Here’s What 44 Women Want You To Know About Their Abortions – BuzzFeed News


As abortion access continues to be threatened, debated, and
hotly discussed, there’s one perspective we don’t often hear
enough of: people who have actually had an abortion.

BuzzFeed Health
asked members of the BuzzFeed
Community to tell us about their abortion stories.

The form was shared widely and translated into several
languages.

From the English form alone, we received over 1,200
responses. While we would have loved to include them all, we
selected 44 stories from American women that we felt
represented the broad range of experiences that we received.

ID: 10364487

1. “I did
choose life…I chose my life.”

"I did choose life...I chose my life."

View this image ›

“I got pregnant while I was a senior in high school by my
abusive boyfriend. As soon as I found out, I went to the
abortion clinic but could not afford it. My pregnancy
advanced and my boyfriend continued to threaten to push me
down the stairs or punch me in the stomach.

“When my parents found out, my dad took me to DC where
abortions are legal until 20 weeks. I was put in a large room
with about 20 women and one by one we were taken back for the
abortion and then brought back in. Each woman came back
holding their stomach and crying. The process was quick and
heartless.

“I suffered for two years with depression that went
untreated. It has been the most painful and traumatic
experience of my life. But I want anyone that reads this to
know I do not regret my choice. I did choose life…I chose my
life. Having that baby would have kept me in an abusive
relationship that I don’t know if I could have survived.”

—Nicole, 33

ID: 10357061

2. “The
moment I said I wanted an abortion, they offered me a free
ultrasound, showed me pictures and models of what the fetus
looked like, and gave me mountains of pamphlets.”

“The first clinic I went to ended up being a Christian
counseling center disguised as a pregnancy resource center.
The moment I said I wanted an abortion, they offered me a
free ultrasound, showed me pictures and models of what the
fetus looked like, and gave me mountains of pamphlets. They
followed up on a daily basis with phone calls and messages.

“When I found the real abortion clinic, they were patient,
professional, caring, and honestly some of the nicest people
I’ve ever met. The doctor who performed the procedure was
funny and helpful. He thanked my boyfriend for being there as
most men don’t come in for the appointment. I had cookies and
juice in a weird recovery room with a bunch of other women
and girls before the nurse came and let me leave. It was a
surreal experience that has definitely stuck with me, but not
in a negative way.

“I experienced depression for a few months afterward — it
flared up whenever I saw pregnant women, but I kept it to
myself because my boyfriend didn’t want to talk about it. I
often wonder what would have happened if we decided to keep
it, but I don’t regret the decision I made. That relationship
ended up being toxic, emotionally abusive, and very
manipulative, so thinking about what it would have been like
to raise a child in that environment is enough to know I made
the right decision.”

—Anonymous, 28

ID: 10338457

3. “We
spent $25,000 roughly on fertility treatments. Then this
happened.”

"We spent $25,000 roughly on fertility treatments. Then this happened."

View this image ›

Koya79 / Getty Images

“My husband and I dealt with infertility for a few years and
conceived via IVF. Our child is the light of our lives, but
it was hard, and I decided I never wanted to do IVF again. I
also didn’t think we needed to use birth control since the
doctors called it ‘next to impossible’ that we would conceive
naturally.

“And then, when our child was only 1, we discovered that
nothing is impossible. We were shocked. We spent about an
hour talking and crying about it and decided to go forward
with terminating. I live in a state where it is relatively
easy. I called Planned Parenthood and made an appointment for
a week out for a ‘medical abortion,’ which is the pill form.
I took the pill in the office by myself. And a day and a half
later, took the other pill. I took one day off from work.

“I don’t regret it, but I feel a great deal of shame. We are
35 years old, both have a master’s degree, and make $150,000
a year. We spent $25,000 roughly on fertility treatments.
Then this happened. We could never tell our friends and
families who are still ‘hoping for a miracle,’ but I’m very
happy with one child. I went back to PP for an IUD. But I
honestly wish I could erase this from my medical past because
I’m afraid of judgment from future medical providers.”

—Anonymous, 35

ID: 10338388

4. “I was
scared and overwhelmed with how I was going to support the
two kids I had.”

“Twenty years ago I had a surgical abortion in Colorado. My
husband had just left me and our two kids, and I found out I
was pregnant with a third. I was scared and overwhelmed with
how I was going to support the two kids I had.

“It was a relief when I got an appointment. They gave me a
Valium before so I would relax. The machine was loud so I
kept talking to drown out the sound. Luckily the nurse knew
what I was doing and kept it from being one-sided. After it
was done, I still felt relief. Unfortunately, the clinic was
shut down a few years later. The nearest clinic is now over
four hours away.”

—Anonymous, 41

ID: 10364227

6. “I found
out I was pregnant three days after my brother’s funeral.”

“I called my mom. I guess she just assumed I was happy about
it, and she had me tell my stepdad and my other brother, who
were both so excited. My brother even told me it was the
first time he had really smiled since our brother died.
Everyone saw so much meaning in it. A life was gone and now
there’s this new one. So I tried to force myself to be happy
with it. But in the following days I just couldn’t do it;
rather, I couldn’t do anything. It hit me so hard and so
suddenly. I would just crumble on the floor and cry. The
whole thing was just too much.

“Everyone was supportive of me, but my boyfriend of five
years was the first person to tell me something that made
sense: He told me I was allowed to be selfish. If I wanted
that baby, I was allowed to be selfish and have that baby. If
I didn’t want that baby, I was allowed to be selfish and not
have that baby. There is no wrong decision, I just had to be
selfish. What finally made my decision though was looking at
my cat and realizing I felt more like a mother looking at her
than I did thinking about what was growing inside me. So a
week after finding out I was pregnant, I opted to have a
medical abortion.

“The abortion itself was (mostly) a wonderful experience.
Everyone working at the clinic was so helpful and supportive.
And I got to complete the abortion at home. So the next day I
crawled into bed with my boyfriend, put on my super cool
adult diapers, inserted the pills, and put on some Game of
Thrones
. And let me fucking tell you, it was
excruciating, like… I honestly believed I could go into shock
kind of pain. These cramps radiated throughout my whole body
to the point where I could barely breathe. I actually cut my
palms on my nails from clenching my fists so hard. But once
it was done, it was done.”

—Maggie, 26

ID: 10363906

7. “I know
that people may judge me for being seemingly prepared to have
a baby at the time, but we weren’t and we knew it.”

"I know that people may judge me for being seemingly prepared to have a baby at the time, but we weren't and we knew it."

View this image ›

“I was 26 and just moved to a new city with my partner,
having recently graduated and started new jobs. My partner
and I knew we wanted kids, but we were simply not ready at
that time. I went to Planned Parenthood, and was reassured
that having an abortion would not impact my chances of having
children in the future.

“Ten years later, I’m married to that same partner with two
little ones. I know that people may judge me for being
seemingly prepared to have a baby at the time, but we weren’t
and we knew it. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly, and one
that I don’t regret.”

