I’m 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I didn’t get my period yet this month so over the weekend I decided to take a pregnancy test and it turns out I’m pregnant.
I knew I was going to terminate the pregnancy immediately since I’m in no position to care for a child at this point in my life. I called my boyfriend, my parents, and my best friend, and they were all supportive of my decision. After crying and getting over the shittiness of the situation, I made an appointment for a non surgical (medical) abortion. The appointment was for today, so this morning I called an Uber (I don’t have a car on campus) and headed to the clinic which was an hour away.
My Uber driver seemed immediately uncomfortable and asked if we were going to a planned parenthood. I said no (which was the truth), we were just going to a doctors appointment. Still, he seemed uncomfortable. “Is it an abortion clinic?” The color drained from my face; how could he know? I just put the address of the doctor in, and there was nothing in the name that would imply it was an abortion clinic. He stared at me, waiting for an answer, but I was too shocked to reply. I couldn’t believe this was happening, and now I was trapped in the car with this guy for the next hour. “You know,” he said, “you’re going to regret this decision for the rest of your life.” He started telling me about the procedure, what it was like, telling me how horrible it was. “There’s so much they don’t tell you. You’re making a mistake”. He brought up his wife, who was 5 months pregnant, but trailed off. I just sat there in silence. We were driving through rural land, miles from any kind of house or storefront. I prayed he wouldn’t hurt me.
We got about halfway there when he suddenly pulled over on the side of the road. “I’m sorry, I can’t take you any farther than this. You won’t find another Uber out here. I can take you back if you want.” I politely declined and got out of the car. I immediately started calling local taxi companies and asked if they could pick me up. My phone gave me a rough location which I gave them as my pickup address. My Uber driver waited around for about 15 minutes, assuming I’d change my mind. I insisted I was fine and that he should go back and he eventually left. After waiting about 25 minutes, the cab showed up and I got to my appointment (an hour late).
Even thinking about this experience brings tears to my eyes. I can’t believe someone would be this cruel. An abortion is already traumatic enough, and not at all a decision I take lightly. That an older man would corner me and confront me about decisions that are none of his business are astounding. I contacted Uber and I can only pray they take appropriate action.
UPDATE: For all the people who say I deserved this kind of treatment, I have nothing to say to you. I come from a politically conservative family, so I understand being pro life and disagreeing with my decision to terminate my pregnancy. However, the driver was aware of my decision to get an abortion within 10-15 minutes of picking me up from all his probing questions. If he wasn’t comfortable driving me to the clinic, why continue to drive me there until we were stranded? Was it an impulsive decision to leave me by the side of the road, or was it premeditated after he understood our destination? He easily could have left me in my small city and I would have been able to get a different Uber driver and avoided the whole fiasco that ensued. Or, as others have pointed out, he could have simply declined the ride if the destination (and my decision to exercise my rights) were that offensive to him.
I have no issue with him (or anyone else) having a different opinion or with him disagreeing with my choices. But your beliefs do not give you the right to make me feel uncomfortable when I’m completely vulnerable and am relying on you to perform a service I desperately need.