I Learned How to Do an Abortion on a Papaya
Papaya workshops have become a popular way to demystify and destigmatize abortion.
by Marie Solis
Jul 24 2019
“This is a 10-week gravid uterus,” Zoey Thill said, holding up a "pregnant" papaya the size of a large fist. “And this,” she added, gesturing to her own pregnant belly, “is a 38-week gravid uterus.”
Thill, a New York City-based abortion provider, was explaining the anatomy of the uterus to a group of about a dozen of us, in Verso Books’ Brooklyn office on a Monday night.
The New Abortion Underground Starts With Information
The threats against safe abortions are changing—where women once feared the coat hanger, the symbol of the handcuff is now more ominous. Is arming activists with information the first step in keeping abortion accessible?
By Meghan Racklin
January 22, 2019
A papaya, it turns out, is a good model of a uterus in the early stages of pregnancy. Well—the papaya is a bit bigger, actually. And the average uterus has more of a tilt. But overall, the fruit is a close replica.
That’s what I’m told during a training session hosted by the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP). Under the guidance of our instructor, a doctor and RHAP fellow, I insert a thin metal instrument into the top of my papaya to create an opening before inserting a small suction device called an aspirator. There’s a slight slurping sound as the papaya seeds are sucked into the aspirator’s main chamber. Slurp. Slurp. Slurp. And then it’s done.