Behind every abortion is a real woman’s life and her story. Here are some stories that women have shared. Please consider sharing your own experience by using the form below. Feel free to include your name or share your story anonymously.
I am 22 and had abortion two months ago. I slept with a part-time co-worker and got knocked up. Six weeks after we hooked up I found out I was pregnant and was 95% sure I was going to have the abortion but part of me was unsure. The father and I decided to have lunch and talk about our options and we came to an agreement to abort the pregnancy. I had the medical procedure without any anesthesia. It hurt like hell. There are times when I do regret my decision but in the end I know it was the right choice. -- Jessica
I was 15 when I found out I was pregnant. My friends and I thought it would be funny to do a pregnancy test as a joke. Me knowing that I was later for my period didn't really think anything of it. I took the pregnancy test and my friends and I were waiting for the results. We looked at the test after three minutes had gone by and it had two lines saying I was pregnant. My first reaction was shock, and I just started to cry. I had no idea how I was going to tell my Mum and I also had to find out a way to tell the guy who I was pregnant to.
After I told my Mum, she didn't seem too shocked, and I also told the guy. He wasn't my boyfriend, in fact, I hardly knew him. Most people would call it a one night stand. I was really upset when he said he wanted me to get an abortion but at the same time I understood it was really the only thing I could do. I decided to go through with an abortion but I didn't think I would care so much until I started to realized I did care a lot.
I started to get really depressed and I fully regretted my abortion. I felt really bad and to me I felt like there was a part of me missing. After a year passed by, I started to realize I couldn't take it back now so I just have to live with it. One day, I hope to be a mother when I am more mature and understand fully what kind of responsibility it really is to have a child. -- anonymous
I was 29, self medicating with alcohol, and had a one night stand, that I bitterly regret to this day. He wasn't even my type, he disgusted me!
It was a nightmare when I became pregnant. I had an abortion, and it was the best thing for me.
To all you anti choicers: I know you have abortions also. How dare you after you have tried to take away the right from us, and after your murdering and terrorizing of clinics.
To all you "I'm prochoice but" people: the second you say but in a sentence, you negate everything. I don't give a rip if: a woman is drunk, sleeping with multiple men, doesn't use birth control, and this is her 10th abortion. Oh and "my tax dollars have paid for it?" I DON'T CARE. It is her body that will be a life support system for a fetus she may not want or be ready for. And really: do you want someone like me who never wanted children, who suffered from depression, who worked at a horrible job to have an unwanted, indeed hated baby by a man I hated and regretted sleeping with? Get real. And adoption? No way. My family would never forgive me, plus the fact that as liberal as we all are, we do not have children in my family without being married. -- Sharon
I'm 20 years old, and have had one abortion, last year in March. I am now faced with making the right decision again.
I know some people will say " how could she let this happen again" but I have high blood pressure and cannot be put on birth control. I am scheduled to have part 1 of the 2 day procedure tomorrow at 9:15 am and although I know what to expect, I am terrified.
I have the most understanding boyfriend who I have been with for 5 years and whom I love more and more everyday, but bringing a child into our lives is not the right choice for us at the moment. Please, does anyone know how to calm my nerves? I feel like it's going to hurt and I have a major phobia of pain. -- anonymous
The first time I got pregnant I was 24. I planned an Open Adoption. An adoption counselor showed me profiles of infertile couples that wanted to adopt a newborn baby. I picked the profile of the infertile couple I wanted to meet. The adoption counselor made an appointment for me to interview them at Sizzlers. I interviewed them and I really liked them. After that they went to all of my ultra sound appointments. I ended up having to go on Prozac because I was Bipolar and the pregnancy hormones were making me feel suicidal. I managed to stabilize on 80mg of Prozac. Anyways, I had a c-section and I signed the adoption papers. After I spent three days in the hospital with the baby, the adoptive parents took him home. After that I started receiving three visits per year. Some people told me what a good person I was not having an abortion.
Then after the pregnancy was over my doctor gave me an Implanon for birth control. But the Implanon made me feel suicidal because of the hormones in the Implanon. So I had to have it removed. Once the Implanon was removed my emotions became normal again. After that I was afraid to try another form of birth control because I was afraid that all methods of birth control would have hormones that would make me feel suicidal.
The bad news is, I got pregnant again just 6 months later. At first, I planned on raising the baby myself. But when I told my adoption counselor she said, "But Melissa, nothing in your life has changed." She tried convincing me that I needed to plan another adoption. I decided to go along with it. She gave me more profiles of infertile couples that wanted to adopt. I was looking forward to making another infertile couple happy.
But once again the pregnancy hormones were making me feel suicidal. I attempted suicide by swallowing a whole bunch of pills. It didn't work. I woke up and told my adoption counselor what I did. She drove me to the E.R. The E.R. did nothing for me, even though I couldn't quit throwing up. They sent me off to a group home for adults with mental illness. But once at the adult group home, I still couldn't quit throwing up. It was the combination of the pregnancy and the pills I swallowed. I blacked out in the bathroom. My mind just shut down and everything went dark. I told the staff that I blacked out and they called me an ambulance. I told the paramedics that I was blacking out from dehydration and needed fluids. The group home staff told the paramedics, "She was trying to hurt the baby." One of the paramedics said, "Well, that's selfish." And on the way to the E.R. he told me, "I'm not going to give you any medicine for vomiting because you just want it so it can hurt your baby." Then once we were inside the E.R., the paramedic stood there yelling at me: "Some people want their babies, some people can't have babies." And he just wanted to let me know what a selfish person he thought I was and he wanted everybody in the E.R. to hear him. He didn't understand that I'm Bipolar and that I've been trying to commit suicide my whole life. And that the pregnancy hormones were making my Bipolar disorder worse. And that I was trying to kill myself, not the baby. But the jerk couldn't understand this. And he didn't know my pregnancy history. He didn't know that I gave a baby up for adoption just 6 months earlier. So strange that he would judge me based on an isolated incident, knowing nothing about my past pregnancy. The E.R. only gave me ONE package of fluids and let me go.
