learned of from Support Circle gave me the confidence I needed to finally leave my husband.

I am glad Support Circle came up during my search for abortion clinics near me. The ultrasound, abortion information and community resources I received from Support Circle helped me to make decisions for my life that I am proud of.

I feared disapproval of my decision to go to an abortion clinic in San Francisco

When I found out I was pregnant, I decided to find an abortion in clinic in San Francisco.  I don’t live in San Francisco. I don’t even live in California. The town I live in is very small and abortions are hard to get. Even if I could have gotten an abortion in my hometown, I don’t think I would have because I feel like everyone would find out.

There’s not a whole lot to do where I live and my college doesn’t have a football team so my friends and I all go to the football games at the big college nearby. During my freshman year, we were invited to a party after a game. I met one of the football players at the party and we talked for a couple of hours. We kept in touch between games. He invited me to sit with his parents after we officially started dating. It was great that first year until I told him I was pregnant. He was so mad at me and blamed me for getting pregnant on purpose. He said that if I had the baby, I would ruin his life and his career because he was on a scholarship. He even told me he didn’t think it was his and broke up with me.  Then I got a call from his mom. Mrs. Taylor had always been really nice to me but not this time. Let’s just say that I knew I had to get an abortion.

I was too scared to tell my friends or my family that I was pregnant. There was no way I could tell them I had decided to find an abortion clinic in San Francisco. They are really judgmental and I know they would have disapproved. I didn’t have a choice. I had to do this so I couldn’t listen to their negativity.  My ex-boyfriend’s mom paid for me to go to California for the abortion.

The day I arrived in San Francisco I went for a walk. That’s when I saw a sign for Support Circle Clinics. The sign said: “Not okay to be pregnant?” Well, that was how I felt so I went in to their clinic. I had just done a home pregnancy test but I had not had an ultrasound. The nurse did the ultrasound and explained what I could expect after I took the abortion pill. I had kind of done some research on the abortion pill before, but I had a better understanding after talking to the nurse.

There was a patient advocate and she was really helpful. She let me talk. I had so much pent up because I couldn’t talk to the people I knew about being pregnant. It felt so good to finally talk about how I was feeling without the fear of being judged. I told her the truth. That I really wanted to run away and have my baby but I didn’t know the first thing about finding housing or even how I would afford it. All I had was the money Mrs. Taylor gave me for the abortion and a little more that I had saved from babysitting. The advocate shared local community resources with me and was supportive of whatever I decided to do.

I’m so glad I found Support Circle the day I arrived to go to an abortion clinic in San Francisco. I was able to get an ultrasound at no cost. Most of all, I received nonjudgmental support and was given the space to talk as I processed my thoughts and options for the first time since finding out I was pregnant.



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My search for the abortion pill near me began as soon as I suspected I was pregnant

I began searching for the abortion pill near me as soon as I suspected I was pregnant. I had just started an internship at a major tech company in the Bay Area. The nine-month internship would be pivotal to getting a good job afterward. It was a horrible time for me to get pregnant.

Before I could get the abortion pill near me, from everything I read, it looked like I would need a pregnancy verification.  Support Circle offered free pregnancy verifications without needing medical insurance so I went there. I didn’t want to risk anything about pregnancy or abortion showing up on insurance since my insurance is through my dad.

The nurse at Support Circle first did a pregnancy test and then, because of the date of my last period, she did an ultrasound. I asked her several questions about the abortion pill. She explained how it works and what to expect at home if I took it alone. She explained it in a way I found easy to understand. I thanked her for the pregnancy verification and medical information.

I’m thankful to the nurse at Support Circle for giving me a free pregnancy verification and the medical information I asked for. After I did further research on abortion options, I decided not to go through with it.

More info on the Abortion Pill


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Before going to Planned Parenthood, I went to Support Circle

I have gone to Planned Parenthood since I was 17 years old and planned to go there for an abortion. But my college roommate suggested I go to Support Circle for a free pregnancy verification.

My boyfriend and I had met at a frat party in freshman year. We took our time getting to know each other and by our junior year, we were in a committed relationship. Early into our senior year, Matt broke up with me. I was devasted and lost. I started partying more to get through the stress of senior year and our breakup. I had rebound sex with guys I didn’t even know. It seemed manageable until my period didn’t show up.

