In light of Donald Trump's recent decision to ban federal money going to international groups to perform or provide information on abortions, women from around the globe have come together to share their experiences of abortion, and why it was important to have access to information and safe practices.
1. I had one last year. I can't tell you the amount of women that were like "You will regret this", "You will feel a guilt inside of you for the rest of your life", etcetera. I didn't feel this way. I knew what was best for me, and it wasn't a child. Couldn't afford one, still in college, the dude wasn't even my boyfriend. Immediately afterwards, honestly, I felt relieved. I still feel relieved and thankful that we have the technology to safely terminate pregnancies.
2. Relieved. Sad. Years later- Relieved. I am glad I did not have to have my rapist's child.
3. 5 years ago, on December 14, 2011, I had an abortion. I was 17-years-old. I had been with my ex for two years then and still had one year left in high school. I had already doubts about our relationship, it was definitely not on a solid base. And before anyone attacks: I was on the pill. I took them the way you should. Even people refuse to accept this, it is possible to get pregnant even if you are on the pill. Rare, but possible. My doctor later had theories like on how I was sick could have effected that.
About the actual abortion: I feel nothing else but extremely strong relief, and extreme gratitude that I live in a country that respects women's reproductive rights. When I had he procedure done, I felt absolutely nothing. I was happy I was in safe, capable medical expert's hands, I was happy my nightmare would be over and I could go on with the life I deserve.
Here is one thing I will regret immensely, and what I am still traumatized to this day: Telling my boyfriend and him telling his mother.
Here's it the story, I apologize if it is going to be long and for the bad English (non-native), but it feels good to open up about this.
The moment I found out I was pregnant, it was without no doubt the most overwhelmingly... I can't find the right word, but somewhat disgusting feeling. I felt immediately trapped, I felt my life was over no matter what I would do, that there would be no turning back from now on and this was my future from now on. If you are a man and can't relate: think about finding out your body has failed you and developed a gross tumor. Every day that tumor eats your body more, changing everything from your bone structure to the shape of your body. Its nutrition is your hopes and dreams you ever had for your life. But the nightmare doesn't change after 9 months, you are trapped for life. You are supposed to sacrifice your health, savings, education, everything for that tumor. The worst part is that people around you (people you don't even know) are telling you that tumor is a huge blessing and you should accept your part because it is your "part". The funniest thing is that the people shaming you for not loving the tumor are the same ones that will shame you if (when) you end up being a single mother and living on welfare. You don't exist, you exist to give birth to that tumor. But even when you throw away your life for that tumor, you are still a joke and overlooked by the society (please people, don't give me some shit how single teenage mothers are somehow respected). You are a woman, you had sex, you must be punished for it.
I didn't have a problem getting rid of the fetus. I felt absolutely nothing but sheer terror of the idea I would have to push that out and take care of it. What I did have a problem with and still have, is that I told my boyfriend about this. First he was lukewarm and quite supporting about getting an abortion. He did have some irrational "just pop it out and let's get married"-talks before, but nothing we couldn't work out by talking. Then he told his mother. All hell break loose.
A controlling, abusive mother with a serious alcohol problem decided I was going to keep the baby. First it was quite normal, actually she was acting quite caring. I went to my boyfriend's house and her mom wanted to talk with me. We had a nice (but she was still quite pushing) talk where she told me they would do everything in their power to make sure this baby had a good life. She told me she was excited for my pregnancy, that she loved me and trusted me to do the right decision... I told her I had decided not to have to child and she was upset but quite respectful.
Well, that doesn't stop there. Suddenly my boyfriend has decided he wants nothing more than be a dad. (Continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
We have a huge fight where he uses words like "my child", "killing" and "murder" a lot. Her mom starts texting me weird things, like how she bought a pair of tiny sunglasses for her "grandson" (no, we didn't know the sex of course). Then it started getting really bad. I went to their house and there she was, waiting on the living room with some kind of religious lady and a priest. They offered me cookies and tea, and told me that I will go to hell if I abort this baby.
I am not religious. My boyfriend was not religious. Her mother had not once expressed any kind of tendency to be religious.
I got home and cried that night. After that, it got really bad. She started harassing me with calls and texts, but boyfriend told our group of friends, they both were attacking me like there was no tomorrow. I panicked, clammed up and didn't even make any doctor reservations because I was so stressed out I started to absurdly wish this would all go away and I wouldn't have to take their hate if I did this. I started to have ideas that maybe I would go to hell if I did this, maybe I would get infertile if I did this, maybe I would go insane and regret my whole life if I did this.
