Racism and anti-semitism isn't something we're born with. It's the product of influences around us. The people who teach us to think in terms of "us" and "them." Media stereotypes that infuse us with prejudice. Insecurities that tempt us to put others down to feel better about ourselves.
Below are stories told by previously racist and anti-semitic people who have come out the other side and realized how horrible their viewpoint was.
They provide some insight into why people are actually swept into hate in the first place, and how it can be unlearned.
Thank you to all the people who shared their story. Source found at the bottom of this article.
1. Some backstory; I was in a hardcore racist organization from 15 to 20 years old. They recruited me off the school grounds, where I was vulnerable and easily persuadable. I had been in brawl with a few Arab immigrants and felt strong resentment against them and the organization really sounded like they made a difference, like they could stop "them" and others who would "destroy" the country ...this is truly what I thought.
I shaved my head and started to wear the clothes. We used to vandalize immigrant "hotels" (places they live just when they came to the country) and stores. We would regularly get into large fights with immigrant and communist/socialist groups.
I really truly hated those people. Everyday I did something to make their life difficult. Everyday something related to this ongoing"fight" happened. Such was life in the organization. I was content with the hate.
But then there was a moment where that all changed.
I was sitting on the bus on my way home one day. I was listening to some music in my headphones. It was a cloudless autumn day and everything was a healthy yellow and orange color and blue sky. At a stop an African American man and a young boy, maybe 5-6 years, got on. The man was tall and had bad clothes, he looked like he did not have much. They sat in front of me. I immediately became annoyed and started to think about how I hated them, immigrants coming to my country, I thought. He is poor and I pay taxes so he can get welfare. I thought about how his son is going to become a lousy bum and abuse white women. I started to get mad and decided to beat the man up, I was going to follow him when he got off the bus.
I saw him press the button and got ready at the next stop, and just before we stopped I was about to get up and the man turned to his son and said something in a heavy accent that I will never forget in my life.
"I love you my son, be good."
He then gave him a big, hard hug and the boy got off the bus alone. He waved good bye and sat back down, with his hands on his face. I just stared out the window where his son had been standing. My world view came crashing. He was just a father who wanted his son to be good, he loved him just like my father loved me. For some reason this changed everything for me. I know this is a very small thing but I started to think about how he wanted a better life for his son. He was a man that had changed everything for his family.
I sat on that bus for hours, it kept going around. I thought about how wrong it was to do the things I had done. I left that city the next day and started over. I am much happier now. I don't feel the hate in my heart every day anymore.
2. This story is difficult to share. I am telling it at the request of my son.
I was raised as a racist. We lived in Southern California near a lot of racial minorities. My father was a union leader and I think his hatred of minorities came from his job, because the union was mostly white guys and they saw the minorities as trying to take their jobs. Whenever we would drive around and see them in the street, my dad would always point them out and talk rudely about them.
I grew up and had kids of my own. I was doing the same thing to them without realizing it. One day I came home and found my 14 year old daughter messing around with another kid who was Black. I threw him out of my house and beat him in my driveway.
The cops were called and I went to prison for assault. (Continued)
Continue reading this story on the next page.
In prison, I saw how ethnically divided everything was, but my counsellor was the one who basically shook me out of it. She helped me realize that continuing this hatred would really only hurt my own life.
I tried to avoid the racial groups in my prison. I stayed on my own and earned my GED. In my classes I met a lot of minorities who had also never graduated high school, like myself.
You know, I don't think there was really a single moment. It took a while for the subject to come up in my sessions, and I remember my counsellor asking me if I actually knew anyone of a different race, and I really didn't. I had always avoided them my whole life. So that was the start of my mind changing.
I listened to my counsellor and got to know them and realized what a hard life they had had. Before, I thought that they were just lazy and sold drugs for easy money. We actually went through a lot of the same struggles in our education.
When I got out, I started a construction company. I make an effort to hire both former cons and also minorities. I am trying to make up for the kind of things I have done in the past.
3. I was a huge racist neo-nazi, and I was visiting the holocaust museum because, as I thought at the time, I wanted to see a "shrine" to how the "great and powerful" Aryans had killed Jewish people. Goodness I was such an idiot. I actually thought it would be fun. Then, I saw a little girl's dirty shoes from one of the gas chambers and I totally lost it. Something inside me snapped.
