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 was 16 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I had been having unprotected sex with my boyfriend for quite awhile and I never really thought I would get pregnant. I was in such a twisted situation, my mind was going crazy. My boyfriend wanted me to have the baby, as well as my mom. Everyone else in my family felt an abortion would be best for me. At the time I was living with my father, so no matter what he had the last word. I had so many mixed emotions about having an abortion and I honesty didn't know what to do. I went to HeartLine Pregnancy Center and got an ultrasound, but I wasn't even five weeks pregnant, so I didn't even actually see a heartbeat. My father was set on me having an abortion so I thought that would be best for me. I started detaching myself from the pregnancy and everything seemed like a dream. I had to wait until I was at least eight weeks pregnant to get my abortion, and the time had come. I was so nervous waiting in that room. I had no clue what to expect. I went into the procedure room and got medicine that made me feel wheezy and out of the world. Laying down on the flat bed was the last thing I remembered. Honestly, the abortion isn't the worst part, it's the thoughts that follow it. I am on the right track now and I am going to be a Junior in high school. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had my baby, but at the same time I know I did what was right for me and I am okay with that. I will always have an angel waiting for me.” --anonymous
“I just recently found out that I'm pregnant and as a recently single mother of a two year old boy and a one year old boy I've decided that it would be in my (and my boys) best interests to get an abortion. I'm not really sure how I'll feel emotionally afterwards and I think if I never have a girl I'll end up wondering for the rest of my life, but I've just been accepted to college for nursing and I'm trying to get back on my feet. I was dating a guy for about 2 months but after we broke up I slept with my ex which makes the whole thing even more confusing. I know that this is the right decision for me and I plan on having more children eventually but for now its not the right thing for my family. I am aware I may regret it someday but I need to do what's best for myself and my boys. Also, with my last two I had c-sections and am not a good candidate for vbac so there could be a possibility that they would say I couldn't have anymore after this because my babies were so close together and delivered by surgery.” --Emma
“I had an abortion two years ago which would make me 20 years old. i had an extremely violent boyfriend who wouldnt let me leave the house well after a certain amount of time. i started getting really sick throwing up all the time couldnt eat but i still had what i thought was a period so i didnt look into it until my friend suggested i take a test and sure enough i was pregnant and i knew right away what i wanted to do. i could never of had that baby. i hated him so much so i had the abortion at 10 weeks 4 days pregnant. i believe i did the right thing but i hid it from everyone. no one knows but that one friend my mom would hate me shes against abortion but it feels good to get it all out.” --Kay
“I was 18 and already had a baby when I found out I was pregnant yet again. I was terribly upset and didn't know what to do I didn't think I could cope with having another baby. I had made up my mind and decided I wanted an abortion. I told my boyfriend and he supported me, I decided to tell my sister and two cousins my cousins helped me out alot which was a big help. Me and of my cousins and my son caught a bus upto auckland, we went to the hospital to get consent from the two doctors, the next day was the procedure and I was real nervous I had to go talk to the nurse who was really nice she gave me a pill to take and asked me to go wait in one of the cubicles till the doctor came to get me I then went into the operating room, hopped up on the bed and was then given anthestic. I woke up 40min later in the recovery room, I felt ok just a bit tired, we then went back to our accommodation. Two days after my abortion my breasts filled with milk and started leaking because i was 15weeks pregnant, I sometimes regret it when I see newborns but I then realise it was the best desision.” --Kayla
“I had an abortion when I was 24 years old. I was living and working in Europe. I was also about to enter graduate school. I had been really careless with my birth control. The father was a man that I was with for a few years . He still remains to be my best friend and fiancee. There were too many plans we had for the future with travel school and professional life. It was not a matter of health or rape, but a matter based on finances and my mental well being. I felt there were things I needed to do before I have a child. This sounds really selfish, but I knew in my heart that if I were to bring a child into this world that I would not be the best mother I could be. I'd go into old age feeling as though I missed out on what I wanted to do and I feel the child would suffer. Many women would love to throw stones at me for this reasoning, but in my heart I think I did the right thing. I was not ready. I did not have any maternal instinct and I would have been miserable. I am now in my early 30s, have a successful career, have seen much of the world and have a masters degree . I am also going to marry my partner of almost 10 years. I now feel as though I am in a a better place and condition. I took the abortion pill at exactly 5 weeks. It was rather painful, but it only took a couple of days of rest t recover. I had this over with at a very early time. I do not regret my decision.” --Heidi
“What I want to say about my abortions is this:
I am glad I had them.