—Anonymous

ID: 10338820

8. “I have
always been very against abortion and wanted the child.
However, I knew the odds were very good that I would die in
childbirth, leaving the children I already had without a
mother.”

“I am happily married and have two children already. When my
second child was born, I had a brain hemorrhage that almost
killed me. I was advised not to have any more children. Seven
years later, I got pregnant again. I have always been very
against abortion and wanted the child. However, I knew the
odds were very good that I would die in childbirth, leaving
the children I already had without a mother. I decided to
terminate the pregnancy.

“My best friend accompanied me to a clinic, and escorted me
past protesters. Because I was only five weeks pregnant, I
qualified for the pill method. However, because I live in
Texas, I was required to have an ultrasound to be sure I
understood the thing inside me was a baby. As if I didn’t
know. I had the ultrasound. The nurse was very sensitive and
didn’t force me to look at the ultrasound. I was given
information and sent home to wait the required 24 hours.

“I went back the next day, past more protesters. I was called
back with a group of about 10 other women. A nurse read us
the required statement and we took a pill to stop the
pregnancy from developing. We were all sent home with two
more pills to take the next day. I shook the entire day,
violently. I bled horrifically. I mourned and cried. Two
weeks later, I went back to confirm the pregnancy had indeed
been terminated.

“The next day, Texas passed stricter abortion laws and the
clinic shut down.”

—Katie, 35

ID: 10357263

9. “My
boyfriend at the time felt like he was losing me so he
started poking holes in condoms.”

"My boyfriend at the time felt like he was losing me so he started poking holes in condoms."

View this image ›

Sasimoto / Getty Images

“I was 22. My boyfriend at the time felt like he was losing
me so he started poking holes in condoms. I found out I was
pregnant after leaving him. Shortly after, he was arrested
for sleeping with a student. He was a special education
teacher.

“Thankfully my regular doctor was able to prescribe me the
abortion pill. It was just like a heavy period. I have zero
regrets; I do however keep it a secret because of my strict
Catholic family. I wish I was strong enough to be more vocal
about my experience. The hardest part for me is when a friend
or acquaintance is in the same situation and considering one,
the vast majority of women I know will say that she shouldn’t
do it because she’ll regret it forever.”

—Jen, 33

ID: 10357030

10. “Our
two sons were in state custody, and we were fighting to get
them back when I found out I was pregnant.”

“My husband and I were going through a hard time. Our two
sons were in state custody, and we were fighting to get them
back when I found out I was pregnant. We talked about it and
decided it would be best to get an abortion rather then have
it and then it go into state custody. My two sons were abused
while in custody. I chose medical abortion.”

—Anonymous, 44

ID: 10364354

11.
“Despite my taking Plan B, I was in fact, pregnant.”

"Despite my taking Plan B, I was in fact, pregnant."

View this image ›

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

“I was 19 years old and in love with a boy who never really
loved or respected me. One night, after having a few too many
drinks at the college bar, he took me home and without my
permission, failed to pull out. After taking the Plan B pill
four hours later, I still felt extremely uneasy. A week
later, I took a home pregnancy test only to find out that
despite my taking Plan B, I was in fact, pregnant.

“Completely devastated, the boy I was dating told me that he
wasn’t going to take care of the baby and that no one would
want to be with a 20-year-old single mom. At the time, I had
two family members suffering from cancer and couldn’t fathom
completely wrecking their world. I was a promising college
student who had the world at her fingertips. I wanted to keep
the baby, but I didn’t know how I would be able to provide
the necessary resources for it.

“Two weeks later, I went to the clinic and took the pill that
would abort the baby. Scared and alone, I lay on my bed
sobbing and trying to find the words in prayer that would
help God forgive me. After years of learning to forgive
myself, I know that my decision was the best thing for me. I
have forgiven myself and more importantly, learned to love
myself.”

—Anonymous, 26

ID: 10338512

12. “Some
people might think that that makes me a monster, but it was
just the way we handled it. Not emotionless, just rational.”

“I was 25 years old and had just started dating my
now-husband. We got pregnant accidentally after five months
of knowing each other. We knew we wanted kids one day but it
just wasn’t the right time — we were just getting to know
ourselves and each other, we both lived far away from our
families. And deep down I knew I wasn’t ready to be the kind
of mother I want to be.

“So at around four or five weeks pregnant we booked an
appointment at a clinic and had the procedure. I paid the
extra to get ‘knocked out’ and didn’t feel much pain at all.
It was $500 in the DC area. Then we went home and snuggled on
the couch and watched movies as I recovered.

“What amazed/surprised me about the experience was how I was
very calm and very sure that we were making the right
decision. Some people might think that that makes me a
monster, but it was just the way we handled it. Not
emotionless, just rational.

“Plus, we are now married and expecting our first child!
There’s nothing wrong with doing things in your own time —
parenting is a huge responsibility and if you’re not prepared
for it I imagine it’s incredibly difficult. No shame in doing
what’s right for you and your partner. After all, it’s nobody
else’s business.”

—Jane, 31

ID: 10357342

13. “Roe
v. Wade
had gone into effect four months before.”

"Roe v. Wade had gone into effect four months before."

View this image ›

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Roe v. Wade had gone into effect four months before,
and I was able to terminate my pregnancy by vacuum procedure
in a nearby, calming, non-abusive, and medically safe
environment. The procedure itself unpleasant, but I was cared
for through it all with fondness and compassion.

“It was a close call — the legal limit for abortion was eight
weeks and I only had one week to get an appointment. It was a
painful but easy decision and although I would grieve every
year at that time, there has never been the slightest doubt
that it was the right decision both for the baby and for me.”

—Linda, 69

ID: 10357499

14. “My
wanted pregnancy had a severe fetal abnormality that would
have resulted in a miscarriage, stillbirth, or a baby who
would live only hours after birth.”

“At 12 weeks, we decided to terminate instead of waiting,
thinking it wouldn’t be difficult because even conservative
states have fetal abnormality exceptions.

“The only clinic in the state had long wait times and
protesters. We decided to drive six hours to the next state.
This clinic was located in a 12-story medical building, so
there were no protesters. The doctors and nurses there were
wonderful and understanding, and the procedure itself took
five minutes. It cost $800 for the termination, $100 for
extra sedatives, and another $500 for a private room (so we
didn’t have to be with strangers in the waiting room); our
government employee insurance covered none of this.

“Afterward, I joined an online support group and discovered
that my experience was nowhere near the most appalling when
it came to terminating a wanted pregnancy; one woman was
forced to terminate at a Catholic hospital, where the nurses
openly judged her and refused to give her sufficient
painkillers; another woman’s clinic ran out of anesthesia the
week she went in. I was comparatively lucky to discover my
fetal abnormality so early and to have had a relatively easy
procedure, but I’m still furious I had to travel out of state
and that my usual doctor, whom I admire and trust, couldn’t
perform the procedure due to our ridiculous anti-science,
anti-women state laws.”