It just took that one moment for me to realize how stupid I was being.
Today, I couldn't be happier. I also happen to be married to an African-American woman and she is the love of my life.
4. I was a skinhead since I was a kid..about 13. We ran in a gang and listened to both racial music and also non racial music. We were a bit mouthy etc about race, but the place we grew up in was totally white. There was one Chinese lass in our whole school of about 1,200 people. It didn't take me too long to realize that the "they took our jobs" talk was a load of crap, as there were no ethnic people in our town and no jobs. So I did grew out the explicit racist thing pretty quickly. Still, I harboured some deep-seeded beliefs about race, and usually thought of non-white people as "the others."
It was only really when I went to university that I actually encountered different races. I got to work beside Black and Asian guys, played football with Africans and Greeks and generally had a great time and met great people who I still keep in contact with. At that point, even though I didn't consider myself outwardly racist, I couldn't imagine me having Black friends, or going on holiday with a group that included several Muslims, which I did do a couple of years back.
There was a moment, for me, that turned everything around. (Continued)
Continue this story on the next page.
I went to live in another city, and was just myself..talk to anyone. One night I got a cab. The driver was a Muslim in full Pakistani cultural gear. I thought, people are people and have the right to do or dress how they want, but I don't think we are going to have a lot to talk about, not much common ground. I gave him my address and sat back to chill out.
Guy turns round, you a Scot (Scottish)? I said yeah mate. Then he starts chatting about when he first came to England in the 60s before the majority of Pakistanis, he used to get picked on at school. The other guys who were picked on were Scots and Irish. So they formed a gang of the eight of them. From that day they could go watch football, go out at night, and generally stick up for each other. He said, that was a long time ago, and I still get a shiver when I hear Scots or Irish accents. Now he teaches kids at the mosque not to dislike white Christians, and the best ways to mix and interact. We sat for 20 minutes when we arrived at my house and just shot the breeze.
I think that's when the last bit of bigotry left me.
5. I moved to London when I was 6, from Poland. Back in Poland everyone in my community was racist to a degree, so I never really thought about it. I was raised with the (false!) knowledge that Muslims were the cancer of the Earth, Black people were just the poor, scum of society, and this was just accepted as a truth. Racism and Xenophobia in Eastern Europe is pretty bad.
Anyway, I moved when I was about 6, maybe 7, to a housing estate in South London, and what I saw disgusted me at the time. The amount of minorities around where I lived was huge. I remember just starting secondary school (age 11) and quickly falling into a group of friends who were primarily European, all of which shared my uneducated views. Like I said, I was poor and so were they, and so we put the blame onto anyone we could. It's just how it was. For the next couple years I was constantly in trouble for fighting and making trouble with other kids, and they were almost always black. I was a real jerk at that age. At 15 one of my friends was stabbed by a gang member, and I just felt angry and let down, blaming other minorities more than ever.
When I got a bit older, and I was studying at college (not university, the two years before university is called college or sixth form in the UK) there were no other Eastern European people in my class. I was one of 3 white people, the other two being English, the rest being black or Muslim. I felt isolated, until I was forced to sit next to a kid called Tristan. (Continued)
Continue reading this story on the next page.
He was involved in gangs, selling drugs ect, and for the first week I didn't talk to him at all, but I realized that actually, despite what I saw in him when I first met him, he seemed like a nice guy, so I started talking to him a bit, and I realized that all the things I'd been through getting caught up in violence, drugs and everything else that came with being a young poor impressionable Polish immigrant, I could relate to him. Anyway, he became one of my best friends, and my 18th birthday was coming up so I told him he should come along to it (parents got some money together and hired out the top room of a pub near where I live). Well, you can imagine what happened. My attitudes had changed a bit so I didn't think much of it at the time, but my old friends started getting violent towards him and his girlfriend who he'd brought. I saw all those people from a different light, and I haven't spoken to them since.
I'm in my second year at university, and I'm still trying to kill any pre-judgement of people that hangs over from how I used to think. If anything, the people I prejudge most are Eastern European.
6. I never ran with a group of racists, but I harboured some really racist views for a long time, listened to RAC (basically Nazi punk rock) a lot, and frequented the Stormfront (White Nationalist Community) boards.