The next day I was still vomiting because of the pills I swallowed. So I asked to be taken to the Urgent Care. The Urgent Care gave me one package of fluids and let me go. Then the next day I left the group home and went back to my apartment. It had now been 5 days of me throwing up because of the pills I swallowed. I knew that if I wasn't pregnant anymore it would help the nausea and I would be more likely to survive the suicide attempt. Because at the rate things were going, I felt like I was going to dehydrate to death. My friends brought me Pedialyte. I even threw that up.
I talked to a friend who lived in Eugene. In Eugene, they have abortion clinics. Because they don't have abortion clinics in Albany, I had to pay $75 for a taxi to drive me to Eugene to stay the night with my friend. Then in the morning I called the abortion clinic. I begged them to let me have an abortion even though they're full. I explained that I don't drive and that I'm from a town that doesn't have an abortion clinic. The secretary got permission from the doctor to squeeze me in. I went to the clinic and had the abortion done. I noticed how nice the nurses were.
After the abortion my friend's sister drove back to Albany. I unplugged my phone so I could get some sleep. But my friend assumed that I committed suicide. So she called cops on me and told them, "My friend's not answering her phone, she just had an abortion. I'm afraid that she might of committed suicide." The cops came to my door and I told them, "No, I just unplugged the phone so I could sleep and not be disturbed." The cops drove me to the E.R. This time the E.R. gave me 2 packages of fluids. I found it so strange that when I was pregnant they only gave me ONE. Now that I wasn't pregnant anymore they gave me 2. I got home from the E.R. and days later, I still was throwing up from the pills I swallowed a week ago.
So I called another friend and she took me to her house to stay the night. She gave me Gaterade to try to get electrolytes in my body. I finally got well enough to leave my friends house. I told my adoption counselor that I had a mis-carriage. She believed me. I wrote my sons adoptive parents and told them that I really had an abortion to save my life. When I didn't hear back from them I had nightmares. So I called them and asked them if they got my letter. The adoptive mom said, "If your life was really endangered, you wouldn't of had to sneak off somewhere." And she said, "Don't call here again, we don't want to feel like we're raising Levi for you."
I have been criticized by church members. Some Christians tell me that what I did was still wrong, even if it was to save my life. I hate it when I visit a church where they talk about abortion from the pulpit. I have been to two churches where the pastors were saying that stopping abortion is more important than saving endangered species. And that they basically don't care about saving the whales because there's babies being aborted.
I asked my public library to buy a book called, 'My Choice, God's Grace", by Anne Eggebroten. The book is about Christian women who have had abortions and are pro-choice. The library bought the book and I got to read it. It was helpful. I recommend this book for any Christian women whose being stigmatized for having an abortion. My doctor gave me an IUD. The good news is, the IUD does NOT make me feel unstable like the Implanon did. So the good news is, I found a method of birth control that does not have hormones that me suicidal. -- Melissa
Moving from Maryland to Cleveland to finish my education and start a career, I would’ve never expected to find myself pregnant. So, when I got my abortion, during spring finals in my first year of law school, I felt nothing but relief, and gratitude for the women who came before me. My abortion was the final push I needed to confirm my path as a women’s rights advocate, to work towards making this world a more equal place for women and girls. I now tell my abortion story freely, with pride and with conviction, to anyone who will listen. Mostly I tell the story of my abortion to people I end up debating reproductive rights issues with. Telling my story gives people insight into the real lives of women who get abortions and it takes the conversation out of the abstract and into the real world where it ought to be.
However, I have not been so eager to tell the story of my abortion to my family. I still have only told my Mom the news. One day, sitting out by the pool we were discussing my volunteer work at Preterm, the abortion clinic where I had mine and where I now volunteer. My Mom asked me what I think of the women who come into the clinic. I was a little dismayed because, while my Mom is not a political person, she is also not a judgmental person and I perceived the question as such. I got defensive and told her I view the women who come into Preterm as strong women who, in the face of a multitude of opposition, are making an important choice about their lives and their bodies.
Finally, I told her, “Mom, you know, I had an abortion about a year ago.” To my surprise, she was not surprised. Instead, she replied that for years she had wanted to tell me and my siblings about her abortion. My Mother grew up with eight other siblings in a Roman Catholic household, which is why I was surprised when she told me that when she was in high school she had gotten pregnant and went to her Mother, who took her to get an abortion. Her Mother was embarrassed about her daughter getting an abortion so she took her to New York where my Uncle lived, and had the procedure done there. I asked her what she thought about getting an abortion and she said that she didn’t think much of it, she was young and careless and the abortion was just something that needed to be done.
Learning about my own Mother’s experience with abortion takes the conversation full circle. I would most likely not be here today, nor would my brother or sister, had my Mom not had her abortion. Thus, the argument - that terminating unwanted pregnancies kills babies - may be countered with the argument that not terminating unwanted pregnancies kills babies. If the babies we are talking about in both instances - the ones aborted and the ones a woman may plan for in the future - are “potential” babies anyways, what is the difference? My story, in a lot of ways, mirrors my Mother’s. I too was not ready for motherhood. We both had different reasons and realities informing our decisions, but we both envisioned a future for ourselves, which would be lost if we were to become mothers then. For both of us, our abortions made it possible to become who we want to be, not in the abstract, but in our actual, real lives as women. --Sarah
I'm 33, single with 3 children already and just started nursing school. I had an abortion today. The worst part was the debating for a week what I should do. When I made the decision and went to my appointment, everything went smoothly. I had read so many horror stories about how painful it would be. I gotta say the most painful part was the pin prick in my finger. I felt & remembered nothing of the actual procedure thanks to conscious sedation. It was the best decision for me at this point in my life. Instead of worrying how to feed another mouth, I will be able to focus on my school and the children I already have. More poverty would lessen the quality of life for the ones I have already. -- anonymous
I just recently got an abortion on my birthday, July 14th. I made this decision based on numerous things. I had two failed pregnancies before and wasn't ready for a third. I have a very loving boyfriend, who supported me in whichever decision I made. When the day came, I had to go alone. It was a very eerie feeling. It was almost like a regular doctors appointment. I was ok up until I received my ultrasound and the tears came. There was a volunteer there to hold my hand, she helped me through that ordeal. It was very quick but painful. A week later, I was rushed to the hospital because I was in an extreme amount of pain. Even though it wasn't directly linked to the abortion, I knew then I would never do that to myself again. At the time is was the right thing to do. I just have to be more careful from here on out. To all the ladies that are considering abortion, if you feel it's the right decision, do it. If you have any doubts or you're unsure, don't because it could be emotionally scarring. Be safe ladies, be careful, be smart, things can only get better. -- Alicia
Legal abortion in Britain became available in the late 60's. We should never forget the horrors of the 'back street' abortions. There were many deaths following botched jobs. There has been no recorded deaths since abortion became legal in Great Britain.