That sentiment is 5 years in the making. I had two abortions in 6 months; it wasn't easy and at the time I had my doubts. But with the gift of hindsight I can say, with complete clarity, that having children would have been a huge mistake. My boyfriend at the time was not a good partner to me. He's not in my life anymore, and I am thankful for that, and aware that it wouldn't be possible if we'd had children together. I moved away from the town I was living in, where there were no jobs. If I'd had children I would be stuck in a town I didn't want to live in making sub-poverty wages. Most importantly in my mind is, I know now that I do not want children, which I wasn't sure about at the time. Getting to that realization without having kids is such a blessing.
I know that there are people out there who would call my relief selfish.
To them I say: I am not a baby making machine. I am not a joyous creator of life goddess-thing. I am a human being and my life belongs to me, not to children that never were, politicians who think it is their business, religious people who think all souls are in their care. Your ire and judgment do not change that I made the most mature decision possible. Without children I am free and sane, and I value that more than I value your opinions.” --Kim
"I am a nineteen year old college student. Two months ago I was suddenly unable to eat anything without feeling nauseous; I couldn't do any task without becoming exhausted. I finally took a pregnancy test that was positive. I just knew. From the time I found out what abortion was, I always knew I would have one if I got pregnant before I was ready; so it was no question. But as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I just cried. I was overwhelmed, my body didn't belong to me anymore, I felt out of control. My appointment at planned parenthood gave me such relief. I told everyone in my life very matter-of-factly about my upcoming procedure and I felt powerful, ready, and in control, and I still do. My abortion saved my life. No not in a literal way, but had I not done this, my life would have changed for the worse. I would have a baby and no college degree and over fifty thousand dollars in student loans. It came down to my life or the existence of this parasite and I chose mine. Someone once told me that this time of my life is my time to be selfish and at first I thought I was making a selfish decision but I realized that it was selfish not to. My abortion was the best choice that I have ever made. I didn't have any regret or fear or anger. It made me feel powerful, like I was in control of my own life. Abortion allows women to live by their own terms. Because of my abortion I will be educated, I will make contributions that I could only dream of as a young, single mother. In the words of Molly Crabapple, I had an abortion. I am not sorry. I am not afraid." --Amy Johnson
"Back story: I’m 26. I’m in a steady relationship. I have three little girls, ages 3, 2, and 6 months, all from the same father who i'm in a steady relationship with. We decided not to have any more and scheduled him for a vasectomy. Four days before his vasectomy I found out I was pregnant and told him immediately. Both of our gut reactions was that we did not want another child. Which was very unlike our first three. Our first three kids were very close together and even though its difficult to manage them, abortion was not an option in our minds at any point for child 1, 2, or 3. This time it was different.
Doc visit one: I went to my regular obgyn three days after finding out I was pregnant. I went alone cuz hubby was unable to come with me. I started crying almost immediately as I entered the room. The doctor gave me an ultrasound and told me I was about 5 weeks pregnant. She asked me if we had decided and I said no (even though we had decided to abort). She explained the aspiration procedure which was not what I wanted, I wanted the pill. I expected to be able to get the pill and take it right away. That was not the case. She said the only place that administers the pill in our area is planned parenthood and she highly discouraged it because it left a lot of women with incomplete abortions and also heavy bleeding and cramping that ended them up in the ER. I trust my doctor, but an aspiration abortion was not what I had planned for. So she gave me a week to think about it then come back. Some of the nurses at the office tried to leave hints "what if this is your boy?" or gave me mean looks. Others were very supportive. I left feeling terrible.
Week of deciding: the week of deciding sucked. I woke up feeling different every day. One day I actually bought prenatals cuz I thought I was gonna go thru with keeping the baby. My husband was supportive either way. It was very stressful. I wish I hadn't taken a week to figure it out cuz all I did was flip-flop and put off the decision. I couldnt decide. Some days I wanted it some days I didn’t. Towards the end of the week I realized I didn't want either option. I didn't want a fourth child and I didn't want an abortion. I was upset I couldn’t just take a magic pill and make it all go away. I was scared of the abortion procedure. But I really do not want a fourth child. Three kids, and being pregnant while juggling infants, is extremely difficult. I felt selfish for not wanting another child. But I finally feel like I have my life together and some independence and I can handle three kids financially. All of that would be up in the air with four. That made me feel guilty. Those are all feelings I had to accept and deal with. I realized that being scared of having an abortion was not worth not dealing with if I really honestly didn’t not want a fourth child.