I realized eventually that being filled with hate all the time, was having a really negative impact on my life. at the same time that this thought crept into my head, I started working in the oil patch in Northern Canada. I ran into a lot of people who were extremely racist, who said things that even I didn't agree with, and even met some guys who identified themselves as neo nazis.
It struck me that there was one thing in common for each of these guys.
One of the common things these guys shared, is that they were extremely uneducated and, often, of little intelligence. Maybe someone knows some smart racists, I never have actually met one.
It got me thinking, about my future, about the kind of people I wanted to be around, about the people who I wouldn't have in my life if they knew I had become a full on racist, and about having a bunch of idiots as my sole peer group.
I really didn't want that, so I worked hard on changing. I threw out my Bully Boys c.ds, I went back to school, in a course with many different cultural groups, and realized that most of the time, these people that I hated were a lot more like me then they were different from me.
And towards the end of my course, I stopped at a car accident, where a car full of middle eastern people had flipped off a road. They had kids and the mom inside, and they were in pretty bad shape. (Continued)
Continue this article on the next page.
When I looked at them, and saw their eyes, and the fear and pain, I knew, that we are all people. I could have never left those people to die, I could have never hoped for a different outcome for those people than for people of my own skin color (this didn't happen right away, it took a few weeks from the accident). I still have racist thoughts pop into my head (driving in Vancouver can do that), but I catch them, and realize it is just a reactionary response, built up from years of habitual thinking, and they don't usually last all that long.
I work as an EMT now, and it has been the best thing for me. It is a constant reminder that we all have the same fears and the same response to emotional and physical pain. And it has worked, I no longer think of myself as racist there are things I'm still ignorant about, but I'm working on it. Nobody's perfect. It's all about the ability to step back and realize where that thought is coming from. It requires being willing to self-critique which is never an easy thing.
That family in the car ended up being o.k, the paramedics and fire crew arrived on scene and extricated them, they were hurt but no one died, and I got inspired to make my own positive mark on the world, and picked my career.
7. While I was not a KKK member, I used to support David Duke, the former grand wizard of the KKK who ran for Louisiana governor, because of his racist views. I had preconceived ideas about racial minorities, and often told people that I hated how Black people would walk in the middle of the road, and were quick to anger. Mostly, it just felt good to look down on someone else.
I later came out as gay but remained a racist. I changed my mind when I moved from Louisiana to California and took gender/race/sexuality study classes. Wow! That really turned things around for me. I realized I was racist because I didn't understand other cultures and motivations of minority groups. My new perspective was further enforced when I, too, became angry at stuff that happens to minorities and felt the need to act out.
Also, as a side note, I also read that the whole "walking in the middle of the road" thing for people in low-income neighborhoods is because humans are territorial, and people who live in the projects don't have true sense of ownership. So public things become their territory. Pretty interesting.
Continue reading on the next page.
8. In my Primary school years I was nearly suspended due to racist comments towards a person of color in my class. I was a brat (to put it mildly) as a kid. Probably down to coming from a rich family that became a broken, welfare needing home in the matter of months. Acting out, you know.
As I got older I got drawn into the whole racist / anti-Semitic view because of my grandparents. Farm folk from a village in Kent, England with about 15 inhabitants. Nice people seriously, they just hated Jewish people, and anyone from a differing racial or ethnic background. Ironically my Grandfather was born in Guernsey, the Channel Islands so wasn't actually English.
The Neo-Nazi idea was one I could relate to. I used to walk around with military boots and trousers, biker jacket and bandanna. I'd listen to really abusive racial music, have a general disgust for the 'cancer' on this Earth as I used to see it as. I admired how the Nazis had become such a powerful government through racist policies. This somewhat supported my ideals.
Where I lived at that time was surrounded by Indian students, studying for medicine at University. I used to have a go at the groups of them, push them around. Some would cross the road to avoid me. Like a group of 10 avoiding just me. I was 6 foot and 260lbs back then.
Now this is the twist, throughout the neo-nazi esque years I had been into watching a lot of gay porn secretly. But I was homophobic as all heck. When I eventually worked out I was being a dick because I was projecting the hatred of myself outwards. I changed. I came out to my parents and grandparents who all supported me surprisingly, just as long as I didn't flaunt it.