I remember 3 friends who had traumatic experiences through unwanted pregnancies - one through a 'back street' abortion who bled profusely and collapsed in the taxi on the way home (fortunately she didn't die) and 2 who had to give up a child for adoption 6 weeks after birth!
Following my TOP in 1972 I became a nurse myself. 40 odd years later (senior nurse practitioner) I now work as educator and facilitator in an organisation providing safe terminations for the hundreds of thousands of women who cannot proceed with their pregnancies. -- anonymous
I got pregnant when I was 12, by the boy next door. He was 4 and-a-half years older than me. He was my boyfriend and we started having sex when I was 11. He and I tried to make the arrangements for my abortion ourselves, and he also took me to my first gynecological exam, which was the initial pregnancy testing.
But I remember being forced into telling my mother. I can't remember for certain why, maybe because I needed her permission. She and I had an almost estranged relationship even though we lived in the same house, and she, myself, and my brother had no communication or even eye contact. I felt motherless. But then I was forced to tell her and all hell broke out. My life was miserable enough without the screaming, yelling, name-calling, slamming, and the worst was my brother punching me in the face and her allowing him, as if I deserved that punishment. I hated her and the last person I wanted by my side was her. Not all mothers are good mothers.
She made me do everything all over again: another gyno exam, pregnancy test, all over again that I just had done a week earlier. On a very snowy winter day we made our way down to Pittsburgh. It was an ordeal, but I never had any doubts about terminating my pregnancy. In fact, I was already thinking that I didn't want kids, ever. Why would I when life was so miserable? Why would I bring a baby into this kind of world? I've never regretted my decision to this day, 35 years later. I never had kids, still don't want them, and I applaud women who realize they shouldn't have kids, that know they aren't cut out to be mothers. I think it is very responsible to terminate your pregnancy under these circumstances. But my story doesn't stop there.
Three times during my life, after my abortion at the age of 12, I've gotten pregnant while on the pill. I was never good at remembering and taking them at the right time. So I had 3 more abortions. Then I got a Norplant which lasts 5 years, so all was well. Guess what happened after 5 years? I went back on the pill (due to side effects from Norplant--I didn't want to do that again, besides I thought I was now mature enough). Yes, I got pregnant again. I was engaged at the time but still knew I didn't want kids. As much as the thought of children is delightful, I knew I could never be a good, responsible mother. It's been at least 15 years now with no pregnancy scares, but if it were to happen, I would do the same thing again, and be proud of myself for doing what I think is right for me or any potential child.
One more thing: my story, at least in its parts, is very, very common. – Lisa D
I had been dating this amazing guy for about 3 months. Sexually, we had been careful. I had been on birth control for years, and never imagined anything could happen...until I went in for my annual check up with my gyno.
She called me an hour after I left her office. I thought this was odd, and became concerned that something was wrong. I answered the phone and she told me something I never thought was possible. "Sweetie, you're pregnant."
What happened next can only be described as shock. She asked me if I knew what I wanted to do, and I just started sobbing uncontrollably. I was driving to my boyfriend's house, and had to pull to the side of the road. I told her I would call her as soon as I had made a decision.
I called my boyfriend and couldn't keep myself from blurting it out. "Baby, I'm pregnant." He told me to get to his place as soon as possible, and I did.
We spent hours over the next several days discussing our options. Neither one of us could financially support a child, not to mention the fact that we had been dating a very short amount of time. I have always wanted kids, and he has not, but that didn't matter. We loved each other, but we weren't ready to love a child, not to mention the fact that we would have become parents dependent on welfare.
I called my doctor to tell her what she decided. I couldn't believe how much she tried to change my decision. She continually told me to call adoption hotlines, to consider my options...she wouldn't take no for an answer. Not only was I making the hardest decision of my life, but she was making it more difficult for me. I had to yell to get her to stop. "Listen, I have made my decision after countless tears and going back and forth a thousand times. This is what is best for me. Stop trying to convince me otherwise." She promptly gave me a referral.
The day came about three weeks later, and I was anxious. My boyfriend and I had been up crying most of the previous night. I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant. I started crying, and cried through most of the procedure.
My boyfriend was right there with me the whole time, and was nothing but supportive. On our way back to his apartment, he asked "How do you feel?" The only word I could muster was "relieved."
It wasn't an easy choice, but I know it was the right one. I was finishing up graduate school, and just about to start my life. I won't ever say that I don't want children, or that my choice was right for everyone. What I will say is that it was the right choice for me, and I have not regretted it once in the 3 months that have passed. I will have children one day, but it will be on my terms, by my choice. -- Kristie
I'm 23 years old and have had 5 abortions, for different reasons. I was 14 with my first. I was sleeping with a 16 year old who was special needs. I wanted it but my parents scared me by telling me about all the disorders my baby could have, that it wouldn't be like raising a normal baby so by 7 weeks and 3 days I had a medical abortion that was very painful. I was cramping and bleeding, I think, for 3 days. I thought after that I wouldn't be able to have any kids.