—Anonymous, 29

ID: 10357175

15. “I
didn’t want to know what it felt like to be pregnant yet, I
wanted that to be a joyous moment, not one where I felt like
I was an animal trapped in a corner needing to chew my own
arm off to escape.”

"I didn't want to know what it felt like to be pregnant yet, I wanted that to be a joyous moment, not one where I felt like I was an animal trapped in a corner needing to chew my own arm off to escape."

View this image ›

“I was careful, I used protection and the morning-after pill.
Both had failed me. I no longer felt in control of my own
body. It had betrayed me. The first words out of my mouth
were that I wanted an abortion. The nurse tried to calm me
down and asked if I wanted to hear my options and I said no,
I knew what my only real option was. I was a barista living
on my own; I barely had enough money to take care of myself
and my cat, let alone a child. I wasn’t going to let a broken
condom be the reason my entire life would change.

“I was honestly heartbroken. I had always wanted to get
pregnant and be a mom. Now it felt like something that was
forced onto me that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to know what
it felt like to be pregnant yet, I wanted that to be a joyous
moment, not one where I felt like I was an animal trapped in
a corner needing to chew my own arm off to escape. If anyone
ever asks me what the hardest part of the abortion was I say,
‘Being pregnant for those three days.’ Yes, I had been
pregnant for about four weeks at this point. But those three
days between finding out and getting the abortion were the
absolute worst.

“I live in Washington state, where abortion services are very
accessible. I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood and
went in that next week. Because I was so early I was able to
do the medical abortion on my own at home. The amazing nurse
was so helpful and could see how scared I was. She did the
ultrasound (required to see how far along I was), and she
kept the volume on mute and I didn’t have to see the
ultrasound at all. She gave me the information about what I
was going to do (with no judgment whatsoever), and helped me
book an appointment to get an IUD two weeks later. I took the
first pill in the clinic, with instructions to rest and take
the second pill the next day when I was comfortable.

“After it was over, all I felt was relief. I was so goddamn
relieved to not be pregnant anymore. It was over — I felt
like I owned my own body again. It was a sad thing that had
to happen, but it was the right thing. I don’t know what my
life would be like today if I didn’t have the option to make
that choice. I still have moments of sadness, but not because
I regret having the abortion. I have never regretted it.”

—Anonymous, 24

ID: 10338919

16. “What
she didn’t understand, given the predicament I was currently
in, was that I actually identified as gay and that’s why I
had left my marriage.”

“I was in my early twenties, and I had a 2-year-old at the
time. I was newly divorced and had a night of vodka and poor
judgment with a friend only to realize several weeks later I
was pregnant.

“I never had a doubt it was the right thing for me. I walked
in, had the procedure, and never looked back. Insurance paid
for it. I was fortunate. The worst part of the whole ordeal
was being scolded by the counselor at the clinic for not
opting for an IUD after the procedure. What she didn’t
understand, given the predicament I was currently in, was
that I actually identified as gay and that’s why I had left
my marriage.

“The procedure itself was uncomfortable but not incredibly
painful. I ended up knowing one of the nurses that assisted
and she asked if I wanted to see the sac; I said yes. It was
interesting. I was 10–12 weeks and it looked like a jellyfish
about the size of a quarter. Just a clump of cells. That’s
all it was and nothing more.

“I’ve never second-guessed my decision or wished for any
other outcome. I was lucky to have access to the procedure
and really lucky to have insurance cover it. I only tell my
story when I think it can help someone. Not everyone wishes
for ‘what could have been.’ Not everyone feels a ‘loss.’

“Today, I’m happily married to my wife and we have two
beautiful kids.”

—LJ, 33

ID: 10357464

17. “I am
terrified of how many other women are doing such dangerous
acts if they are not allowed access to proper medical
attention for this matter.”

"I am terrified of how many other women are doing such dangerous acts if they are not allowed access to proper medical attention for this matter."

View this image ›

Leszekczerwonka / Getty Images

“I was 18 and fresh out of high school. In a state of
depression, I turned to my friends for advice on what to do.
Their response: ‘party it out.’ My boyfriend (now ex) loved
the idea. He had me take a week off of work and drink all day
every day. I thought I was going to die.

“Aside from how badly I damaged my body, it worked. I got my
‘period’ Christmas day. Thinking it was a normal period, I
was happy. Two days later, I had the most painful
miscarriage. I was devastated, and the fact that I had
destroyed my body tore me up.

“I thought it was all over, but on New Year’s Day I had to be
rushed to the hospital, because I had woken up in a pool of
blood so large, it had soaked through the mattress, and I was
rushed into surgery. I am alive today thanks to that. I am
terrified of how many other woman are doing such dangerous
acts if they are not allowed access to proper medical
attention for this matter.”

—Anonymous, 25|

ID: 10357374

18. “I had
given birth a year prior and my husband became very sick that
same year.”

“I had a surgical abortion at age 29 at Planned Parenthood. I
had given birth a year prior and my husband became very sick
that same year. He passed away three years later. Planned
Parenthood gave no judgements. They showed the required
ultrasound and film of the pregnancy, allowed me to talk to a
counselor and cry, and supported me through the entire
process.

“There was no physical or financial way to provide for
another child. I have never felt more relieved than when it
was over and have no regrets about my decision to this day. I
do mourn the loss of what could have been every time I look
at my now 15-year-old. Regret, no. Guilt, some. Primarily,
certainty that I made the correct decision for my family and
myself.

“What stands out the most from that day, though, is the
memory of the women who were waiting for their procedures
taking the time to talk to each other and listen. Supportive
women who were all in the same position coming from various
circumstances. Strangers who cried and listened together.
There wasn’t a woman there who wasn’t extremely grateful for
a place like Planned Parenthood or anyone who treated the
process as if it were no big deal.”

—Anonymous, 43

ID: 10339407

19. “It was
either I get the abortion, or he beats me to the point where
I’d have a miscarriage.”

"It was either I get the abortion, or he beats me to the point where I'd have a miscarriage."

View this image ›

Djedzura / Getty Images

“I was so numb sitting in the waiting room. My face was
expressionless and I had no thoughts. My mom was sitting next
to me giving me a pep talk. She knew what I was going
through. I had to get this abortion because my ex was beating
the shit out of me almost every day. It was either I get the
abortion, or he beats me to the point where I’d have a
miscarriage. I didn’t want to do it, but if I didn’t, I
would’ve been stuck with a man who hurts me physically,
mentally, and emotionally.

“We got to the room and I immediately lay down. I just wanted
it over with. The nurse connected this little glass bottle
with some type of medicine to my IV. I recall screaming once
but I can’t remember the pain. My mom picked me up and was so
supportive. I’m extremely thankful for her. It was very
bittersweet. I still think about my unborn child. Was it a he
or a she? I call it my angel.”

—Anonymous, 20

ID: 10356869

20. “I went
home and was swiftly kicked out, yet I wouldn’t change a
thing.”

