I Saw A Woman Die From A Self-Induced Abortion — That's The Cost Of Our Silence
By Nisha Verma
May 1, 2018
A few months ago, I got a tattoo of a coat hanger on my right wrist. When people ask me what it means, I tell them the story of the woman I once met who didn't deserve to die. I tell them about the lack of access to safe and legal abortion that killed her.
Warning: Some readers may find the following details graphic and triggering.
At the time, I worked as a resident at a hospital in Botswana. This woman had tried to end her pregnancy with a "coat hanger abortion" — in her case, by placing sticks through her vagina into her uterus. She was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. She was 22 years old. She died because she lived in a country where safe and legal abortion did not exist.