I had grieved but then became addicted to cocaine. I had started dating this guy; he was 18 and sold drugs and had a few troubles with the law. I was very physically attracted to him and I was 15 and not using protection because he never wanted it. And I liked the sex more when we didn't use it. Well, I start getting sick and I knew automatically I was pregnant. I spoke to him. He said he wasn't interested in having a child, that abortion would be best. I felt I had to choose between him and our child. I didn't want to be a struggling single mom and not have him in my life the way he was. I would do anything for him. I thought I was deeply in love. Well, I was scared but told my parents I was pregnant and needed an abortion. I was 5 weeks and 5 days. They scheduled an appointment and when I was 6 weeks and 3 days. I had the procedure, this time a surgical abortion which was less painful.
Well, 3 months later he starts cheating on me. I didn't know until 6 months later when I was 16. I got pregnant 2 months before that. I didn't know because I had no sickness. I thought it was possible but was waiting. Well, he dumps me after 3 weeks of not me hearing from him/him avoiding me. I told him then I thought I was pregnant and this time I claimed I was keeping it. I guess since I felt he was getting rid of me I'd keep his child with me. It was like a punishment but no child should be kept to get back at someone else. I kept it secret for 4 weeks after that. My parents found out by some friend of the family. I was asked to give it up for adoption or get an abortion, told that I had no reason to want my child. Looking back it seems like it was the best choice but I was upset really upset that they made me abort. I was 12 weeks and 6 days. I felt so bad...
I became more of an addict. 6 months later I decided to try to commit suicide. I found myself in a psychiatric ward and 2 months later came home. I was still addicted. I had struggled with the addiction and I quit school. I had my first lesbian relationship with a girl my parents highly disapproved of for other reasons. It was a very dangerous relationship. It lasted a year before I found a guy I wasn't attracted to or liked but it was like he sucked me in. And by that time I was nearly 18. Like my ex-girlfriend he was an ex-convict. He said he didn't do it. But I more and more disbelieve that. Well, in the beginning of our relationship it was always this way: he beat me when he was drunk, wanted sex when he said, so no matter what, and I felt like a slave but I think a bit of me thought I deserved to be tortured, to be hurt like I hurt my children. I hated myself more than anyone for choosing a guy who had by then long forgotten me over my child. For falling for the lies about how unhealthy my child would be because of its father. For just being too weak to actually say I wanted my baby and that was why I could never face my parents with a pregnancy again.
Well, I live with him and time goes on and he loses his job and he goes to drugs and I go worse and eventually we end up jail. Shortly after this, I'm pregnant again and he has a small job and no space really for a baby. We intend to make it work but I just can't seem to quit for this one. I could no longer get off of it. And he then lost his job when I was 12 weeks pregnant and we eventually got evicted. I was in a shelter; my parents wouldn't even help me. Well, he found a place that would fund a later term abortion. I didn't want to do it but I felt he was the last person at least present for me and I had a year and a half where I had done everything he told me to do.
So at 18 weeks and 3 days I went ahead with the abortion. Again, this time I really had carved out the last part of me inside me and I was all dead inside. He decides from then on that he doesn't want kids with me and I get Implanon. So life gets better and he marries me at 20 and life is still the same with how he treats me. He only gets worse because he feels he owns me... He isolates me from family and I'm not allowed outside much for fear that he will beat and abuse me. We move often and I feel like a shell or robot: nothing is how I thought I'd live at 20 years old. I am more addicted than ever. And my life is just like waiting to die because I felt I was no longer alive just waiting for my body to follow really.
Well, my IUD times out. 3 months later I'm pregnant for the 5th time and there's no question on what to do. It just is done a fifth time at a different clinic, different doctor, different faces, same result. I was 7 weeks and 4 days.
He wanted me to get my tubes tied but instead got Paraguard. I somehow just felt intuitively I had to leave him... Well, I just left 3 months ago... He left for work and I just never walked back. I have since tried to focus on fixing my life even if it's alone. I can still will myself to never have to be in these situations again. I know I lost me, that I'll never be the same but I just want to not be that person. GOD made me survive a serial rapist for a reason even though I feel the choices I made were horrific. I don't know if GOD can forgive me or if I can I will always look at myself as a failure to my kids, but I know that if I were who I am now, I'd have never gotten myself in those situations. I don't regret the abortion exactly; I know with my soon-to-be ex-husband it never would have been good life with a dad like that. I know that as a recovering drug addict I could never have raised them alone. I know with my first three I was too immature and not thinking of what I should have all for the wrong reasons. But they were all so avoidable and I feel I failed my kids by getting pregnant with them in those situations... I am guilt stricken and so much of me has died because of this... I believe in choice for everyone. Getting used to what I did is harder though but I'm getting through because I have to if I want to survive... -- Jamie
I found out I was five and a half weeks pregnant back in April of 2010 and I remember that I was in shock. I have bi-polar disorder with schizophrenic tendencies and knew I wouldn't be fit to be a mother at the time because I was unmedicated. My boyfriend and I knew what we wanted to do but I was so nervous. I grew up as an Evangelical and I felt guilty for thinking of ending a "life" but I couldn't help but think "what if I give it a life and then refuse to take care of it?" I grew up neglected and unwanted. I couldn't do that to my child. I looked up all the information I could and finally made the appointment to have my abortion. The procedure took less than half an hour and it all felt surreal. Finally, when I was home I cried. I was so happy that I didn't have to worry about taking care of a little baby. I had my abortion at six and a half weeks and every day since I have felt nothing but strength, peace, and courage. I know now, two years later, that I made the right choice, not only for me but for my future family. Abortion saved my life. -- Michelle
I had an abortion when I was 18, a month before I graduated high school. I was terrified because I wasn't ready for a baby and neither was he. My parents told me if I wanted the baby, I'd have to move out. I had no place to go. I didn't want the baby, but I felt I couldn't confide in them anymore. My then-boyfriend's mom helped me make the appointment and took me to the clinic that day. I'll never be able to make that up to her. Even though I am no longer dating her son, we remain close. That's what I took away from the pregnancy and the abortion: I know who I can really depend on when times get scary. -- Tina W.