Now for the grand ending: I'm engaged to a half Irish Half Algerian, gorgeous man who has been with me for the most wonderful three years of my life.
I don't see the appeal of these rooms.
Why would one enjoy being trapped in a room?
When you watch people trapped in a movie you cheer for their release.
But this activity has gotten super popular.
And people have gotten real creative in their escapes.
Redditor CaptainCatButt wanted to hear confessions from the great escapes. They asked:
"Escape Room employees, what's the weirdest way you've seen customers try and solve an escape room?"
I haven't tried these rooms yet. Not sure I want to. Highly claustrophobic. Convince me...
"I used to work at one. I can’t tell you how many people thought that power outlets were a prop and tried to stick keys into them. Guys. There was a lamp plugged into it and a 'do not touch, not a part of the game' sticker on it. It’s not a trick, don’t do that."
"A friend of mine works for an escape room and he told me one about a puzzle where the key to the next door was shackled to a desk by a combination lock. What you are supposed to do is figure out the combination for the lock from the clues around the room to free the key. What one group decided to do instead was get a guy on each corner and pick up the 150 pound desk and carry it across the room, slide the key into the lock, and then rotate the entire desk to unlock the door."
"I am not an escape room employee but I did a lot of em and talked to the employees often. One of them told me there was a simple lock (opened by a key) that had 'Yale' written on it (the name of the lock company) and a lady (not native English speaker) thought it read 'yell' and legit shouted 'OPEN!!' at it, expecting it to open."
searching the fountain...
"Recently went to an escape room with my co-workers. Before we started, we were explicitly warned not to touch or drink the bright blue water coming out of a fountain because it would turn our skin blue - clearly people had tried searching the fountain as part of the escape room previously and now they have to warn everyone."
Voice of GodWhos That Voice Of God GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
"I was in an escape room once where one puzzle involved some objects that needed to be manipulated inside a structure that made it very awkward."
"We were all looking at it trying to figure out how to proceed when I said 'Well, the bottom is held on with screws and I have a screwdriver in my purse, but that would probably be cheating.' Instantly the Voice of God came over the intercom 'THAT WOULD BE CHEATING!' So we didn't do that..."
Well people really do get creative at this game... don't they?
"Had a group of engineers who were familiar with the style of the lock effectively reverse engineer the lock. They showed us how they did it afterwards."
"When I was in one they told us several times that the fire extinguisher is NOT part of the puzzle. They said it so many times, I'm 98% sure someone once used it lol."
"I always wait to see if they say not to disassemble smoke detectors, if they have that warning, I ask about it, and every time they will always have a story about a dumby who ignored the warning labels and disassembled the smoke detector."
Group of 4
"There was a story on here a while ago about a guy in a group of four who took a broom from the first room because 'it had to be for something.' He said it looked too out of place to not be needed. Well he was half right. It was out of place but that's because it was the broom used by employees to clean the room."
"It was simply forgotten when they cleaned last time. The guys giving hints thought it was hilarious that this guy carried a broom through four rooms expecting it to be the key to their escape at some point. I thought that was funny as hell."
"Take in a screwdriver and dismantling furniture or taking doors off hinges... all the while we specifically tell them not to use force and that furniture is just furniture. Though I don't care cause they gotta pay the damages. Also had some groups press our panic button cause that opens all the doors (for emergency cases)."
"So they can skip puzzles and be faster. Makes zero sense to us cause they are paying for an hour of playtime and to solve puzzles, not like the prize is reduced cause you solved less in fewer minutes. Especially since our prices aren't cheap."
IdiotsIdiot Facepalm GIFGiphy
"Breaking EVERYTHING. Trying to eat or drink things they should totally not be trying to eat or drink."
Even though there are a million ways to escape, I'm still gonna pass. My claustrophobia won't allow it.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Different cultures are fascinating and add color to our world.
While many cultures should be celebrated, there are some individuals who just can't help but reserve their opinions about those whose behavior and customs differ vastly from their own.
At the risk of coming off as offensive, some might even call these customs, "weird."
European culture got the spotlight when Redditor CoffeeBoy88 asked:
"What is something weird about Europe that Europeans don’t realize is weird?"