Doc visit two: I went back to the doctor, this time with hubby, to let her know my decision. This time the experience was completely different. I felt stronger having my husband by my side. She did another ultrasound to measure the size and we did not look at the ultrasound. She explained the procedure again. She told me the cost $550 to have it done at their office and she would give me two valium and two pain killers. She told me the cost of having it done at a medical facility so I could have anesthesia if I wanted ($550 doc, $700 med facility, $300 anesthesiologist). My insurance didn't cover it. I decided to go with the office/pain killer procedure. She scheduled it for as soon as she could (unfortunately I had to wait over a weekend) a total of 4 days waiting.
Four days waiting: I was worried I would change my mind. But I didn’t. I felt relief that a decision had been made. Sometimes I still wondered and felt stressed about it a little, but for the most part I just felt relief.
Abortion day: I took my medicine one hour before my visit and didn’t feel any different at all. My hubby drove me to the doctors office. All the nurses were super nice and one of them turned relaxing music on her phone throughout the whole procedure. My husband waited outside the room. The doctor gave me a shot of local anesthetic and started the procedure. The vacuum thing was loud but it didn't bother me. I just kept my eyes closed and felt minimal discomfort. The whole thing was over in about 20 minutes. I got up to pee afterwards and it didn't hurt at all. She said i'll have some light bleeding for a week or two and then get my regular period in one month. She sent me home with an antibiotic, pain killers, and something else, I can't remember. I walked out of there feeling just fine. Maybe a little sleepy cuz of the valium I think. We actually went to store afterwards and I walked around and felt just fine. Then I came home and napped for about four hours. Now i'm awake, I haven't taken any pain meds (yes, today was abortion day) and I feel good.
Verdict: I did what was right for me and what I think was better for my family. I came to peace with my decision and I don't think it will haunt me at all. The procedure was quicker, easier, and more pain free than I expected. The word abortion is scary and frowned upon and hard to say, and so many negative emotions are attached to it. They say one in three women have had an abortion by age 45. Two of the nurses at my doctors office told me they had them. You’d never know. It’s something we suffer in silence. I kind of feel empowered that I was able to make this choice and life through it and life with it. I am happy that my children’s attention will not be divided yet again by having another child. I am happy (this may sound selfish but its true) that I don't have to worry about buying a bigger car since basically only minivans can carry 6 people, or move (we have a two bedroom house) or be pregnant again while dealing with three toddlers who need lots of hugs and attention, or have to give birth, or have sore boobs and breasts to pump, or put my husband and myself through another pregnancy where i'm highly irritable and tired and feel like crap all the time. So i'm happy with my decision. I’m good with it and I was SO on the fence, and SO worried and SO scared to have an abortion. But I did it and it was right. So I hope that my story may help someone in the same position. Good luck." -- anonymous
"I have always been pro-choice but when I was put in a situation to decide what choice I had to make it was the hardest decision of my life. I had broke up with my ex before I found out I was pregnant. I was so scared I didn't know what to do, I called him and told him I was pregnant. He was so excited telling me how much he loved me and what not. The next day we went to planned parenthood and took a test, it was positive. I couldn't stop crying. He didn't have a care in the world how I felt as long as he was happy. He kept telling me not to get an abortion that it was against gods will (I'm not a religious person). I went home and all I was thinking was how was I going to raise this baby. I had a part time job at a salon, I still lived at home with my parents, my ex didn't have a job he made money selling I have no idea what. But he kept telling he was going to change he was going to treat me better and get a job to take care of me and the baby so I tried to be how we used to be when we were together. When I finally told my parents they were so hurt and disappointed in me I felt horrible. I knew I had let them down. My father told me to get rid of it, my mother wanted me to marry my ex if I was going to keep the baby. When I told my ex he some how turned the whole situation to being about him. A few days after that I realized how unhealthy my relationship was with my ex. He was going back to his old ways finding ways to make me feel bad about something starting a fight for no reason. I told my parents I wanted the abortion. I knew if I went through with the pregnancy I would be stuck in this relationship living off welfare and not moving on in life. I wanted to tell my ex I had miscarried I was scared of his reaction if I told him about my decision. The clinic I chose to go to had such a kind caring staff they put me at ease. The counseling the clinic provided helped calm my nerves and the counselor helped me realized how unhealthy my relationship was. After the procedure I felt relived I'm going to be honest there are still days where I feel sad, angry at myself, scared but I just keep telling myself I did what was best for me. I'm starting my life all over again and learning to love myself a little more." -- anonymous
"My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have 2 children, ages 6 and 4. After my first pregnancy, I was involved in a brutal car accident that fractured vertebrae and ruptured disks in my back. After undergoing therapy for months, we found ourselves expecting our second child.