“I found out I was pregnant when I had just turned 16, so
about five years ago. My parents were devout Muslims and
could not fathom how I had become pregnant, as if their
abstinence-centered approach to sex ed had done the job.
Being very old-fashioned, they ordered me to keep the baby
and threatened to kick me out if I did not comply.

“For me, however, the social stigma surrounding teen
pregnancy was enough to convince me that this baby would come
out one way or another. Not only that, the father was a boy I
met at one of the few parties I had ever been to, and I was
not in a relationship with him, much less would I be able to
raise a child with him.

“So my best friend (a caring girl native to our South
Carolina town) and I took a trip to Planned Parenthood after
one of our final exams. It was quick and relatively painless,
besides the cramps that ensued the day after. I went home and
was swiftly kicked out, yet I wouldn’t change a thing. I
graduated 10th in my class and stayed with my best friend
until we both left for college. This was my choice, and I
want everyone to know that whatever you choose to do is OK.
This is your body, your life, and maybe even the life of a
future child.”

—Supriti, 21

ID: 10356922

21. “Had I
known about the morning-after pill I wouldn’t have had the
agony of waiting to test…then waiting to terminate.”

"Had I known about the morning-after pill I wouldn't have had the agony of waiting to test...then waiting to terminate."

View this image ›

“The condom broke with my long-term boyfriend. I knew the
instant it broke I was going to get pregnant. I can still see
the date of my last period in my calendar book, realizing I
was ovulating. Had I known about the morning-after pill I
wouldn’t have had the agony of waiting to test…then waiting
to terminate.

“We talked about marriage, both knowing it wasn’t right. I
did the due diligence, researching everything I could find on
the subject. I went to a clinic and it was stark, sad, and
crowded so I instead went to a doctor on the Upper East Side
of Manhattan. It was 1995 and I was 23. Just starting a
career.

“I remember looking at the heartbeat on the monitor to punish
myself. They shot me with Valium and the very stern nurse
softened and grabbed my hand. I bucked on the table with such
force it was as if my spirit was ripping out of me. I cried.
My boyfriend gave me flowers. I bled for weeks. My heart
broke. I was terribly depressed for over a year.

“It’s been over 20 years and I think deep down I still hate
myself for the decision. Though I know it was the right
choice. I would have been a terrible parent. I am now a
pretty damn good one. Months after the abortion I read about
the morning-after pill in a magazine waiting to get my hair
cut. I burst into tears. Why hadn’t I known about that
option?! I felt angry and helpless — much like I do now,
staring down the barrel of a dark time for women in this
country.”

—Anonymous

ID: 10338437

22. “I
really really wanted to keep this baby, it’s probably the
only thing I’ve ever prayed about, but my former partner
wasn’t supportive of that decision and I don’t have the
resources to be a single parent.”

“It’s been exactly two months since my termination. I chose
to have a medical abortion at home, and I went to my local
Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn. I did not have health
insurance and ended up paying out of pocket (totaling around
$700 for the procedure/prescriptions).

“I really, really wanted to keep this baby, it’s probably the
only thing I’ve ever prayed about, but my former partner
wasn’t supportive of that decision and I don’t have the
resources to be a single parent. In retrospect, I would have
been raising a child who would have had an unstable father
who didn’t want to be a parent. I want to have children with
a man who wants to be a parent, not someone who was forced to
parent by circumstances.

“I feel when taking about abortion, women aren’t allowed to
speak about the sadness. It’s more about the bravado of
making the right decision and the focus of my body/my choice.
But having an abortion was so heartbreaking for me. I was
disappointed in myself for being in this position, frustrated
that I didn’t have a supportive partner and had to go through
this on my own, and shameful that I couldn’t talk to my
family about this.”

—Anonymous, 32

ID: 10357350

23. “This
experience made me more pro-life than I could have ever
imagined.”

"This experience made me more pro-life than I could have ever imagined."

View this image ›

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

“My boyfriend was cheating on me and I found out I was
pregnant, just a month shy of my college graduation. I had
never considered myself pro-choice, but I knew there was no
way in hell that I wanted to be connected to this jerk for
the rest of my life. I made myself an appointment on May 4,
2004, at Planned Parenthood for the termination.

“The jerk was kind enough to drive me to my appointment and
pay for it, but I had to count on my friends to pick me up
after the procedure was over. That seemed to be what the
medical staff cared about more than anything — how I was
getting home. It wasn’t my fragile, emotional state, general
health, or any patient-related issues. They were also sweet
enough to comment on my star sticker tan line and that my
panties of choice that day were glittery.

“Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come after
the fact. The waves of emotion, severe depression for years
due to what I had done, the agonizing physical pain and
quantities of blood and tissue that I would lose. There was
no after-care or phone calls. No follow-up to see how I was
doing. It was like being in a mill where they simply swept
our little secrets under the rug and pretended like the
problems never existed in the first place. I was loaded into
my friend’s car by a nurse who woke me by saying, ‘You look
just like an angel when you sleep,’ and was handed a brown
paper bag with antibiotics, instructions, and a year’s supply
of birth control.

“Twelve years later, I think about that unborn child nearly
every day and wonder what he would be like. This experience
made me more pro-life than I could have ever imagined.”

—Anonymous, 35

ID: 10356740

24. “At the
time we could not afford the care I needed to safely bring
the baby to term, so we decided on terminating the pregnancy
until we were more financially stable.”

“I was 20 and dating my now-husband when I got pregnant. I
have severe health problems and the pregnancy was high-risk.
At the time we could not afford the care I needed to safely
bring the baby to term, so we decided on terminating the
pregnancy until we were more financially stable.

“It was the hardest decision we ever made because we really
want children and were already incredibly attached to our
baby. It took us a very long time to finally decide to
terminate. I was 15 weeks when we finally made the call, but
honestly it was for the best.

“If we had tried to continue with the pregnancy it was very
likely that either myself or the baby would have died and the
chance of us reproducing in the future could have been
severely compromised. Ending a pregnancy is always hard but
we had to make the best and safest decision for our family
and our future.”

—Anonymous, 23

ID: 10339436

25. “If
there was any way I could have kept my child I would have.
Those picketers are the real monsters in all of this.”

"If there was any way I could have kept my child I would have. Those picketers are the real monsters in all of this."

View this image ›

Scott Olson / Getty Images

“I was 20 years old and in an extremely emotionally abusive
relationship. He was ecstatic about the pregnancy for about a
month. He then he got it in his head that I must be a
prostitute, and tried to drive us into the lake.

“I used all the spare money I had and an emergency abortion
charity to get the procedure. I wish I would have been in a
healthy place so I could have had my baby, but it just wasn’t
an option. I didn’t even have a safe place or support system
to run to so I could have carried my baby to term.

“To make it worse, one of the anti-abortion picketers
harassed me on my way in and out of the office. If there was
any way I could have kept my child I would have. Those
picketers are the real monsters in all of this.”

—Kay, 28

ID: 10357418

26. “I
realized I ruined my one chance at motherhood.”

