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My name is Julia and I just turned 20.
(Julia lies on the floor drawing graphic novel strips)
I am unemployed and live with my roommates in Malmö.
My boyfriend, Manuel, and I have a long distance relationship. He lives in Stockholm, but comes down to visit me sometimes.
(Bang bang from a computer screen)
I can’t visit him because I am completely broke.
This summer didn’t really turn out the way I’d hoped.
(Julia stands in panties in front of the mirror)
This is the story of my abortion.
(Julia enters the hall)
Julia: Hello! I'm back now!
Manuel: Hey (from another room)
(Julia and Manuel are sitting on a sofa)
Manuel: So, I thought we could have salmon tonight
Julia: In that case we need to go shopping
Manuel: Okay, let’s go straight away then, I'm getting hungry. How’d it go at the psychologist’s?
Julia: As usual, fine
(Julia and Manuel are walking hand in hand)
Julia: It’s been a really long time since I had my period
Manuel: Get a pregnancy test!
Julia: No! I can’t afford it
Manuel: What the hell Julia, I guess I’ll get one for you then
(They go to the pharmacy)
(Julia and Manuel leave the store with bags in their hands)
Manuel: Sucks that I’m working on Monday
Julia: It probably won’t suck as much when you get your paycheck
(Julia and Manuel unpack the bags in the kitchen)
Julia: Okay, you start cooking and I'll go take this damn test
Julia: I’ll piss in Ismael's mug, hehe)
(Julia holds the pregnancy test and reads the packaging
2 lines = Pregnant. Wait 5 mins for results.)
(Julia pees in a mug)
(Julia puts the pregnancy test in the mug)
(Julia looks at the pregnancy test)
(Julia peeks out of the bathroom)
Julia: Um babe, it’s positive
(Julia holds up the test)
Julia: I'm pregnant
(Manual watching the test)
Manuel: How do you feel?
Julia: I don’t know
(Julia sits on the floor and holds her hands around her knees)
Julia: I really don’t know
Manuel: Me neither
(Manuel sits down next to Julia on the floor)
Manuel: So uh, what happens next?
Julia: With the pregnancy?
Julia: I’ll obviously have to get an abortion!
Julia: I can’t have kids now! I’ll have to call the women’s tomorrow ...
Julia: (looking down) Sigh
Manuel: Thank God
Text box: Even if I was sure of what I wanted to do it felt scary. I had no idea about how abortions work. What should I expect?
(Julia is sitting on the bed talking on the phone)
Julia: Hi Maja, do you have time to talk?
Maja: Sure, just wait a second
(Julia is waiting)
Maja: There. I'm at work, but I've gone into the bathroom now
Maja: I think I know why you're calling. Mom spoke to me yesterday.
Maja: How are you feeling? Are you sad?
Julia: No, not really
Julia: It mostly feels weird
(Julia is sitting on the bed listening to Maja on the phone)
Maja: So, I have a friend who had an abortion not that long ago, if you want you can have her number. In case you want to talk to someone who’s already gone through what you’re gonna go through
Maja: Maybe you can meet up for a coffee?
Julia: Hm, I don’t know. I’ll see. I’ll think about it
Maja: Mm, okay. I get it
(Julia lies down and closes her eyes with the phone in her hand)
Maja: Hey, I don’t want to sound mean, but you get that this is gonna be really tough, right?
(Julia continues to lie down and listens on the phone)
Maja: It’s gonna hurt
Maja: You'll get sad
(Julia is lying on the bed listening to Maja on the phone)
Maja: I just want you to prepare for it. Have you booked an appointment at the women’s clinic yet?
Julia: Yeah. I called as soon as I could. I'm going there tomorrow
Maja: Is Manuel coming?
Julia: No, he's working
(Julia continues to listen to Maja talking on the phone)
Maja: But he’s coming on D Day, right?
Julia: No, he doesn’t have time. He’s working a lot now
Maja: What the hell, are you really okay with that?
Julia: I ... don’t know? (Looks dubious)
Maja: I MEAN, there were two of you who messed things up this way
Maja: So there should be two of you cleaning up after yourselves!!
Julia: Yeah ... I'll talk to him
Maja: If he’s not coming with you, I will. You are not doing something like this ALONE!!