Apparently, there's never a dull moment in European nations.
"German tourists are OBSESSED with mooses."
"The UK has 30 accents per square mile. And if a large man calls you duck in Stoke … that’s okay."
"Norwegians don't close their curtains when it gets dark."
"The amount of mosquitos in Finland, Americans go crazy in Spring because of it."
Redditors discuss what it's like traveling around Europe.
Come And Go As You Please
"How incredibly inconsequential it is to cross country borders. Cycled through France - Belgium - Netherlands and there is barely even a sign."
"You drive five hours in the US: you’re basically still in the same place."
"You drive five hours in Europe: everyone’s talking funny and the cheese is different."
The Short Commute
"The first time I was in the UK my husband wanted to go to Wales and I looked at the train route from London and was like 'It’s all the way on the other side of the country! We’re only in the UK for a week. We don’t have that kind of time!' And my husband was all, 'you know it’s a 2.5 hour train ride, right?' I thought it would all day."
Germans In Transport
"the absolute lack of air conditioning even at 40°, german transport gets sticky and stinky quite fast and nobody seems to care, many people even shut the windows to avoid the 'annoying breeze.'"
Maintaining distance was a thing long before pandemic measures recommended people to be socially distanced.
All About Respect
"Finnish people are silent, small talk doesn't exist. Their personal space larger than COVID-19 social distancing rules, and it's considered normal. Don't speak unless spoken to, and don't invade other people's personal space - it's seen as a sign of a respect."
"Those Finns, who haven't been to abroad or haven't met too many foreigners, don't often even recognize this behaviour being unusual in the global scale."
The "Safety Coffee Cup"
"I'm from Finland and one European thing that all Finnish people hate is cheek kisses when greeting. Its mostly southern european thing but still. There is this saying in Finland that goes 'Everyone has their own safety coffee cup' meaning the closest distance someone should get to you should not be closer than your coffee cup when you're holding it."
Let Them Shop In Peace
"Weird at first but I appreciate and wish for it. It might be just a Germany thing but from what I’ve been told German Walmart failed because the North American style of customer service was very unliked. From the greeter at the door to clerks asking if you need help unprompted. German shoppers just want to shop and go home as undisturbed as possible."
I remember being weirded out when I went to Paris and asked for some ice at a cafe.
The waiter served me coke by opening the room temperature can and poured some of the contents into an empty glass. With no ice.
When the server came back, he had with him a spoon with one ice cube on it. I thought it was stingy but it got worse.
He poured the rest of the coke over the ice on the spoon he was holding and then walked away with the ice and spoon.
I guess the coke was colder than when I had my first sip, so according to the server, it was viola: mission accomplished!
Do the French not like ice-cold beverages? Weird.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Just because a therapist is there to expertly evaluate our emotional challenges throughout many of life's adversities and crises, it doesn't mean they always hold it together.
People tend to forget that therapists–the professional we seek for guidance when we're vulnerable–are also human and are just as prone to feeling the feels.
Curious to hear from therapists who've exposed their emotional vulnerabilities in front of their clients opened up when Redditor Unkw0n_pers0n asked:
"Therapist that have cried in a session, why?"
A patient who feels seen and understood reinforces why therapists endeavor to help people in the first place.
It Wasn't Her Fault
"I was working with a deeply depressed client who had a lot of negative self talk about how she was always a failure. We were exploring the origins of this and how young she was the first time she felt self-blame. She told me her earliest story of when she was in 2nd grade."
"Afterwards, as we were processing it, I expressed that 'it wasn't your fault' about the story. She just broke down sobbing and said 'nobody has ever said that to me before' in between sobs. It hit me and I cried a little."
"i cried after i worked with a kid who described an emotionally difficult situation with a sibling. the kid’s experience aligned very similarly to something i went through with my own sibling when i was the kid’s age and i hadn’t realized how much hurt i was carrying from the experience."
"being a therapist sometimes means being confronted with things you didn’t realize had such a strong impact on you. luckily, i have a stellar therapist of my own that i can work through these moments with."