The situation finally changed when my lovely school counselor found me crying in a classroom. She got me to the school nurse who called my mother and we told her everything. I hadn't told her before that because I felt too ashamed to reach out to anyone, somehow I was convinced she would hate me too, even though I knew otherwise. My mother was furious. I have never seen her so angry. She had noticed I had changed, but didn't know what was going on.
They made my ex's mother to stop. She was threatened with cops if she would still contact me. I finally broke up with my ex-boyfriend, something I should have done a long, long time ago before that, way before getting pregnant. He was an irresponsible, selfish and lazy human being, who smoked pot like there was no tomorrow and skipped school. I actually just deleted him from my facebook friends, because just seeing his wall was too much. He hasn't changed tiniest bit from high school. He hasn't done ANYTHING after the school ended. No school, no work, nada.
I, on the other hand, am going to get my masters in the fall of 2018. I have already started to work on my field. I enjoy it immensely. I have dated a really good man for three years now. He is the kindest, sweetest, most trustworthy human being there is on this planet earth. I wouldn't have met him if I had stayed home with the baby, because I wouldn't have started university the same time. Even if we had met, he wouldn't have dated me if I had a child, just like I was (am) not interested to play mommy to single fathers in my early twenties. He knows about my abortion, we talk about everything. We have talked marriage and kids, there couldn't be a better father to my future child(ren). In short, everything in my life would be so much worse if I was a mother right now.
4. My answer is a bit different because my abortion was done to save my life.
I was pregnant and thought I had a very obvious miscarriage (scans showed no baby) but it turns out the baby actually (Continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
the baby actually got stuck in one of my tubes [it was ectopic] and had managed to go undetected long enough to rupture my tube and I was slowly bleeding out on the inside.
It was still alive but yeah... I had to get emergency surgery and to be honest not having a choice really messed with me.
5. Intense fear
Is this the right decision?
Can it feel it?
Am i a monster?
Ok, it's happening
That was irreversible
Man, im hungry
....in terms of immediate after, you feel empty (?) For a few days. Your hormones get confused. You're tired from the anesthetic. You cry because the experience sucked and y'know, hormones.
3 years later I'm confident I made the right decision but I often trail off into thought about what could have been and feel a strange pang of guilt. Its different for all women I think.
6. I was 19. I was on meth, the bf was on meth and incredibly abusive toward me, and I had been kicked out of my parent's house. After I told my mom I had just found out I was pregnant, she let me come home. I agonized over the decision to terminate the pregnancy. When he told me he wanted me to keep it, that's when I began to see things clearly. What would stop him from abusing me in front of the child? How long would it take before he abuses the child? Would I even make it through the pregnancy unharmed? I was young and naive and high and thought that maybe he would change and become a great bf and father. Then I laughed at myself for even entertaining that idea and began to focus on cold hard facts. I was hooked on meth. I had been using regularly throughout the pregnancy and had no way of knowing what kind of damage I had caused. That was the deciding factor. Nothing about my circumstances was good for a child. I had the abortion and today, 16 years later, I know that was the best and wisest decision I could have made for myself at that time. It took another 6 years before I finally kicked the shit for good and I still believe I made the right decision to terminate.
Immediately afterwards I felt awful and ashamed. That lasted a few weeks. I believe the ex and the meth largely contributed to that shame I felt. Then the relief hit me. And that feeling never changed. I am still relieved that I was able to see beyond me and make the right choice.
7. It was the best choice for me! I got pregnant after dating a guy for one month. I was freaking out because I had been accepted into a challenging health sciences program and there was no way I wanted to give that up to raise a baby. At the time I had no resources to raise a baby and I did not want to be tied down to more or less of a stranger. I have never felt guilty about the decision or like I did the wrong thing. If I could of financially cared for it and I had a better living situation than I may of felt differently.
When I first found out I told the guy and we made an appointment to go to "pregnancy help center." Basically, they tried to make me feel like a terrible person and like I was Satan in the flesh. They also tried to convince to me accept Jesus into my heart. That place attempted to instill more guilt than anywhere I've ever been. They called me off and on for a year after I had the procedure done. They claimed to just want to check up and to see if I wanted to join any of their group..
If you feel 100% about your choice then no one can change it or make you feel differently. Educate yourself and make the best choice for you and only you.