“I was 29 when I started dating this guy. We were pretty
careful about using condoms when we had sex, except a couple
of times. The first time we were lucky. The second time we
were not. I found out I was pregnant four months into our
relationship. I wanted to keep it, even though I was scared.
But he convinced me that the timing wasn’t right; we were
still getting to know each other. I reluctantly agreed and we
found a clinic near my home. I was six weeks, four days along
when I had my first appointment. A week and a day later, I
went back to the clinic to have the abortion.

“They put me in a small room and told me to undress and put
my clothes in a bag they provided and to put a hospital gown
on. I remember hearing vacuuming sounds and thought it was
weird they were vacuuming in the middle of the day. It was
much later I realized it was the suctioning, not vacuuming.
They brought me into the room and began administering the
anesthesia. I opted for the general as I didn’t want to
remember the details. I didn’t want to be there, but I had
been convinced that we’d eventually have a family.

“I found a great online support site and worked on accepting
what I did and healing. For years, I felt mostly healed. He
still acted like we’d have a family. We hit a rough patch and
he finally confessed that he felt guilty for lying to me,
because he never wanted kids and still doesn’t. Now I’m
trapped because I’m too old to start over in a new
relationship and have a child. I can’t afford to have one
alone. My marriage is strained (understatement) and I
realized I ruined my one chance at motherhood. All my healing
down the drain. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about
it. I regret it completely.”

—Anonymous, 41

ID: 10357391

27. “I had
to make the choice between school and having a child, and I
chose to finish school.”

"I had to make the choice between school and having a child, and I chose to finish school."

View this image ›

“I had a medical abortion during my winter break from
graduate school. I was a third year PhD candidate. I had a
one-night stand, but this person was not a part of my life.

“At the time, I was working 60–70 hours a week and barely
making ends meet. I decided to have a medical abortion after
having a panic attack which led to me spending one night in
the hospital. During the abortion, I coped with Netflix,
chocolate, and wine. I spent three days in the bathroom in
the tub or on the toilet. I almost passed out from the pain.
I refused to take the prescribed pain medication.

“After two years, I feel that this decision was the best. I
had to make the choice between school and having a child, and
I chose to finish school. I am still not open about my
abortion. I do not know if I ever will be. It is not accepted
with my friends or family. But yet I would have been shunned
for keeping the child and quitting school. I was at a loss. I
made the decision that I was not ready to be a mother,
financially or emotionally.”

—Anonymous, 29

ID: 10357117

28. “The
experience did tell me that I wanted to have a child
eventually. And who I have that child with is equally as
important.”

“At 31 years old, I found myself pregnant for the first time
after dating someone on and off for about three years. The
truth was, I was more than ready to be able to have a child.
I was certainly of age, my career was in a good place, and I
was financially independent. But at that point, having a baby
was something I never really considered. And if I was honest
with myself, having a baby with him was definitely not
a possibility.

“Our relationship was rocky at best from the beginning. He
wasn’t a bad person, he just wasn’t the ideal person to have
a baby with (or be in a relationship with). He never wanted
children. He was in severe debt. And he didn’t have the same
commitment to family that I did. When I told him, he said,
‘Get rid of it.’ I knew it was something he didn’t want, but
the way he said it was hurtful and harsh. I felt guilty and
considered keeping it. I’m not sure why. Ultimately, at nine
weeks, I went into Planned Parenthood and asked for the
abortion pill. Of course, I paid for it myself and went alone
because he couldn’t afford it nor could he be bothered to
accompany me.

“Interestingly, I never felt guilty once I committed to the
decision. And I haven’t felt regret since. It was the right
decision for me during that time in my life. I would never
wish that on any woman — the burden of having to decide
whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. But the experience
did tell me that I wanted to have a child eventually. And who
I have that child with is equally as important. Four years
later, I’m pregnant with my husband who is an amazing person.
And I wouldn’t change anything.”

—Dee, 35

ID: 10356988

29. “It was
weird seeing the little dot on the screen.”

"It was weird seeing the little dot on the screen."

View this image ›

7postman / Getty Images

“I got pregnant my senior year of high school after a stupid
night with a guy a few years older than me. I took the
morning-after pill, but it didn’t work. A month and a half
later I found out I was pregnant. After a week of crying,
talking to my friends, and hesitantly telling my mom, I
scheduled my appointment.

“I had a medical abortion. I remember the ultrasound and the
nurse asking me if I wanted to look at the screen. It was
weird seeing the little dot on the screen. I took the first
pills, drove home, and waited until the next day for the next
dose. I felt like I was dying. Imagine the worst period of
your life and multiply it by 100. I lay on the cold floor of
my bathroom for three hours because I couldn’t get
comfortable anywhere else.

“I still get emotional about it sometimes now, four years
later. But I knew I didn’t want to raise a baby with a guy I
wasn’t with. I never would have met my boyfriend now or be in
my junior year of college if I hadn’t done it. I think it
would’ve been a girl, and I still regret not being able to
meet my first child…”

—Jordan, 21

ID: 10338848

30. “I am
still after all these years looking to find complete peace
with my decision, but I have learned that it might never
come, and I accept that.”

“I was 17. There were girls there who were casually talking
about how many they’ve had, they were so mellow about it, one
was even eating Taco Bell in the clinic while she waited to
be called in. Meanwhile I was dying inside. Dying of guilt,
shame, embarrassment, and every other emotion that we have
been told to feel by society.

“The father did not care. He would tell me to keep it one
day, and the next he was telling our friends it wasn’t his.
His cousin even offered to ‘play soccer’ with me — in other
words, he wanted to kick me in the stomach to cause a
miscarriage. He begged me to abort because he was ‘in love’
with another girl at school. When I finally did it he claimed
he had only begged to keep it and made me the villain of the
story.

“I barely graduated high school. I was depressed for years. I
graduated with my BA in 2015 and moved to NYC. I work at a
great law firm in Midtown and love my life. Every now and
then I think about everything we went through. Last I heard
he was a complete pothead who works at a casino and sells
weed on the side. I know I did the right thing, but the guilt
has stayed with me. Some days it’s bad, some days it’s
horrible, some days I feel nothing. I keep waiting for God to
strike me with lightning. I am still after all these years
looking to find complete peace with my decision, but I have
learned that it might never come, and I accept that. Today I
am happy.”

—Jaimie, 25

ID: 10356948

31. “What
course of events had brought these people to the same fate as
I?”

"What course of events had brought these people to the same fate as I?"

View this image ›

Solstock / Getty Images

“I had my abortion just after my 19th birthday. I had been
partying and going crazy, doing drugs, and sleeping around. I
started noticing strange things happening to my body and I
hadn’t had my period for a while but I was in such denial
that by the time I went to my OB-GYN I was already 20 weeks
pregnant. I made the decision immediately.

“Because I had taken so long to go to a doctor, I had to
travel out of state almost four hours to have the operation.
It was a two-day process. The first day, you went into the
appointment and they insert these seaweed sticks into your
cervix. They absorb moisture and stretch the cervix large
enough for the operation. This was one of the most painful
things I have ever gone through. The next day you came back
and had the operation.