I was 32 when I found out I was pregnant. My youngest child was only four months old at the time. I was a single parent working two jobs to support the six I already had. I couldn't bring another into the fold when we were barely getting by already.
I called my partner and told him. He was very supportive of the decision and offered to pay for all of it. He told me to make the appointment and he would drive. In Missouri, there is a 24 hour consent law, so I took myself the first day and put down a payment. The next day he brought me in and paid for the rest of the procedure.
There were women of all ages and social statuses in the waiting room. We were all there for the same reason. We stared at one another in our silent solidarity.
The procedure was quick and relatively painless. They had someone there to talk to me and hold my hand the whole time. They were very supportive and kind. I had an IUD put in immediately following the procedure so this would never happen to me again.
He dropped me off and asked if I was okay. I'm going to be fine, I told him. I went inside and laid down. I had a good long cry. I wasn't sad. I was relieved. All my stress and anxiety over what and how I was going to make it was gone.
That was almost three years ago. If given the same circumstances, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know I made the right choice. --Nichole J
I had an abortion two months ago. The reason why I had an abortion was because my ex told me he wasn't ready to have a child yet. At the moment he told me that, I told myself that I didn't want to have a child with someone that doesn't want it. Also, we were arguing a lot and I always told myself that I never wanted to be a single mother. I grew up without a father and I wish I had one. I did not want that to happen to my child, too . Now that I look at it, I feel so guilty. I have been crying almost everyday, even now. I never thought my ex boyfriend would be able to take me and see the abortion procedure. After the abortion, I felt like I hated him because he didn't stop me from having the abortion. Two weeks ago, I broke it off with him and he moved out of my place. I couldn't be with him anymore. Now I feel alone, betrayed, and guilty. --Yvette
It was last year, the beginning of June, two months before my seventeenth birthday, and I found out I was pregnant. I was very scared and worried what my parents would think once they had found out their only daughter was pregnant. I ended up having a friend tell my mother about the pregnancy; it broke her heart. She was leaning toward me getting an abortion, but at first, I was totally against it. I had thought if I got an abortion I would regret it the rest of my life. The thought of an abortion became a lot easier after my mother and cousin talked to me about their abortions in the past. I put a lot of thought into it, and realized I wasn't ready to bring a child into this world. My child would have been due in February, and I really don't regret what I have done. It just proves I wasn't ready to bring a child into this world yet. --Courtney
I had my first, and hopefully last, abortion today. Happy St. Patrick's day to me, right? I'm very sad but I knew I had to do it. I'm 25 and have been with my boyfriend off and on for 6 years. I found out I was pregnant 4 days before my appointment. I was nervous, scared, and fully confident. The only thing is, I am 25, done with school, and have a good job. So why can't I do this? I can't afford it and I know my boyfriend will end the relationship because of it. There is a part of me that is very sad to miss this opportunity, but I really think it's best. The procedure was painful and scary but only lasted a few minutes. I'm spending the day recovering and watching "16 and Pregnant", how convenient. If there is any part of you that says "I don't want this ", don't do it. --Stefanie
I was already the mother of 2 children. Both of whom I knew I was already on my own with for 2 separate reasons. I met a guy who claimed to be single and to only have one older child. After a short time, I found out I was pregnant. He had more children than he said he did, he was married, and his wife was pregnant. I talked with friends about this and they suggested an abortion. I was always pro-choice but never thought I would ever have an abortion. After thoroughly thinking about everything, I called Preterm and made an appointment. I had 3 appointments all together. The first went smoothly. The second I was very nervous, that's when I got the pill for the medical abortion. The third was the check up, to make sure everything went ok. It did, just as expected. I was about 7 weeks. It was physically painful. I felt better within 3 days or so. However, I encountered protesters on visits 2 and 3. Visit 2, they tried to block the drive and yelled at me the whole way in, but were gone when I came out. Visit 3, the guy called me 1 too many names while I waited for someone to back out so I could pull in. I ended up giving that one a piece of my mind. I do not regret my decision. I am married now, have 3 children and 1 on the way. My current pregnancy and baby were planned. I know more every day that having 3 on my own with no family support or child support would have been no way to live. I did what I needed to do at the time. I also had ignorant people who ended up finding out what happened try to broadcast my business on a social networking site and in a public place. Thankfully no one paid attention to that person, or joined her to judge me, and my kids who were with me didn't catch on to what was being said. I will tell them one day only if I need to, to provide support or let them know it is ok. I know many people who have had abortions, and their support helped me make my decision. I am thankful for the support I had, and for the few who stayed right by my side to make sure I was ok. I hope my story can help someone else. Never worry about what people who will never have to walk in your shoes think about it. There are plenty who have had to walk in your shoes who accept you and your decisions. That's all that matters! --anonymous
I met a guy years ago named Doug who was a new neighbor in the next building from where I lived. We started hanging out and eventually ended up having sex. Before we had sex for the first time, I asked him two questions. Question number one was: “Do you have any diseases?” He told me: “No.” Question number two was: “Shouldn’t we be using protection?” He said, “Oh, don’t worry, I had a vasectomy.” Well, we continued to date and have sex without protection. After a while of unprotected sex, I got pregnant. I couldn’t believe it because I thought vasectomies were 100% and he was the only guy I was with, so it was his. When I told him I was pregnant, he avoided me and wouldn’t call me back. My mom and I decided to go over to his grandmother’s house to discuss the pregnancy. He told my mom to get out and that he had nothing to say to her. I tried to stay and talk to him. He said, “I don’t want a baby. You need to get an abortion. I should kick you in the stomach."