8. I am twenty years old and I got an abortion in August 2011. I am not proud of what I did.
My best friend of two and a half years and I had always had some sort of romantic friction between us because we had sex right after we first met. We decided to keep it platonic after that because we got along too well, but I always loved him. I introduced him to one of my best friends after some time and they ended up together for two years.
Well, they broke up and we wound up together. It was bound to happen. We ended up homeless that summer (we did a lot of drugs and his mom wasn't having it) so we literally spent two months at each others' sides. We were never apart unless we were using the bathroom. Our hardcore, jaded friendship romance was smoldering at this point, we were always having sex because it was all we had... We sure as hell didn't have any condoms, but of course we weren't thinking.
He broke up with me the day after his grandmother died. Tried to play it off like her death was heartbreak warfare for his emotions. He couldn't 'take' the thought of hurting me. Then he went back to his ex, the girl that was once my best friend.
When I found out I was pregnant, the world just sort of stopped... (Continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
I mean, there I was, nineteen years old, barely graduated high school, never been able to keep a job, DUI at seventeen, basically a failure as a human being. Now I was pregnant with the child of the one person that I simply could never let go, and he had just broken it off. Out of nowhere. To get back with the girl I introduced him to in the first place. After everything that we'd been through and everything that he said. Left high and dry by the man I'd held closer than anyone else for so long.
My dad told me that he would pay for me to get an abortion if it came down to it and I couldn't handle being pregnant. It wasn't cruel, my dad is an incredibly intelligent man and his ideas are always within reason. He has watched me be this screw-up of an individual for my entire life, he knows what having a kid could do to me.
There were so many pressing concerns about what my being pregnant meant. My first greatest concern was my mother. She is my rock, she is an incredible human being and she is also extremely depressed. Ever since her oldest sister passed away in 2004, she has been in pain. When I started drinking and doing drugs, she saw her sister's behavior in me. It broke her apart and she began to worry about me constantly, to the point that she started drinking. If she found out that I was pregnant, she would drink herself to death. It sounds completely illogical, but you do not know my mother.
My next concern was my drug use. I'd already used so many drugs and drank plenty of alcohol over the entire period of time that I'd been pregnant. Even if I had gone with my first option, which was to put it up for adoption to a nice gay couple, that poor couple could have ended up with a baby suffering from countless [insert endless health problems here]...
Obviously my last concern was the pain of carrying the child of the guy that made me absolutely miserable. I could have put those feelings aside, however, had the other issues not already been present. I made my decision.
My dad brought me to the clinic and what took place there was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I couldn't afford to get any sort of anesthesia, just some sort of 'numbing spray' that wasn't effective for anything at all. I won't go into details, but it was bad. It hurt, and you can hear everything. No matter how many times people remind you that it's just a medical procedure, it's not truly a sentient thing yet, it doesn't matter. It's easy to walk out of there thinking about who that person could have been. I've made peace with it, but I have never forgotten and I never will.
9. I had one when I was 14. I felt relieved. Now I feel thankful, but most of the time it just doesn't even cross my mind.
10. I'm a very nurturing mom of two children. I did not have the resources to have a third, so I had an abortion very early in the pregnancy. Zero regrets right afterwards and still no regrets 8 years later.
11. 1969 - had to travel to UK to get one where I had some relatives for a support network. The father was an idiot who would have ruined my life if I had been tied to him with a child forever.
Best decision ever. No regrets then; no regrets now.
13. Completely devastated, angry, and guilty. I would've been due for birth next month. I feel reminiscent about something I've never even have. But it was for the better. Didn't want to be a young, single mother. Also, my parents were both adopted so I have a strong stance on adoption, instead of bringing a new life into the world... so I knew I couldn't have the baby and I still feel the same way now.
My parents don't know about it... My brother wanted to find and beat up my (Continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
unsupportive (ex)boyfriend for leaving me for his ex and being absent in this situation... My sister freaked out about how I could commit such a sin, but still comforted me nevertheless.
I couldn't have the baby and give them away because I've seen way too many foster kids in horrible situations, so there was no way I was going to give birth only to potentially set a child up for a life like that.
14. I come from a country where abortions are illegal so I had to fly to my SO's country in Europe to get it done. Immediately after while still drugged, I felt relieved but immense sadness that I had to go through it because circumstances meant I could not care for a baby. But after a few days I no longer feel sad because we both felt it was the right thing to do. Now, I rarely think about it but when I do, it still is sad but it doesn't sting anymore.
Best decision I've ever made.