(Julia listens on the phone and closes her eyes)
Julia: Thanks sis. I love you
Maja: You too. Now I have to keep working. Let me know when you’ve been to the women’s clinic
(Julia hangs up)
(Julia is lying on the bed, looking out into the room. The moon and stars are shining outside the window.)
Text box: The morning after
(Julia goes to the women's clinic. Julia presses a button in the elevator)
(Julia is sitting in the waiting room. On the table next to her is a Women's magazine. Paintings with happy babies are on the wall)
(A midwife comes out of the waiting room)
Midwife: Julia Hansen?
Midwife: Come with me
(The midwife and Julia sit on separate chairs in the midwife's room)
Midwife: How about you start with taking a pregnancy test and we’ll take it from there
Julia: Okay, but I've already taken one at home
Midwife: Yes, but you can’t be sure enough!
Midwife: Take one in the bathroom in the corridor and come back in here after
(Julia stands outside a door with a toilet sign)
(Julia walks out of the toilet with a pregnancy test in her hand)
(The midwife watches the test)
Midwife: Mhm. Yes. You are pregnant. Let’s do an ultrasound to see how far along you are
(Julia is lying in a gynecological chair)
Midwife: Slide your bottom down a little further
(The midwife examines Julia by inserting the ultrasound device into Julia's vagina)
Midwife: Mhm, yes. You're in week six
(The midwife takes off the plastic gloves)
Midwife: You can get dressed again
(Julia gets dressed behind a curtain. The midwife is sitting by the computer)
(The midwife and Julia sit on separate chairs again)
Midwife: So Julia. Are you sure you want to get an abortion?
Midwife: Do you want to talk to a counselor?
Julia: No, that’s okay
Midwife: Okay, let’s book an appointment then?
(The midwife looks at her computer again)
Midwife: I have an available time in August. Does Thursday the second work for you?
Julia: Don’t you have any earlier times available?
Midwife: Unfortunately no
Julia: But ...
(Julia looks worried)
Julia: I’ll be in like week twelve then!
Julia: That’s way too long. I want to get rid of this damn baby now!!
Midwife: We usually say ‘fetus’, not baby
(Julia sits with her arms crossed)
(Julia leaves the women's clinic)
(Julia goes up some stairs)
(Julia lies on the bed, staring up at the ceiling)
Text across the box: SHIT
(Julia lies on the bed and picks up her computer)
(Julia googles fetus week 6)
Google: "The breasts can start growing and nausea is very common. The embryo is as big as a pea. It has a little tail, which later disappears ..."
(Julia closes the computer)
(Julia put her hands on her stomach)
Text box: A few days later I was called up by the women's clinic and was offered a new time for the abortion, that same week. They’d had a cancellation. I accepted it straight away.
(Women's clinic doors)
(Julia is sitting in a chair next to the midwife at the women's clinic.)
Midwife: This pill prepares your body for the abortion
Midwife: When you take this, you should be confident in your decision
Midwife: Are you entirely sure?
(The midwife gives Julia a pill and a cup with water)
Midwife: Here you go
(Julia swallows the pill)
Midwife: Have you thought about whether you want to have your abortion here or at home?
Midwife: If you choose to have it at home I can give you pills and painkillers to take home today
Midwife: But you still have to wait a day before you take them
Midwife: You can also come get them here on Sunday and take them at home later
Julia: Um ... I'd rather have it here if that’s okay
Midwife: Yes of course
Midwife: Feel free to bring another adult to support you
Midwife: It's good to not be alone
Julia: I've talked to my older sister. She’s coming with me
Midwife: Some people can become nauseous from the pill you just took
Midwife: Some don’t fell anything at all
Midwife: This is going to start your abortion
Julia: What’s going to happen to my body next?
(Close up of Julia)
Midwife: You’ll bleed from your vagina for about two weeks
(Close-up of the midwife)
Midwife: During that time it’s important that you don’t have sex, use a tampon ...