We set up an appointment for an abortion but I changed my mind at the last minute and said I didn’t want an abortion. He got really mad. He said, “If you have that baby, I’m going to make you look like an unfit mother.” He said this because I was diagnosed with a mental illness in 1990 and he was planning to use this against me. “Also, I do not love you. If you think this baby is going to keep us together, you’re wrong. You don’t know what you’re messing with.” This truly frightened me because I didn’t know what he meant by that. “You are nothing but a crazy bitch.” I cried my eyes out.
About two weeks later, he tried calling me and left a message on my voicemail saying, “We need to talk!” I did not want to talk to him because I felt he was going to pressure me about getting the abortion, so I ignored his calls.
After being two and a half months pregnant, I decided to have an abortion on my own for many reasons. First of all, I was in a toxic relationship. Doug would say things like, “I need to see you.” I would take the bus as soon as possible, at any hour, to see him. When I would get there, he would say, “What the hell are you doing here?”
Because of my mental illness, I need a lot of sleep. I wouldn’t be able to get up in the night for a baby because my medications are so sedating. I was so sick every morning. I would take one bite of an apple or a sip of water and throw up. I was throwing up morning, noon, and night. I felt so sick, I thought I would die. I wasn’t even keeping down my medications. I was scared and had little money, so I made an appointment with Preterm and, after the counseling session, I decided to go through with the abortion. That was the decision I made and now I have to live with it.
About two months after the abortion, I got a letter from Doug saying he was in jail, but he wouldn’t tell me why. I called the court and found out he was arrested for burglary. He tried to steal from his dad’s friend and somehow got caught. He started to write me letters from jail, asking me if I was pregnant. I lied and told him I had a miscarriage, not an abortion, because I was mad at him. Eventually, I told him it was an abortion because I wanted him to feel how hurt I was from the whole incident. His reaction was, “I thought so.” No remorse or anything. I felt sorry I told him.
I also have to admit some other things he did to me. I had just gotten a debit card and he asked me for the pin number. I thought nothing of it and gave him the pin number. Well, one night I was at his house and one of his friends came over while I was resting in the other room. I overheard Doug say, “Karen has a debit card.” He kept coming into the bedroom to check if I was awake or asleep. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back, he was gone, but his friend was still there and I asked where Doug was. His friend told me that Doug went to the store. I checked my purse and my debit card was missing. I knew right then that he took it. I had just gotten the card and was happy about it. When he asked me the pin number, I told him because I trusted him. When he came back from the store, I asked him where my debit card was and he said he used it to deposit his paycheck. A couple of days later, I found out from the bank that he deposited an empty envelope and withdrew $260.00 from my account. I had to borrow money from my mom to get my account back in order. Later, when I confronted him, he said he was drunk and couldn’t remember what he did. He told me he would pay me back and never did. I filed a police report and have saved it to this day. The police said they couldn’t do anything because he stole under $500.00. It was considered a misdemeanor.
Not only did Doug cause me problems, but also he could have gotten me in a lot of trouble. I remember one day he called me and said, “Let’s go clipping.” I said, “What’s clipping?”
Well, we got to his uncle’s house and in the backyard were marijuana plants. Doug started clipping them and put them in the trunk of his car. I said to Doug, “You can get in a lot of trouble for this.” He acted like it was no big deal. I have never in all my life tried drugs. Not only did Doug smoke marijuana but I also found out he was addicted to cocaine and would snort diet pills. After I told Doug about the abortion and saw his reaction, I had enough and left him for good.
Some years later, I saw an article in the newspaper that an agency helped Doug find a job. This county agency provides programs for people with criminal histories. Doug was featured in the article because this agency gave him the confidence to find a job and he was earning $65.00 an hour. My mom was sick when I showed her the article. She said, “Who would hire that creep?” Doug had still not offered to pay me back, though he was employed.
I recall Doug bragging at one time that he had slept with over 100 women. Staying with the wrong guy and trying to make a toxic relationship work can ruin your life, so be careful who you get involved with. I hope this story can help someone. --Karen
I'm not from America. I had my abortion in a country where everything was free. I was four months pregnant, and the procedure would have cost around 5000 dollars, at a guess. I wanted to keep the baby, but my circumstances changed. The father of the baby tried to kill me. I was only twenty, and I didn't know how I could protect myself and the child from this man. The abortion was long and painful, but the nurses in the clinic were very kind to me. That made it much easier.
I'm thirty years old now. I'm married to a wonderful man. We have a happy, healthy little toddler and we're planning to have another baby soon. The happiness I went on to find wouldn't have been possible without my abortion. --Zara
I was already a mother when I had my abortions. I love my children. I believe that my work as a parent is my most important job.
When I had my first abortion, I was a single mother. I had just found the courage to end an abusive relationship. It was an incredibly empowering and scary step to try to stand on my own when I had nothing. My baby girl was 9 months old and my income was well below the poverty line. I prayed and lifted all that was weighing upon me to God. And, with all the love in my heart, I gave the potential life growing within me back to our Creator.
I am thankful for the health and fertility bestowed on me. I am also grateful that I was able to safely postpone growing my family until our circumstances were more stable. I truly feel that my experiences with abortion were a blessing—a part of the miraculous cycle of life and part of the millennia long history of humans’ efforts to understand and responsibly control our fertility.