“Looking around the waiting room I could see other women,
from all walks of life, going through this same pain, almost
in concert. I remember an Indian woman and her husband
sitting across from me. I realized that if this middle-aged
woman could be here, this issue and the need for these
services was so much bigger than me. I felt better about my
decision. I was a millennial drunk who got knocked up; these
people were not only from another culture but a completely
different generation. They were married. What course of
events had brought these people to the same fate as I?
Whatever It was I can say that we all felt a major relief
upon leaving that office.”

—Erika, 28

ID: 10338488

32. “The
ultrasound revealed that the fetus was still in my uterus but
no longer had a heartbeat.”

“I was 19 years old when I found out I was eight weeks
pregnant. At the time I was playing college soccer and was
about to start nursing school. My boyfriend had just signed
to play basketball at a university in another state. I told
my mom and I told her that I wasn’t in any financial or
emotional position to have a baby. She understood and was the
one to call the women’s health clinic for details on
abortion.

“I live in a rural town and the nearest clinic was two hours
away. The next day my mom and I drove up to the clinic where
the doctor did blood work, an ultrasound, and explained the
abortion process to me. He explained that I was within the
window of time that allowed me to take two different pills to
induce the abortion, but once I took the medication, I was
required to follow through with the abortion due to the
medication causing severe birth defects if they were
ineffective. Per Arizona law, I had to wait 24 hours after
seeing a medical professional to make my decision. So my mom
and I drove home and the next morning we drove back up to the
clinic where I received the medication.

“Two weeks later I went up to the clinic for a follow-up
ultrasound to see if the medication had worked. The
ultrasound revealed that the fetus was still in my uterus but
no longer had a heartbeat. The doctor explained that this
happens to only 1% of women who get abortions and that I
needed to have a D&C which included dilating my cervix
and manually removing the fetus. The procedure was painful,
but successful. My insurance would not cover the cost of the
abortion. I ended up having to use $1,000 from my student
loan to pay for it.

“Fast-forward four years to the present: I am now a
registered nurse working a full-time job and I’m still with
my boyfriend. I always wonder what my life would have been
like if I never had the abortion, but I’ve never once
regretted it. I am now in a position to be able to support
myself financially and a baby when I choose to do so.”

—Anonymous, 22

ID: 10356818

33. “I had
a transvaginal ultrasound, after which the technician said,
‘You probably don’t want to see it but it’s a really great
image,’ indicating it was really clear or something?”

"I had a transvaginal ultrasound, after which the technician said, 'You probably don't want to see it but it's a really great image,' indicating it was really clear or something?"

View this image ›

Keith Brofsky / Getty Images

“I was in an emotionally abusive relationship in college. I
got pregnant and my boyfriend told me it was my problem and
he didn’t even want to hear about it. I knew abortion was my
best and only option.

“Finding a provider was a little challenging (this was before
the modern internet); one clinic I called tried to talk me
out of the procedure. I hung up on her and cried for an hour.
When I did end up finding a clinic that could provide me with
an abortion, I was subjected to a transvaginal ultrasound,
after which the technician said, ‘You probably don’t want to
see it but it’s a really great image,’ indicating it was
really clear or something? WTF.

“I was given the medication and sent home. I remember buying
a single rose on my way back; it seemed respectful somehow.
The procedure cost something like $600 (it was not covered by
insurance). I was thankfully able to pay for it with only a
couple of months of strict grocery budgeting and keeping my
heat off (in New England, in November).

“I had several excruciating days alone (I never told anyone
it was happening). I am not even sure how long the whole
thing took. Then I went back to classes and acted like
nothing had happened. I never once regretted my decision, but
the stigma around abortion makes me feel very guilty for
that. That guilt has led me to remain silent about my story.
To this day no one but the abusive boyfriend knows it
happened. I have never even told my husband. Through all
this, I know it was the right choice for me. I am grateful
that I was able to have an abortion with relative ease, and I
believe that is the right of anyone with a uterus.”

—Anonymous, 32

ID: 10357011

34. “When I
got up to get dressed I glanced over at the screen, and my
heart broke — I remembered the joy of seeing that first pic
of my son five years prior.

“I had been dating my boyfriend for six months when I found
out I was pregnant. I have a 5-year-old son with my
ex-husband and my boyfriend has a 4-year-old daughter from a
previous relationship. I was mad at myself for not being more
careful. I was scared. I was embarrassed.

“Because of instabilities both financially and in the
relationship I knew that moving forward with the pregnancy
was not an option. My hours at work were being cut back,
bills were piling up. At that point, I was not confident that
my boyfriend could provide the fiscal, emotional, or mental
support necessary to get through the pregnancy and (more
importantly) raising the child once it was born. I have
always been pro-choice with the caveat that there was ‘no way
I could ever personally have an abortion.’ But here I was, 35
years old, pregnant, and making an appointment for the
following day.

“When I got the sonogram to see how far along I was (just shy
of six weeks), I specified that I did not wish to see the
image. However, when I got up to get dressed I glanced over
at the screen, and my heart broke — I remembered the joy of
seeing that first pic of my son five years prior. Tears
rushed to my eyes involuntarily, yet the gut feeling that I
was making the right decision remained.

“The toll the abortion took physically was pretty expected —
although it was several weeks before my hormones evened back
out; I went through similar highs and lows as with postpartum
depression after the birth of my son. The thing I wasn’t
prepared for was the emotional setback. Because I was so sure
of my decision, I didn’t anticipate having regrets, and the
guilt has been overwhelming. I’ve found myself calculating
what the due date would’ve been, welling up with tears at
baby commercials and baby clothes in stores. I mostly feel
that I’m a failure for not being in a better place in my life
(more successful, etc.) to raise another child. It’s also
been really hard on the relationship. My boyfriend has
suffered significant depression over it and we have both
begun therapy.

“Every woman’s abortion experience is different. And every
woman will live with the choice they make for the rest of
their lives. It is never easy.”

—Angela, 35

ID: 10357083

35.
“Sometimes in the middle of the night I ask myself what I
will do or say if my daughter comes to me one day with that
dreaded dilemma.”

"Sometimes in the middle of the night I ask myself what I will do or say if my daughter comes to me one day with that dreaded dilemma."

View this image ›

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

“I was a 17-year-old high school student when I found out I
was pregnant. I was a good girl, athlete, good grades, and
had a steady boyfriend. I come from a deeply Catholic family
— premarital sex and abortion was not condoned nor permitted.
My boyfriend and I panicked, and the decision was made to
abort our pregnancy.

“Since I had made the decision to drive myself, they were
unable to give me anything for the pain. I was wide awake and
aware for the whole thing. I felt that I deserved the pain,
fear, and dirtiness I was feeling and so I welcomed it. I
didn’t want this to be easy. Afterward I spent some time in
the recovery room and then drove myself home. The next day I
was back at school and successfully covering up the fact that
the day before I had gone through with a decision that has
stayed with me the rest of my life. I never forgave myself
and I never allowed myself to forget.