16. I had an abortion in 1986. I felt relieved afterward. Relieved and happy. I was able to finish college and continue on with the rest of my life.
17. I just recently had my first and, hopefully only, abortion. I am 22 years old, I have a 3 year old son. My boyfriend and I got pregnant purely by accident. When I was pregnant with my son I had kidney stones literally the whole 9 months. I spent 10 day stints in the hospital. It was extremely painful and uncomfortable. I am still currently going threw kidney problems. My doctors told me after I had my son that if I were to get pregnant before everything was completely solved with my kidneys I could have serious health problems. I NEVER in my entire life thought I would have an abortion. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or what anyone thinks of me. It has always just been a personal thing for me. It was an extremely difficult decision, and thank god I had my boyfriend, best friend and family by my side to help. I was only 6 weeks along. I guess when I went in to have it done, I detached myself from the whole situation. I've been in and out of doctors offices and have had procedures done for 10 years now. I just put it in my mind that I was just getting another kidney procedure done. It was the only way I was able to actually go threw with it. I still think about it, and it still bothers me almost everyday. I had no choice in the matter. It was for my health and for my 3 year old son. I couldn't risk anything happening to me and not being there for him. So yeah, that's my story.
18. I was in an abusive relationship physically and emotionally. Went to the hospital I thought I had the flu, but they informed me I was pregnant. I called and called him from the hospital to tell him the "good" news, no answer. I thought a baby would make him change his ways and we could be a happy family but (Continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
I didn't hear from him for 24 hours after I had finally texted him that I was pregnant. He came home the next day and I smiled and told him again, in case he didn't get the text and he responded "who you been sleeping with I know it ain't mine!" Pushed me on the coffee table and walked right back out of the door. I took $2,000 that he had stashed in the closet, got myself a hotel room and made an appointment for an abortion the next day. There were about fifteen other women at the clinic, I just felt numb like this is what I have to do. So they had me take a pill right there and also gave me a pill to take home and take. (I was 7 weeks along.) I got back to my hotel room and took the pill a few hours later. I started having severe cramps and so much bleeding and blood clots coming out. I cried for 4 hours straight until I fell asleep. I felt so ashamed and alone at the time. But the next day I was fine physically, I got on the Greyhound bus and went back to my hometown. Now when I think about it I think it was the best decision I could have made, as well as getting away from that jerk.
19. I'm one of those older women who had a surprise pregnancy right after my 3rd and youngest child turned 18. I knew right away I couldn't do it again - I'd be 63 when this one turned 18, which was the age my mother died, and her mother as well (my grandmother). I'd been a mother literally all my adult life, having had my first when 17. My SO isn't in the best of health either. It was an easy decision to make together.
Right after, because of hormones and all, I was a little upset - it struck me it was "last chance" and I didn't take the chance. In the next week we dropped off the youngest kid to college, and I was experiencing the empty nest for the first time ever. It made it a bit difficult... but then the hormones backed off and we could appreciate the house to ourselves...within a month I definitely felt all the relief I still feel.
20. I was annoyed that my contraceptive method failed. And then I was happy because me and boyfriend went to get doughnuts afterwards.
21. I got pregnant at 20, from a boyfriend who I was 100% sure I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life with, but didn't hate enough to break up just yet. I lived with him. I used the pill, but not consistently as I should have. I missed a few days here or there, just absentmindedly forgetting. We were together for almost 3 years by then, and I never had any even a few day late periods. I figured I was doing okay.
I was in my first year of a good apprenticeship for a construction trade. The kind of apprenticeship where it is going to be your career. I couldn't even work after a few months of pregnancy because of the environment alone. Machines, exhaust, concrete dust, etc. Not just having a baby, but being pregnant alone would ruin my job opportunity. I was a week late and freaked out. Took 3 pregnancy tests and all were positive. I didn't even think.
It was like my body hit cruise control. I stopped crying and looked online for the closest center that did terminations. Found one really close and called and set up a procedure for that weekend. Everyone looked distraught and I felt like an evil freak for being happy. They were going to fix my problem instantly! Did my ultrasound, they had me talk to a counselor. I said "get it out". And procedure was done.
I was never so relieved in my life. My life was not over. Even if I gave a child up for adoption, that would require me blowing my job, plus everyone I know would know. Hardly anyone knows even that I was pregnant, minus my sister, my ex, and my husband now because I tell him everything. I would be mortified if my parents knew. I haven't thought twice about it, and not an ounce of sadness really. Not to say I didn't understand the severity, just that I was no (continued)
Continue reading on the next page!