(The midwife looks at Julia)
Midwife: And that you don’t take baths
Midwife: Showering is fine
Midwife: Do you have any other questions? Otherwise I’ll see you at 8 AM on Sunday
(The midwife shakes Julia's hand)
Midwife: Let me know if you think of anything
Midwife: Take care for now
Julia: You too
(Julia goes home from the women’s clinic and tries to call Manuel)
Manuel’s answering machine: Hi you’ve reached Manuel. I can’t pick up right now, but call me back ...
(Julia's sister Maja stands outside 7-Eleven and smokes a cigarette.)
(Julia has a backpack with a teddy bear on it)
Julia: Hi Maja!
Maja: Do you want anything from 7-Eleven? A coffee?
Julia: No thanks, I’m fine
(Julia and Maja link arms)
Maja: How are you doing? Are you nervous?
Julia: Yeah a bit, but mostly tired. How are you?
(Julia and Maja walk towards the Women's Clinic's doors)
Maja: I’m fine. I've been up since 6.30
(Maja and Julia are sitting in the waiting room at the Women's Clinic. Maja picks up a magazine from the table)
Maja: Holy crap, these magazines are so tasteless
Maja: Just a bunch of pictures of babies!
(Maja looks around)
Maja: And paintings of children! Oh my God...
(The midwife shows up)
Midwife: Julia Hansen?
Midwife: Follow me and I'll show you your room
(Maja shakes hands with the midwife)
Maja: Hi, my name’s Maja. I’m here to keep her company
(The midwife, Julia and Maja enter a room with a bed and an armchair)
(The midwife gives Julia a box)
Midwife: Here are your vaginal tablets
(The midwife gives Julia another box)
Midwife: And here are some painkillers. You can take them after you’ve inserted the vaginal tablets
(Julia looks around)
Midwife: I'll be right back
Midwife: There are thick pads in the cabinet. You’re gonna need them
(Julia sits on the hospital bed and inserts the vaginal tablets into the vagina. Maja sits in the armchair next to her and looks at her phone)
Julia: Oh, I forgot water, can you get me som, Maja?
(Maja brings a mug to Julia, who is lying on the bed)
Maja: Here you go
(Julia swallows the painkillers. Maja stands next to her)
Maja: Can you feel anything yet?
Julia: Nope, nothing
(The midwife enters the room)
Midwife: Hey Julia, are you doing alright?
(Maja goes to the midwife)
Maja: Ahem, I’d like for my sister to get an appointment with a counselor after this
Midwife: That can be arranged
Maja: She has a history of selfharm so I think it’s important
Midwife: Would you like me to make an appointment for you, Julia?
(The midwife leaves the room)
Midwife: I’ll do that then
Maja: Thank you
(Julia lies on the bed and Maja sits in an armchair in the room at the women's clinic)
Julia: I told Manuel yesterday that I'm angry with him for not coming here with me
Maja: What did he say?
Julia: He's coming to Malmö tonight
Maja: Yeah ... That's the least he can do
(An assistant nurse enters the room)
The assistant nurse: Hi!
The assistant nurse: I just want to say that I’m going to place this protection in the toilet so it catches your placenta
(Maja and Julia look at each other)
Julia: What does a placenta look like?
Maja: Let’s google it on my phone
(Maja and Julia look at a picture of a placenta on Maja's phone)
Maja: Haha, look!
Julia: Imagine that some people eat them
(The assistant nurse enters the room again)
The assistant nurse: Hm, excuse me
The assistant nurse: Apparently, there’s been a mistake
The assistant nurse: You’re too early in your pregnancy to have a placenta
Julia: Oh, shame
(Maja walks away with her phone)
Maja: I'm just going to make a phone call
(Julia lies on the bed with her hands on her stomach and looks up at the ceiling)
(The doctor enters the room)
Doctor: Hi Julia. It would be good if you were up and walking to get the bleeding started
(Julia gets up and walks around)
Maja: You’re up?
Julia: Yeah, the doctor told me to walk around a bit
Maja: Do you want me to walk with you?
Julia: No, you can wait in the room
(They go in different directions)
(Julia sees a crying girl sitting in the corridor. Julia looks worried and walks back to the room)
(Julia suddenly feels pain and puts her hands on her stomach)
(Julia walks with her back bent towards her room)
(Julia walks to the door and shouts for her sister)
Julia: Maja!! It's starting!