“I am an adult now and a parent. Sometimes in the middle of
the night I ask myself what I will do or say if my daughter
comes to me one day with that dreaded dilemma. What advice
would I give her? In what direction would I guide her?
Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that I believe
every woman has the right to make this decision for herself.
Whether moral, religious, or legal — it is her decision and
only hers. I believe there are consequences for our decisions
and I know that I will answer for mine, to God. But right or
wrong it should be ours to make.”

—Anonymous

ID: 10357076

36.
“Sometimes I still go back to that moment and question my
decision, wondering how my life would’ve been different.
Would I still have the two beautiful kids I have now? How
would they interact with their sibling?”

“My boyfriend and I had only been dating about six months
when I became pregnant. He first suggested abortion. We were
21 and 22 and still in college. I agreed, knowing we weren’t
ready financially, mentally, and emotionally to raise a
child. I also selfishly didn’t want to lose our new
relationship.

“The procedure itself was quick. The worst part was watching
them carry out the container of my now empty uterus. I was
then put in a room with other girls with a heating pack to
recover. I was sent on my way after showing them I wasn’t
bleeding. I spent about a total of three hours there. I went
back to my friend’s house with some moderate cramping but
physically overall it was tolerable. Later that night I
actually went out for drinks. I guess to numb the emotional
pain.

“As the weeks passed after, the constant thoughts and regret
became less. My boyfriend and I are still together, 10 years
later, with two children. Sometimes I still go back to that
moment and question my decision, wondering how my life
would’ve been different. Would I still have the two beautiful
kids I have now? How would they interact with their sibling?
I try not to dwell on it long though because at that time it
was the right choice for me. The story of my life, good and
bad, abortion included, has made me stronger and brought me
to the wonderful life I have now.”

—K, 32

ID: 10357129

37. “The
decision to abort was easy. I was a sad and scared college
student with what I sensed was an alien in my body.”

"The decision to abort was easy. I was a sad and scared college student with what I sensed was an alien in my body."

View this image ›

“I was drugged and raped by a lot of men, apparently, at a
college party. I didn’t know it even happened until a friend
of a friend told me. I didn’t believe it until I realized I
was pregnant and that couldn’t have been possible at all.

“The decision to abort was easy. I was a sad and scared
college student with what I sensed was an alien in my body. I
took a cab to have the procedure done because I did not want
to tell even one person. I had to have an escort home though
so I couldn’t have the procedure at that time. I called my
sister at her nearby college and she made arrangements to
come to me. I went back to the clinic and got in a white robe
and on a gurney in a basement with a bunch of strangers. I
was unfazed but I bet that looks like a horror movie. Those
clinics should maybe look softer.

“The procedure was done quickly, and there was a cookie and
7up in the recovery room with the same strange women that I
loved but never knew in white robes. I went to class the next
day. I have a few hangups as a result of that party, none of
them as a result of the abortion.”

—Anonymous, 36

ID: 10357481

38. “Anyone
who says that women use abortion as a form of birth control
or do it for selfish reasons has obviously no clue of what
the weight of the decision is.”

“I had just turned 30 and I found myself pregnant after
dating a man for only two months. I had just moved away from
my entire support system to take a promotion. I took a home
pregnancy test and it was positive; my stomach dropped and I
cried myself to sleep. I am not the kind of person who makes
rash decisions and I’m known for weighing all options before
jumping. I knew that without my family’s support, and the
support of the baby’s father and his family, I could not
provide the life I wanted or had for my child.

“I let the baby’s father know of my pregnancy and we agreed
that an abortion was the best possible scenario. I visited my
Planned Parenthood and held my head high as I went in for an
information-gathering appointment. That’s when I decided to
have a medical abortion. I was driven to my appointment a
week later, had an ultrasound, and I received my first dose
of the medication; I cried the entire way home. That night
after my second dose, I was overcome by my the pain and
vomited over and over again. I begged my then-boyfriend to
take me to the ER because the pain was so terrible. After
several hours, the pain subsided and I finally fell asleep.

“I feel into a deep depression afterwards and had to be
hospitalized for nine days; I had tried to commit suicide. Is
my abortion something I regret? Absolutely. Was it the best
choice at the time? Yes. Anyone who says that women use
abortion as a form of birth control or do it for selfish
reasons has obviously no clue of what the weight of the
decision is. I did not make my decision lightly and it makes
me sick to think that there are advocates for taking the
choice away from women.”

—Anonymous

ID: 10357329

39. “In the
eyes of the law, my rape didn’t happen. If that kind of
policy had been in place when I was 14, I would have a
2-year-old child right now, and probably would’ve been kicked
out and had to drop out of school.”

"In the eyes of the law, my rape didn't happen. If that kind of policy had been in place when I was 14, I would have a 2-year-old child right now, and probably would've been kicked out and had to drop out of school."

View this image ›

“I was raped when I was 14 and I was unlucky enough to get
pregnant. I was not ready to be a mother, and certainly not
the mother of a rapist’s child. It wasn’t a difficult choice
for me, and at first I felt like there was something wrong
with me, because on TV they always show this as being such a
heart-wrenching choice, but I knew what I wanted. I don’t
think it’s fair to expect women to attach so much emotion to
what is essentially a bundle of cells, and if anyone ends up
reading this, I want them to know it’s okay if you don’t feel
guilt attached to the choice of having an abortion.

“I don’t have a great relationship with my parents, and
they’re pretty old-school and religious, so at the time I
didn’t tell them about the rape or the abortion, since in
California you don’t need to tell your parents or get their
permission to get an abortion. I went in with a close friend
instead and I chose to use the abortion pill because it was
cheaper and at the time I was only about six weeks pregnant.
It ended up costing me around $780, because I live in a
pretty expensive area, but it might be cheaper depending on
where you live. I was able to pay this because I’m lucky
enough to be from a fairly well-off family, and I had money
saved up from birthdays and allowance (even with this, the
abortion ended up draining all of my savings and I can’t
imagine how I would’ve paid if my family didn’t have money).

“I think that Trump’s
ideas that abortion should only be allowed in cases of
rape is terrible. Speaking as someone who was raped, I never
reported it to the police, so in the eyes of the law, my rape
didn’t happen. If that kind of policy had been in place when
I was 14, I would have a 2-year-old child right now, and
probably would’ve been kicked out and had to drop out of
school. Instead, I’m getting straight A’s in my junior year
of high school and taking the time to go to therapy and
learning to cope with what happened to me.”

—Anonymous, 16

ID: 10357200

40. “Having
a third abortion was embarrassing and took a very hard toll
on my body and my mind.”

“I’ve had three abortions. I had my first abortion at 20. I
was not on the pill and found out I was pregnant at 12 weeks.
This abortion was medically required, as the pregnancy was
not viable. Fortunately, I live near a Planned Parenthood and
was able to receive the proper ultrasounds prior to my
abortion appointment and they accept my insurance.

