Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Picture yourself in a society which generally condemns single pregnant women — and you are one of them.
Where do you turn if you decide the best choice for you is to have an abortion?
Summit Medical Center in Hartford may be the best place in this area to turn.
Despite the image someone might have when they hear the word clinic, Summit Medical Center has a very warm environment, with a positive and friendly staff.
As a women’s clinic in Hartford, Summit offers birth control and performs abortions.
Norma Aresti, clinic administrator, does abortion counseling.
With years of personal insight to draw on, Aresti said she is not “pro-abortion,” but pro-choice.
Aresti gave a vivid description of the changes between a woman’s first visit to Summit and her mandatory two-week check-up after the abortion.
When a woman comes to Summit for the first time seeking an abortion, Aresti said, she’s usually under and enormous amount of stress from her decision-making process.
She may be physically nauseous from being pregnant, and she will probably be extremely nervous and afraid, said Aresti. She said one thing is almost always certain: the woman will be sure that an abortion is the best choice for her.
In counseling, Aresti said she most often delivers words of reassurance, telling the woman she is not bad for having an abortion.
When the woman returns two weeks after her abortion, she will seem physically healthier and greatly relieved the ordeal is over, said Aresti.
But combined with these emotions is nearly always a sense of grieving, the counselor said.
The reasons for choosing to have an abortion are very different in each case.
Sometimes the problem is financial, said Aresti. In other cases, women are unprepared to have a baby — or another child — because they are not where they want to be in life.
While some call these women selfish, Aresti said many women choose abortion with the welfare of the child in mind.
Rachel Jennings is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.