I was no more than 6 weeks. That's not a baby to me. I asked them if I could ever have kids, they said it absolutely doesn't affect that at all.
I have an alarm on my phone and take my pill every day at noon. I haven't missed it once in probably 3 years, except once where I forgot them at home and took it a few hours later instead. (Note:I'm not 23, I just broke up with ex and wasn't having any sex for a long while, I'm much closer to 30 than 20) I am now married to an amazing man. If I got pregnant tomorrow, I'd keep it. I am at a happier place in my life with less pressure and uncertainty with money/jobs/boyfriends. I want kids. Just not now.
100% best decision I ever made.
22. I miscarried before my abortion...I was ready to be without a child, but I wasn't ready for the emotional backlash. It was horrible. I felt so alone.
23. I was euphoric. Hear me out: I was 17 and had just escaped an abusive relationship with a much older man. I was still dealing with his harassment when I found out I was pregnant. If I had his child I'd never be free of him. My first thought was suicide. When I stopped panicking, I made the appointment. Some might ask why I just didn't opt for adoption. He would never sign away his child. I couldn't hide a pregnancy because he'd find out.
During the procedure: Scared. I drove myself, so I couldn't have the sedative, only the local. But the PP nurses held my hands and told me it was okay to cry.
After: I felt incredible. For the first time in months I could breathe. My ex was hardline anti abortion, and I knew he'd never speak to me again once he knew. And he didn't. The harassment stopped. It was like I had a new lease on life.
Now: I don't think about it often, and it's still a relief when I do. It is my belief that my child waited for me to give her a better father. I know that both of our lives are a thousand times better than they would have been had i had her with my ex. Honestly, I doubt I would have survived to the end of the pregnancy.
24. I had one when I was 22, so about 13 years ago. It was actually covered under my moms insurance. No one knew, and no one knows now. Except my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time. It was incredibly difficult and the entire experience changed me forever. It was done at a clinic and I just remember waiting in the waiting room filled with girls that all had the same look on their face that I did. We didn't want to look each other in the eye, I can still close my eyes and remember the flooring because that's all I could look at. I didn't want to look at another girl, not necessarily because I was ashamed, but because I couldn't muster seeing another girl with the same look on her face. It was too hard. I knew I loved my boyfriend, and I knew that he was going to be my husband someday. I was certain of that. So it was kind of hard for me to tell myself that why I was about to do was ok. Even though I knew that there was no way I could handle a child at that point in my life, and we wouldn't have been able to give that child the life he or she deserved. I knew I was doing the best thing, but I think I still needed to convince myself that I was doing the right thing. I was called back to a room, my boyfriend couldn't come with me. Then I was told to lie down on the bed. I lied down and they got the ultrasound machine out, lifted my shirt and put the jelly on my stomach. They purposely put the machine behind my head so I couldn't see the image, but the volume wasn't down so I heard the heartbeat. I heard it and it fucking broke me. The nurse and doctor knew that they fucked up and took the wand away as fast as they could, but I still heard it. And I lost it. Instantly started crying, so badly that they had to stop and leave the room. They left me there alone for, what seemed like forever. I was questioning everything, my brain was going a million miles a minute. And I was hysterical but I knew that I still needed to go through with the abortion. So they came back and very dryly just explained what was going to happen. I lied back down, they put an IV in and I was asleep before I knew it.
I woke up very groggily in a giant room lined with big fluffy recovery recliners filled with girls. Some were awake, some were still out. I remember looking around and seeing the girls that were awake and their eyes were just dead. We all looked fucking exhausted and worn out. I was still deeply, deeply sad but I couldn't cry. I was still loopy and groggy from the anesthesia. There was one girl that was crying and I just wanted to hug her. I wanted to hug all these girls, we had all just been through the same thing, and I wanted to help them through it. I wanted them to help me through it. But we all just stared at each other while dozing in and out. The next thing I remember was waking up in my boyfriends bed. I got up, went to the bathroom and spent at least an hour sitting on the floor of the bathtub bawling my eyes out. I went back to work the next day, but I was constantly being reminded of what I had done by the minor cramps and pain I felt for the next few days. I couldn't escape it. It's all I thought about for months. It took me over. From that point on, I never looked at sex the same way. Sex is how you make babies, it was no longer as enjoyable to me. It's still hard for me to think of sex in any other way. I have 2 wonderful kids now, been with my husband for 15 years and I'm happy. But I'll never let go of that day.