“I immediately began taking the pill, but became pregnant
again six months later. The second abortion was my decision.
During this abortion, I chose to have an IUD inserted. This
IUD worked for about a year and a half but fell out without
my knowledge, and I became pregnant a third time with someone
who I only began dating weeks before I found out. This
abortion was my choice as well, and my partner supported me
through the entire process.

“Having a third abortion was embarrassing and took a very
hard toll on my body and my mind. I’m not proud of my
experiences with abortion but if I did not have access to
proper women’s health care, I would not be in the stable
place that I am today.”

—Emily, 23

ID: 10357441

41. “I
talked to my doctor. She felt terrible. Her best friend had
had the same thing happen to her, with the same result. She
hugged me while we both cried. It was only a little weird,
since I wasn’t wearing pants.”

"I talked to my doctor. She felt terrible. Her best friend had had the same thing happen to her, with the same result. She hugged me while we both cried. It was only a little weird, since I wasn't wearing pants."

View this image ›

“I am married, financially stable, and college educated. I
got pregnant with the non-hormonal IUD. I almost didn’t even
take a test because I’d checked my strings, they were fine
and how could I possibly be in the .04% that that happens to?
But I was pregnant.

“We don’t want kids. We had decided that before, but we still
thought about it and discussed it. It just felt like an end
to me. Like everything that I love about my life currently
would end if I had kids.

“I talked to my doctor. She felt terrible. Her best friend
had had the same thing happen to her, with the same result.
She hugged me while we both cried. It was only a little
weird, since I wasn’t wearing pants.

“In my state, it’s getting harder to obtain a safe and legal
abortion. There are only two providers in a three-hour
radius. They do not accept insurance. They have a list of
prices and you can choose your level of pain management based
on price. To me, that was horrifying. It really hit me that
not only would lower-income rural women have to take time off
work to drive into the city to visit the clinic, then stay
overnight to have the procedure the next day or come back,
but they could do it with just Advil to save money.

“The procedure itself only took about two minutes. It hurt
quite a lot, but it didn’t last long. Maybe I had it easy,
but I didn’t have a whole lot of cramping. The nurse escorted
me to the recovery room and got me a couple cookies and a
soda. I didn’t feel anything but relief. I wish I wanted
kids. I know there are so many people that struggle with
infertility. Abortion was absolutely the right decision for
me.”

—Anonymous, 29

ID: 10357406

42. “I was
supposed to go back for a checkup in two weeks to ensure all
the tissue had been passed, but because the clinic was
understaffed, they had to schedule my follow-up appointment
for three weeks later.”

“I was 25 and in a serious relationship but not ready for a
child. I was lucky enough to catch the pregnancy early and
make a quick decision, so I had my abortion at less than
seven weeks. There was a single protester outside of the
clinic. I had no second thoughts about my decision, but
several of the other women in the clinic looked nervous. I
opted for a medical abortion (the pill) since I was so early
in the pregnancy.

“I was supposed to go back for a checkup in two weeks to
ensure all the tissue had been passed, but because the clinic
was understaffed, they had to schedule my follow-up
appointment for three weeks later. Two weeks to the day after
I had the abortion, I hemorrhaged. I went to the ER where I
had to be given a blood transfusion. They called in a team
and I had an emergency D&C at about 4 a.m. and woke up in
the ICU just before 7 a.m.

“I would have died if I hadn’t received such quick care, and
I’m extremely grateful to the OB-GYN and the team of nurses.
Despite the complications, I have never regretted terminating
that pregnancy.”

—Nina, 27

ID: 10357276

43. “As I
was putting the pad on, I looked down and saw what I can only
describe as the single most horrific sight.”

“It has been a month since I had my abortion and it seems as
if I will never stop bleeding. My boyfriend and I have been
together for three and a half years, a year and a half of
which were spent living apart. One month, I noticed I skipped
my period and couldn’t hold any food down to save my life. I
took a test and to my surprise, it was positive! I say that
because my periods have been irregular over periods of my
life due to my battle with anorexia/bulimia.

“I don’t have any children and we have talked about having
children; we even have the names picked out. Still, when I
told him, he wasn’t as surprised or happy as I was. As my
pregnancy went on, I became very depressed realizing that
right now we aren’t in a position to take care of a child and
the constant throwing up had triggered my eating disorder
once again. We discussed our options and he suggested
abortion. My heart sank even though I understood his
reasoning and knew we weren’t ready for a child. We asked my
mom for the money and she obliged. I went to the doctor and
since I was a week shy of being 10 weeks, I had the option of
a pill I took there and four pills I would take the following
day.

“Within an hour, I experienced the worst cramps I have ever
felt. When the crippling pain subsided enough, I got up to go
to the bathroom and put a pad on. As I was putting the pad
on, I looked down and saw what I can only describe as the
single most horrific sight. I watched my fetus still in its
sac fall out of me into the toilet. All I could do was scream
and sob.

“All I have ever wanted was a child and the first time I got
pregnant I wasn’t in a stable place in my life to raise one.
I’ve been very emotional since then and still bleeding. It
has put a huge strain on my relationship and every day has
been an emotional battle.”

—Ally, 29

ID: 10357423

44.
“Regardless of a wanted or unwanted pregnancy, abortion is
between a doctor and a patient — not a patient and the
government.”

"Regardless of a wanted or unwanted pregnancy, abortion is between a doctor and a patient — not a patient and the government."

View this image ›

“My husband and I planned to give our daughter a little
brother or sister when she was about 5 months old. We were
ecstatic when we got our positive pregnancy test. Everything
was going great until we went in for our routine 12-week
ultrasound. Our little baby had never developed a brain
(ventriculomegaly is the medical term). This very wanted
child had a 10% chance of making it to birth. If we did make
it to birth, our sweet baby would suffer and die shortly
after birth. My husband and I made the most compassionate
choice we could and decided to end the pregnancy. I was not
going to let my child suffer.

“My health insurance would not cover abortion under any
circumstances, so a few days later I was on my way to Hope
Clinic in Illinois. We went out of state to avoid the 72-hour
waiting period in Missouri. When we got to the clinic there
were protesters outside and escorts had to walk us in. One
man yelled to me and my husband as we were entering the
building: ‘As soon as you walk into that room and open your
legs, your womb becomes a war zone.’

“I remember wanting to die as I put my feet into the
stirrups. I remember the numbing shot into the cervix and I
remember the physical feeling of having my baby taken out of
me. After that, I don’t remember much except this unbearable
pain in my chest and a lot of blood. And as I left, the same
protester that greeted me when i first got there yelled,
‘Where’s your baby?! What happened to your baby?!’ Those
words have never stopped echoing in my head.

“Regardless of a wanted or unwanted pregnancy, abortion is
between a doctor and a patient — not a patient and the
government.”

—Paige, 23

ID: 10357286

Submissions have been edited for length and/or
clarity.

ID: 10368221



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