(Maja gets up from the armchair)
Maja: Is there anything I can do?
Julia: Don’t know
(Julia breathes in and out and closes her eyes)
(Julia puts her hands on her stomach)
Julia: OW OW OW
Julia: What if I see the fetus in my panties?
Maja: Maybe you should go to the toilet to see if there’s any blood?
(Julia has her hand on her back and goes to the toilet)
(Julia sits on the toilet and looks down at her panties where she sees some blood on a bandage. PLOP)
(Julia looks shaken and nauseous and vomits)
(Julia sits on the toilet and there is vomit on the floor)
(She presses the alarm button that sounds "BEEP BEEP")
(There is a knock on the door and someone shouts from outside)
Assistant nurse: Hello? The door is locked. Can you open it?
Assistant nurse: If I'm going to help you you need to unlock the door!
(Julia gets up to unlock the door and steps on her vomit)
(The assistant nurse comes in)
Assistant nurse: Oh. Come, I'll help you to your bed
Julia: Feel ... sick
(The assistant nurse helps Julia, who is standing with closed eyes)
Maja: Whoa, what happened?
(The assistant nurse helps Julia to bed)
The assistant nurse: Lie down and rest a bit
(Maja sits on the bed next to Julia)
Julia: A blood clot fell out on the toilet. It felt as big as an orange)
Julia: What if that was the fetus?
(Julia closes her eyes. Maja looks away)
(Maja sits on the bed and pats Julia)
(The midwife enters the room with a box in her hand)
Midwife: Here Julia, I have some more painkillers
Midwife: I want to let you know that you can leave when you feel ready. I'm not going to keep you. But take your time.
Midwife: Just let me know before you leave and I’ll give you a pregnancy test Julia, for you to take in two weeks
(Julia lies on the bed and Maja sits next to her)
Midwife: Just in case
(Closed door to Julia's room at the clinic)
(Julia and Maja sit on the bus. Julia leans her head against Maja's shoulder)
Text box: Afterward, Maja and I took the bus to her place.
(Julia is lying on the sofa resting)
Text box: She and her partner cooked and took care of me.
Maja: Jules, the food is ready! (shouting from another room)
(Maja, her partner and Julia sit at the dining table having dinner)
Maja's partner: Weird that your older brother hasn’t called today
Maja: Do you want more tomato sauce?
(Julia holds a fork and has a plate of spaghetti in front of her)
Julia: No thank you, I don’t have much of an appetite. I feel a bit sick
Julia: I should probably go meet Manuel at the train soon
Maja: But. Are you sure you can manage?
Maja: You can stay if you want
(Julia puts on her jacket. Maja stands with her arms crossed and her partner stands next to her)
(Julia and Maja hug each other)
Julia: Thank you for today sis
(Image of a bus at the Central Station)
(Julia is waiting on the platform. She smokes a cigarette)
(Image of a train)
From the station speakers: Train 309 from Stockholm, Linköping arriving soon at platform 9
(Manuel gets off the train and Julia walks towards him with raised arms)
(They hug on the platform)
Julia: It’s so good to see you. Was your trip okay?
Manuel: Yes. How did it go?
Julia Or uhm ... Tough, but okay
(Manuel and Julia walk next to each other. Manuel has his arm on Julia’s back)
Text box: I bled from my vagina for a couple of weeks after the abortion.
(Julia sits naked in the bathroom with a pad in her hand)
The text: The first couple of days I had to wear a big pad that felt like a diaper.
(Manuel and Julia stand in the hall arguing)
The text: I was disappointed with Manuel for not coming with me to the women's clinic.
Manuel: But I had to work the night before!
Julia: You didn’t even try to take the day off!
The text: I felt lonely and worried that I smelled period blood all the time because of the "diaper pad".
(Julia stands alone)
The text: No one really knew how or if they could talk to me about the abortion.
Unknown voice: How do you feel now ... after ...
Julia: You mean the abortion?
Unknown voice: You're brave, I’d neeever be able to have an abortion
Julia: Oh okay
(Julia is lying on the floor with graphic novel strips around her)
The text: Two weeks later I took the pregnancy test thay gave me at the women’s clinic. It was negative. I was so fucking relieved.