We postponed corrective surgery on my spine until after the pregnancy, accepting that carrying to term could cause even more damage to my spine. After a safe delivery and 1 year of breastfeeding, I had my spine fixed, 3 disks fused and a metal support grid implanted and bolted to my spine. I was explicitly told that my back could not withstand another pregnancy, so my husband underwent a vasectomy.
However, 3 years later, I found out I was pregnant during a doctor appointment about significantly increased pain in my back. The hormone that cause your ligaments to relax during pregnancy was wreaking havoc on my implants.
The doctor sat down and explained my options. I did not want to be wheelchair bound. So we planned out a medical abortion.
I was 61 days pregnant when I took the first pill. Being almost to the 63 day mark meant the whole experience might be a little worse, combined with my anemia. This is what happened:
I took the first pill at 10am on a Saturday, and was sent home with antibiotics, painkillers, and instructions. I did not feel nausea or anything.
About noon on Sunday, I took the other 4 pills and laid down to read a book. The first cramps started about 4pm. At about 7:30pm I felt a significant pull in my uterus, then the first of the bleeding started. When I went to the toilet, I was passing lemon sized blood clots, and there was a steady stream of blood into the toilet. I started to feel dizzy, could hear a roaring in my ears, then my vision went black and I woke up on the floor.
My husband helped me to the bed and put a folded up towel between my legs. About once an hour I would feel a tremendous cramp worse then the rest accompanied by a gushing of blood into the towel then a loss of consciousness for a few mins. This lasted until 7am the next morning.
During the night, I drank about 8 bottles of gatorade and kept a steady intake of iron supplements and iron rich foods. By 9am, the bleeding was down to the equivalent of a bad period, and lasted for almost 3 weeks. I was very weak for the 2 days following the weekend, and received a blood transfusion (arranged ahead of time) to combat the blood loss and help regulate the anemia .
I have had no regrets about my decision, nor do I feel depressed. We were being responsible adults and just got thrown a kink by nature. One of his vas deferens had partially re-attached itself, allowing for a minuscule amount of sperm to join the semen. This was corrected before I took the medicine.
Looking back on the experience, I know it was made worse only because of my anemia, but we were prepared for that. I would rather be able to run around and actively participate with the 2 children I have then be confined to a wheelchair, watching my 3 children live their lives." --A.M
"In 1975 I was a virgin at 19. I was naïve. Being 19 in 1975 was like being 13 nowadays. My 43 year old chemistry professor in college seduced me. Because I didn’t bleed much when we first had sex, he contended I had had sex with many others before him and told me that he “knew” it had been my father who broke my hymen. I couldn’t prove to him that my father was a decent man, a man who had respected my body throughout my life. I couldn’t prove to the professor that I was a virgin when I slept with him. In my innocence, I wrote the professor a letter supplicating him to believe me: he was the first. My parents intercepted the letter getting proof I was having sex. They told him they’d tell the dean… that he’d lose his job. In addition, my parents made my life miserable, calling me a whore day and night. The professor proposed. Although my parents really didn’t want me to marry him, I ended up marrying him, out of rebellion, infatuation and lack of direction. Within a couple of months I was pregnant and decided to have an abortion. The professor abused me in many ways during our 4 year marriage, but the worst one was when he stole cyanide from the university’s lab and poisoned my cat for biting the living room couch and leaving a tiny little hole in it. I finally got out from this nightmare: courage & grace were on my side. In the last 35+ years I have regretted many many times not protecting my cat, but I have NEVER regretted having that abortion. I am very grateful I was able to go to a place where it was done safely and with dignity. Who knows where I’d be if I would have had a child from the psychopath I married. If it wasn’t for that abortion I wouldn’t have been able to leave him, start my own exploration about who I am as a woman and why I was so attracted to such a hideous person. It was the abortion that opened doors for me so I could bloom and define what I really deserve in my life. 10 years after my divorce, I got everything I dreamt of: a good husband, a career, freedom and a harmonious home… thanks to Roe v Wade." -- Awilda