The Patient With A Disorder
"I was doing a cognitive assessment for a girl. We were doing tests and at one point she started crying she was unable to tell me why, she was fine just one moment before. I let her collect her thoughts, then she said softly 'I don't want to be more stupid than my friends'. She wasn't actually, she was very bright, but she didn't know that she has dyslexia, dysorthograpy AND dyscalculia. I realized that she went through THIRTEEN years of school without help. Her parents didn't want to do an assessment as they thought she was just lazy. I told her that she was very brave to decide to get help and things would get better after our assessment and I felt tears in my eyes."
"Edit: first of all, I have great empathy for parents, for most of all is just a matter of ignorance, fear and parenting is hard. If you are a parent and you see your kid struggling, PLEASE listen to professionists, we are here to help, not judge, and we will find ways to help you and your kid. Disorders don't go away, don't underestimate it, the sooner you get help, the better the outcome can be. It's ok to be scared but we're here for you and we understand you."
"Second, I'm really sorry to read so many heartbreaking stories about people that weren't believed and struggled being undiagnosed. I wish you all the best, I hope you are in a better situation and you got or you'll get all the help you deserve, because you do deserve it."
"Third, if you think 'something's wrong with me', get help if you are in a position to do so. Worst case you understand yourself better and have a chance do make peace with parts of yourself."
A patient who has already accepted their heartbreaking fate recalls seeing their therapist getting emotionally involved during a session.
A Mother Who Didn't Want To Let Go
"My therapist cried while 'mediating' a discussion between my mom and I. I have a neurodegenerative disease and she is my full time caregiver. Because of my severe disability, she also has legal guardianship of me, even though I am in my 20’s (this is all fine with me, I need the help, and I agreed in court to all of it. This was the first true 'disagreement' that we ever had.)"
"I am ready to die. I am in pain, unable to do anything for myself, and it’s only getting worse. I asked my mom to sign a DNR, because I have been resuscitated before, it was a mess, and I don’t want it to happen again."
"She refused. She doesn’t want to lose her child and wanted to do everything medically possible to keep me alive."
"The session was essentially me begging her to let me go, while she sobbed and said she could never sign a paper that would lead to my death. It was a terrible situation. No one was 'the bad guy', no one was trying to hurt the other. It was someone wanting their suffering to end, verses a mother not wanting to lose her child."
"My therapist agreed that I should be allowed to make this choice, but certainly didn’t think my mom was manipulative or evil, just already grieving and trying to hold on to me as long as possible. I saw her wipe her eyes several times, and they were red by the time we were done. She actually hugged us both at the end."
"The situation wasn’t resolved during the session, but my mom came around shortly after. She wouldn’t sign the DNR, but gave me legal permission to do so (so, in her mind, it wasn’t her making the final decision.)"
"BTW, my mom and I have a GREAT relationship! This was just one issue that we couldn’t come to an agreement on ourselves. But it worked out, and I’m now in palliative care and have a great team looking after me, INCLUDING my mom!"
The following examples continue to demonstrate how therapists are more emotionally invested in their patients and clients than you think.
Responding To Tragic News
"I cried in a substance treatment group. A client’s mom had reached out via email to me to say that her daughter died from an OD. She called during my group so I chose to take the call and spoke with her briefly. I thought I could continue with the group. Ended up in tears instead."
She Patient Who Felt Unloved
"My patient cried and said 'there's nobody on this planet who loves me anymore.' I cried when I left because I knew she was right. For context: she was 95, her husband and son had died, she had a personality disorder that made her behaviour unbearable for her environment after her husband died and every person still in her life were paid for to be around her. She died a few months after this conversation."
It is unsurprising that therapists are compassionate people.
Otherwise, they wouldn't be in the room to help someone who is struggling internally.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Much of the nation continues to reel from the news that a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization will move to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that protects a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Many people remember what it was like in the days before women could seek an abortion; many innocent women died in the absence of proper medical care or were forced to birth children they could not afford, trapping them in poverty.
But could a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade signal the loss of other rights in the future, especially those decided on the right to privacy, on which Roe was hinged?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor thisiscubes asked the online community,
"Americans of Reddit, what are your thoughts on Roe v. Wade being overturned by SCOTUS as per draft reports?"
"It was the single most traumatizing..."
"I used to be pro-life for the most part but felt abortion was necessary in certain situations (i.e. rape, incest, whatever). I thought I would have never had an abortion myself. I thought I could always give up the baby for adoption."