Cassie, my roommate, bought me a home pregnancy test. Just as we feared, it was positive. I was devastated. It felt like I had made a bad situation worse.  I was pregnant and didn’t know who the father was! I had to have an abortion. Cassie told me she had an abortion in high school.  She said I would need a pregnancy verification before getting an abortion at Planned Parenthood. I scheduled the appointment but it would be two weeks before I could get in. Cassie said I should go to Support Circle first for the pregnancy verification because they do them for free and take walk-ins.

When the Support Circle nurse did the ultrasound, she dated my pregnancy further along than I had thought I was. Based on the pregnancy dating, it was my ex-boyfriend’s baby. I was more confused and unsure than ever. It felt like a no brainer to have an abortion when I didn’t know who the father was. But to not have Matt’s baby, even though we had broken up, just didn’t sit right with me. I am glad the patient advocate was there to talk to. She listened and helped me to process my thoughts and emotions. She was supportive as I came up with a new game plan and even gave me suggestions on how to facilitate the conversation with Matt.

Matt and I had a long conversation and we are taking a little time to decide what to do next. I’m glad I went to Support Circle first, before going to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. I really felt heard and supported at Support Circle.

Find a Support Circle medical clinic near you.


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I felt desperate to find an abortion clinic in Oakland

“When I realized I was pregnant, I was desperate to find an abortion clinic in Oakland. I felt trapped and that the only way out was to have an abortion as soon as possible.” This is what one of our recent patients said, whose real name and identity have been changed for her protection.

Oftentimes, women who are considering abortion are facing very difficult challenges. This is what our nurses and patient advocates are trained to do. Our professional staff come alongside women to help them process through these difficult challenges. Here are some of the life challenges that this young woman was facing when she came to Support Circle.

“My husband and I had been married for three years and had two-year-old twin daughters. The first pregnancy had been planned but the twins part was a shock. And, our younger daughter, Megan, having special needs, discovered shortly after the twins delivery was the hardest shock to adjust to. Megan requires a lot of time, energy and financial resources. Each week, she has multiple therapies in addition to dealing with her feeding tube and any appointments with specialists. It’s a lot to deal with. I feel like, next to Megan, I am the one most affected. But my husband couldn’t handle it and moved out of our family home shortly after we threw a first birthday party for our daughters.

At first, Keith refused to go to marriage counseling or family therapy. It seemed like our marriage was not going to survive. I started dating again. Then, to my surprise, Keith agreed to counseling and then moved back home. A few weeks later, I realized I was pregnant. I went to Support Circle to confirm the pregnancy and to find out how far along I was.

It was easy to get an appointment at Support Circle that fit my crazy schedule. I was a little anxious about having the ultrasound but the nurse was very professional and I felt relaxed. That is, until she told me how far along I was. It meant that Keith could not possibly be the father. I panicked. I told her I desperately wanted to save my marriage and I had to find an abortion clinic in Oakland immediately. The nurse explained my pregnancy options and the abortion process to me.

After the nurse, I met with a patient advocate at Support Circle who was able to help me calm down. She listened and didn’t judge me.  I was able to talk through my situation and felt like I had a better handle on things by the time I left.

When I found out I was pregnant with a child that was not my husband’s, I was desperate to find an abortion clinic in Oakland. I’m thankful for the calm, non-judgmental care I received from Support Circle during that difficult time in my life.”

If you find yourself in a similarly difficult situation, Support Circle is a safe place for you.

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My husband told me to check out abortion clinics near me

My husband and I met when we were sophomores at San Francisco State.  After graduation three years ago, we decided to stay in the Bay Area while we both pursued our MBAs. Then I got pregnant with our daughter. Initially, I had contemplated getting an abortion at one of the abortion clinics near me so I could finish my degree. But Ken said he wanted to marry me and we could do this together. So, I put my degree on hold to care for our baby.