Good women have abortions. Good MOTHERS have abortions. --Sara
I was 18, attending college, and became pregnant. My boyfriend and I were dating on and off for about a year and a half. After about 6 months of being in college, I discovered I was 8 weeks pregnant and I put off telling my boyfriend because I was scared he would be mad at me. We were always constantly arguing, so I figured he would freak and leave me. I finally got up the courage to tell him and surprisingly, he was very supportive. He immediately wanted an abortion. The morning after I told him, he made the phone call for the appointment. I personally disagreed but with him coming from a very prestigious family in our hometown, he felt as if it would ruin his family. During the whole process, he was very supportive and stuck by my side. A year later and looking back on it, I think that I made a great decision. I was too young and have my whole life ahead of me. If I hadn't gone through with it, I know that I wouldn't have accomplished the things that I have. Now my boyfriend and I are still together but more cautious. Right before my procedure, I read a lot that it ruins your relationship but really it brought us closer. I believe it's a time where you really have to be open with that person and if he isn't supportive than he isn't worth your time. --Stacie
Twenty years ago, I had an abortion because I wanted one. My reasons are my own and are valid because I say they are. Just like each woman's choice to have an abortion or to not have one is ultimately her own decision and is valid because it is her decision about her body, her life, and her future.
Shaming women, blaming women, harassing women and our supportive partners, family and friends and our medical providers will not stop abortions. Shame, fear and misinformation will not stop people from having sex, or having unwanted pregnancies or having abortions.
We must never go back to the days of unsafe, self-induced or underground illegal abortions. There is no reason why this topic needs to continue to be surrounded by stigma and shame. We won't go back.
To me, the most important part of my story is this: my abortion was safe, legal and accessible to me. I want every woman to always have the same reproductive option I had. --Mary Kelley
I am 20 years old. I have 2 children, both by the same man, who is the only man I've ever had intercourse with, and the only man I've ever loved. Our oldest is soon to be 5 years old, and our youngest is 7 1/2 months. Tomorrow I'm calling to schedule an abortion. I just found out that I am pregnant again, despite the fact I am on the birth control pill. I'm scared to death that I will later regret it, or it will be extremely painful. This is my only choice, considering my husband's work has slowed down during the winter months, and we are pressed for time to buy a house, and money is VERY tight. I'm in college, full time for nursing as well. Having a child right now will put such a stress on my schoolwork and home life. We struggle enough as it is. I'm not going to have another child if I can't promise them a great life. I do not regret my other children, but sometimes it's a real struggle providing for them and adding another will just make things even more terrible. So glad I can get my feelings out on this site. Wish my family luck during this journey. --anonymous
I actually had started up my own website but then put it on hold until I had more funds to keep it up and running after my abortion. I am glad to see more and more sites to help women after having an abortion. Most people think once it’s over that the issue or any concerns are done, but definitely the time after the abortion can be critical too. I went through so much mental ache and pain after my abortion. It was so difficult because my mind kept wondering if that was the right decision. My boy at the time just disappeared and wasn’t there for me, and no one knew that I had an abortion. I actually ended up writing a story about my situation and the effects abortion had on me. I wrote the article and it was published in my university magazine that covers different political/cultural issues. It really helped me express myself and hopefully got others to realize that they are not alone in having an abortion and that their friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or family members should not judge them and should really support and be there for them during and after having an abortion.
Abortion is not an easy thing. There are so many questions and concerns that circle the topic of abortion, but if there are people supporting and helping someone through the process of abortion it can become easier to deal with. It can help save that girl's life even. --Carmen P.
I was so scared as a 14-year-old going to the 9th grade—I found out that I was having a child. The father was 3 years older than me but was very happy about being a father; I, on the other hand, was not. He didn't like and still doesn't like the fact that I "killed his child." My mother found out and I begged for her to let me get an abortion. She did and the experience was horrible. I was almost a month pregnant so they gave me some pills to start the process. I went into this room and they put me to sleep but I still remember seeing the lights and hearing the sounds of that doctor and the sounds of the tools that he used. Now I am 16 and a 10th grader in high school. Sometimes when I see girls my age having children, I regret my decisions but then again I know that I did the right thing. I did not wanna bring any child in this world because I knew that I couldn't provide. I never was for abortion before my experience, but now I know that everything happens for a reason. I haven't had sex since my abortion. I also plan on having children in the future but only when I'm married and when I'm sure that I am able to provide. --anonymous
It was the summer before I started my sophomore year in high school. My boyfriend and I started dating in December and he was my best friend two years prior. I found out I was pregnant in May, had an abortion in June, then found out I was pregnant again in July having another abortion in August. My mom was disappointed, my dad never found out, and my brother started hating my boyfriend. My experience getting the abortions was wonderful, as terrible as that is to say. I got the conscious sedation, took a little nap while it was happening. Before I was completely affected by the sedation, my nurse grabbed my hand and smiled at me and that made everything great because I wanted my mom there soo bad. The second time, no one held my hand but they were just as nice to me; it was very reassuring. My boyfriend and I are still together after 3 years and talking about having our first baby next year. Having the abortion made me a stronger person. -- Kristen G.
Two and a half years ago, 18 days before my 21st birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I was a junior in college and my boyfriend at the time was a sophomore. I took 3 pregnancy tests and went to PP to get tested, where it was confirmed. I had no money, no degree, thousands of dollars in loans already and I worked at McDonalds part time as a cashier to help pay my rent. My parents both worked full time and were helping put my brother and I through college and they didn't have the money to help me raise a child either. I also was dealing with undiagnosed bipolar disorder at the time, and though I was not diagnosed, I knew I didn't have the emotional stability to make it through a pregnancy without harming a potential child, let alone raising a child. I also knew at that age I didn't want kids, at the time or ever. I knew immediately that I really had no other choice but to get an abortion.
The wonderful people at Planned Parenthood referred me to three clinics in Columbus, Ohio where I could get the procedure done. I chose the one that was the cheapest and because it was the first clinic in Ohio to perform legal abortions. In Ohio, you have to go to two appointments. One is the where they test you and see how far along you are, and then they make you wait to see if you "change your mind" or to "seek counseling." The week before the first appointment and 4 days between the first and the second were some of the worst of my life. I was grappling with my decision and filled with guilt and horror over what I was experiencing. I had always been pro-choice, but I was the kind who thought it could never happen to me. I told three of my closest friends I was pregnant. They were all wonderful and supportive, which kept me going. All of those days, I skipped class and hung out with my boyfriend, who seemed as scared as I was. He was very supportive, but he seemed distant and guilty. I can't say I blamed him.