"Until I gave birth last month. It was the single most traumatizing experience I've ever gone through. I'm healthy and my pregnancy was not complicated but my heart stopped working after getting an epidural. I coded."
"Once they got me stabilized again, my baby then starting decompensating. They literally had to rip him out of me because I was too far along to convert to C-section."
"I still can't control feces leaking out of me, even 6 weeks later. What a quality of life improvement /s."
"I wanted this child so having my body absolutely wrecked for the safety of my child seemed worth it, despite the pain and complications I experienced from it."
"But now, having gone through that, I cannot imagine any woman being FORCED to go through what I went through. Against their will. So I’m pretty pro choice now."
We are so sorry you had to go through that. We agree that giving birth can be harmful and traumatic, even for a wanted child, and no woman should have to go through that.
"I am currently..."
"I am currently in an OB triage hospital room waiting for a shot of methotrexate, which is considered an abortion."
"This pregnancy was so wanted. I had a miscarriage in February. I wanted this baby. But it is ectopic and it will kill me. And I am still crying so hard."
"My doctors have been amazing and caring and made this process so much easier. F*ck anyone who thinks the legal system needs to be involved here."
We are so sorry you have to go through that. It’s none of the government’s business.
"Roe wasn't the start of abortions. It was the end of women dying from abortion."
We can't clap enough for this one.
"Get our your wallets..."
"You think our social services are overwhelmed now. Get out your wallets because there is about to be a generation of babies born where moms won't have the means to feed, clothe, and care for them."
Sadly, this is all too true. It is a crisis in the making.
"My cousin had to terminate..."
"I had an abortion at 21 that saved my life. It was a terrifying and isolating experience, and the best decision I have ever made."
"My cousin had to terminate her pregnancy in the second trimester due to the fact that the fetus developed without a brain. She described the care she received as what kept her alive through her grief."
"If abortion was not an option, she would have had to carry to term."
I’m sick to my stomach over this. Women, especially women of color, are going to die."
Sadly, the statistics are on your side on this. Many women, especially women of color, are going to die, and many children will grow up impoverished.
"Scared. I work with survivors of sexual violence. I am a survivor myself. I, and many other folks, have had our bodily autonomy stolen from us before. To see it on a federal level is horrifying."
It is indeed frightening and survivors of sexual violence no doubt feel victimized alll over again.
"My daughter will never have..."
"As a woman, I will be legally lesser than males because I have a womb. My daughter will never have full autonomy over her body. Intersectionally speaking, women of color and under resourced women will bear the brunt of this. Nothing will change for white women of means."
White women of means can fly wherever they wish and get an abortion there. That will never change.
"The foster care system is proof the government doesn’t care about unwanted children yet want to force more to be born. It’s all politics though guarantee if any of them ever got in a sticky situation illegal or not an abortion will be had available."
The United States' welfare system is also awful and that seems to be by design.
"My wife had a miscarriage last year. Because we were well past the point of most miscarriages (not quite to the stillbirth cutoff, but not far away), we were told the odds of my wife passing the fetus on her own were slim and that surgery was the safest option."
"We were required by law to acknowledge in writing that the procedure would terminate the (dead) fetus and that it came at risk of infertility and death. Our doctor was required to tell us the developmental age of the (dead) fetus and which developmental milestones occur around that time, as well as offer us an ultrasound to see the (dead) fetus."
"We cried the entire time. We desperately wanted this child. Our doctor cried, apologizing every step of the way that we had to go through this insensitive BS on top of losing the pregnancy."
"This fetus was dead in every sense of the word but because the procedure in question is also used for abortions we had to jump through these goddamn hoops to avoid putting my wife's health at risk."
"And it's not like my state doesn't offer alternatives for nonviable fetuses, conception due to rape or incest, or instances where health is at serious risk. This WAS the alternative. If we were actually getting an elective abortion it would have been significantly more time consuming and soul-crushing. You literally have to take an online course."
"Abortion access in this country is already a joke. All this is going to do is get people killed."
This is a heartbreaking story and we are sorry that you and your wife had to go through that.
As you can see, overturning Roe v. Wade has significant consequences. While the actual opinion will not be released until the summer, it's safe to say that the United States is entering a new era and that an entirely new wave of activism has begun.
Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.