Things were mostly fine until two months ago when Ken’s company declared bankruptcy and closed their doors without informing any of the employees. Ken is actively looking for another job but he is freaking out because our savings are running low and we don’t have medical insurance. Ken told me to get an abortion. We have argued back and forth about it. He reminded me that we have our daughter because he stopped me from going to one of the abortion clinics near me back then. And, he said he didn’t see what the difference was. Now that I have been caring for our daughter, I know what we would be passing up and I want this baby. I don’t want to get an abortion. Ken is smart and talented. I know he will get another job soon and our finances will be fine again.

Support Circle helped when I was pregnant with our daughter so I knew they would give me a free ultrasound and pregnancy verification, that I needed to qualify for Medi-Cal services.  It was nice going back and talking to the patient advocate about our situation. I had so much bottled up but she listened and let me talk.

It was a surprise when the ultrasound revealed that I had miscarried. My patient advocate was able to help me to process my initial thoughts and emotions about the miscarriage. I’m so glad I found out in a warm, caring environment like Support Circle. It might have been a lot harder to deal with if I didn’t already have supportive people right there to talk to.

My husband took the news of the miscarriage harder than I thought. He had actually come around to the idea of having another child. Ken said he was glad I had gone to Support Circle, instead of any of the abortion clinics near me, because Support Circle really cares.

I was on my way to get an abortion near me

The most bizarre thing happened to me when I was on my way to get an abortion near me. Some background: I graduated summa cum laude with a math degree from Berkeley. I have a great job at a tech startup in the Bay Area. Logic and reasoning are what I understand. Needless to say, it was unreal that TWO cars that got in front of me that day had “Choose Life” license plates. It felt like the universe was speaking to me so I cancelled my abortion appointment.

Instead of going to Planned Parenthood, I drove to the beach and sat there thinking for hours. At first, I was tempted to reschedule for another abortion near me. But, the more I sat there, staring at the water, the more I realized there was not a good, valid reason for me to abort my baby. My job pays well and has great benefits. It really was a no brainer that I should keep the pregnancy. Now the big issue would be to tell my mother.

As I was leaving the beach, I saw a sign for Support Circle so I headed over there. They were so friendly and helpful. When I met with the patient advocate, I shared my fear about telling my mother. Since I had the ultrasound, I thought I might take that photo with me when I tell her. The patient advocate encouraged me. She helped me to see it may be difficult to tell my mom and for her to hear at first but, this baby may end up being a source of joy for her.

The nurse gave me a free ultrasound. To our surprise, I am carrying TWINS! My mom is a twin so I knew this would mean a great deal to her. I was excited to bring the ultrasound image to show my mom. Mom was very happy and overjoyed. She just kept hugging me and crying and looking at the ultrasound image and smiling and hugging and crying. Lol

I am so glad I went to Support Circle instead of getting an abortion near me. The staff were kind and supportive of my choices. It was great to have someone to talk things through with.


I am familiar with the abortion clinics near me

I am familiar with the abortion clinics near me because I have had two previous abortions. My boyfriend and I are undecided about what to do about this pregnancy so we came to Support Circle together.

My boyfriend waited while I met with the Patient Advocate and the nurse first. I was able to share my fears and concerns about continuing the pregnancy. My friends are supportive and even want to throw me a shower. Xavier told his mom and she is excited as this would be her first grandchild. Liam wants us to co-parent together. He has even purchased decorations for the nursery and is talking about investing or our child’s future.

Even with all of this support, I’m just not sure. I don’t think we are financially stable enough to have a child. We are both in college. Neither of us has a job lined up after graduation and we are going to have to start paying on school loans soon. There are so many reasons why I could go to one of the abortion clinics near me. It was good to be able to talk to the Patient Advocate and share all of my worries and fears regarding raising this child. The relationship with Xavier is hold and cold. I don’t want to bring a child into that instability. My Patient Advocate listened, was comforting and she gave me a list of resources that helped calm some of my fears.

I’m thankful to Support Circle for taking the time to meet with Xavier and me. The Patient Advocate listened to Xavier and even talked to Xavier about ways he can be supportive of me during the pregnancy. She recommended couples counseling as a place to verbalize our needs and preferences. We both felt heard and cared for. We have a clear path ahead of us and I feel in a better frame of mind to make a final decision. I’m so glad we went to Support Circle instead of to any of the abortion clinics near me.