The day of the first appointment, my boyfriend drove me to Columbus in my car. The whole way, I chain smoked and was silent. We got lost in the city, and I started crying. We finally got there. There were no protesters, which was a great relief, because seeing them would have made me leave. We went inside, where we waited for like 15 minutes before they called me back. I got an ultrasound, and as I suspected, I was barely a month along. The ultrasound tech was around my age and asked if I wanted to see it. I said no. She told me it was smaller than my pinky nail, which somehow made me feel better. Then I went to talk to a doctor about my options. He said I could get a medical abortion (the pill) or wait 3 weeks to get a surgical abortion. I chose a medical abortion, even though it was more expensive, because I knew I couldn't stand to be pregnant any longer. I needed resolution, and I needed it over as quickly as possible. Four days later, I went to my next appointment. I was still sick over what was happening, but I was more confident in my decision. The doctor gave me the mifepristone at the clinic, and I had to take the misoprostol the next day at home.
The day I took the misoprostol was very intense. I won't get into the details, but once I knew I had officially terminated the pregnancy, the emotions were overwhelming. I can't even describe them to this day. It was a mixture of elation, confusion and horror. Doing it at home was a mixed bag. I was completely aware of what was happening, which wasn't pleasant, but I also avoided surgery and anesthesia, which was also good. It was also comforting to be somewhere familiar, so the procedure didn't seem so alien. My boyfriend stayed with me, but not during the "bad parts." I was in pain for a few days afterward, but I was able to go to my friends' house and eat pizza and cry. I ate a lot of crackers and took a lot of Vicodin. I felt exhausted, physically and emotionally, and my emotions were up and down.
About 5 days later, I went in for the follow-up appointment. The doctor checked and everything had gone perfectly. I was no longer pregnant and the procedure was officially finished. I got back on birth control, because missing 1 month of birth control was what caused the pregnancy in the first place, and I was on with my life. The doctors and nurses at the facility where I went were all really wonderful and gave me the names of counselors and hotlines I could talk to and told me to come in if I had any physical issues. I never saw one protester. Overall, medically, it was perfect.
The months following the abortion were difficult for me, emotionally. I had a lot of trouble dealing with it. I knew I had made the best decision for me and for my boyfriend too, but it still took me a long time to accept it. I think I had some form of PTSD or something. I eventually told my mom about it and she was wonderful, which resolved a lot of the issues I had, because I had kept it hidden from my parents, and I am very close to them. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which I know contributed to the absolute roller coaster of emotions I had after the abortion. I started dealing with the issues I had surrounding my abortion in therapy, which really helped me. What helped me the most though was having friends, a boyfriend and a mother that supported my decision and told me I was strong for making it and treated me the same as they had always treated me. Honestly, the person who was hardest on me for it was myself.
It has been two and a half years since I made the decision to get an abortion, and I am happy to say that I am completely at peace with myself with the decision now. I won't say I didn't have any psychological trauma, because I did. I know now that, despite this, it was the best decision I have ever made for myself. I am 23 now, I have a degree and a full time job, I live in my own apartment and I recently got a cat, which is the proper first step toward adulthood for someone like me. I am no longer with the boyfriend I had at the time, but he remains one of my best friends, partly because we shared that experience. I wasn't ready to have a child back then, just like I'm not ready now. I am grateful I was able to continue to mature and grow as a person without having to raise I child I didn't want and couldn't provide for emotionally or economically. I am very happy and stable now. Personally, I don't ever want to have children, and I am thankful that I was able to make that choice when I was 1 month pregnant, instead of one year into a child's real life. Going through that experience really forced me to grow up and face my demons. I am just grateful that I live in a country where I have that right and that choice. -- anonymous
I was 19 and in love. The first in my family to go to college, to break from the cycle of economic despair. 5 months shy of not being a teenage mother, the test came back positive. Two time zones from my boyfriend, I was so alone. I sat on a Civil War battleground and made the call. I couldn't go through with it. He supported me no matter what. I would have been a good mother, he would have been a good father. But neither of us would have been the best we could be though. Now 6 years later, I rest comfortably knowing I made the right decision--for me, for him, for the child we didn't bring into this world. Only him and only I know this. It's time to end the silence. -- Laura
I had an abortion because I had been laid off from my job and had no income for months, I had no health insurance, and the father was in Iraq and did not want to keep it. We are still together 2 years later. The only thing I regret is the situation, not the abortion. I wish I had a stable life and could have kept it. The abortion itself was very traumatizing and was absolutely the worst time in my life. Because of this experience I wish to never be pregnant ever again. -- anonymous
"Many years ago I was lucky enough to obtain an abortion at a Cleveland abortion clinic. Access to that service has made all the difference in my life and in my health. Alerted early in the pregnancy (3 weeks) that I probably would not carry the foetus to term - and that I faced many severe and threatening complications should I decide to remain pregnant, I chose abortion - an alternative presented and recommended by the doctor attending me. I didn't then and do not now feel guilt or regret about that decision. I have often been asked by friends why I don't mind admitting I had an abortion and why I felt it was the right decision. I made a healthy choice. Abortion is a medical procedure to help women and partners determine when or if they will reproduce. Period. I would never worry about any other sort of operation that helped me maintain my reproductive health - why would I think differently of abortion? I would probably feel the same if my reason for getting the abortion had been economic or social or relationship related. My second "no regrets" reason is that three months after the abortion I was pregnant again. I carried that child to term and had one other child. They are happy very productive adults - but they might not be here o might not be so happy and doing so well if I had not had an abortion. For me abortion was an alternative that relieved a great deal of stress, a good deal of illness. Legal, hygenic, openly available, affordable abortion services are necessary and right. Just as many of us seek to take back the night, we should also seek to take away the stigma of having made good sound healthy choices." -- Christine Sell