MY ABORTION WAS…

WE ASKED 5 BRAVE WOMEN ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THEIR VERY OWN ABORTION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM.

 
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“…the toughest decision

I had to face


in my life.”

She, anonymous, 30

1. You had an abortion. Why did you decide to end your pregnancy?
„I had an on-off-relationship with my ex-boyfriend for two years, when I found out I got pregnant by accident. We didn’t have the easiest time before, because of his severe depression and him living abroad. Shortly before this whole misfortune, I also found out that he had a second girlfriend in the US for some months, and I finally broke up with him. So when I told him I am pregnant, he froze because of his anxiety and said he couldn’t have a child now, but doesn’t want to lose me. I realized how selfish this answer was and that he would always be like this. That I had to raise a child on my own. And because I always thought, if I‘ll become a parent, I want to raise my children with more love and a more reliable family structure than my parents provided. And with my emotionally unpredictable ex-boyfriend somewhere around this child, I couldn’t guarantee for this. I was sure, that even if I‘d start to raise the child on my own, latest in a few years time, he‘ll try to get a hold on me or the child in his toxic way again. And that I‘ll never be able to eclipse him out of our lives completely.“

2. At what moment did you know it was the right thing to do for you?/Did you take long to decide or was it clear instantly?
„My first reaction was to get an abortion as soon as possible. But I had to wait one week before I got the appointment, and my mind slightly changed day by day. In the end, if I have been in a more advanced state of pregnancy, I wouldn’t have been able to emotionally. But since the child didn’t have a heartbeat at that time, I could go through with it. And I agreed that my ex-boyfriend would come with me to the appointment since he constantly offered it. So that I see him as the miserable father he would be in front of me and I won’t escape from the abortion. Since then I never got in touch with him again.”

3. How were your emotions after? 
„I was in the worst pain of my life during the process of bleeding out. Probably not just because of the abortion, also because it was kind of a farewell to this horrible relationship I had.“

4. Are you thankful for your abortion/the possibility of having had one?
„Definitely yes. Even though there were no medical reasons to end the pregnancy, the emotional reasons would have haunted me as well, and therefore the baby afterwards, too.“

5. Do you often/sometimes think of how your life would be different if you hadn’t had one?
„Of course. But then I remind myself that my whole life would be a total different one. I might live as a single mother, probably having moved out of the city closer to my hometown, where my family is, to get support.“

6. Do you “regret” it sometimes? Does it affect you still somehow? „I don’t regret it. This experience is part of my life now. And it made me stronger and more focused on what I have to look for in love and life in the future, to never find myself in such a horrible situation ever again.“

7. What would you tell a woman facing this decision? What would your personal advice be?
„You know what to do. Your guts tell you instantly. Don’t romanticize the idea of being a mother, it‘s your body and your life and if a baby doesn’t feel right for you at this very moment, it‘s alright to have an abortion.“

8. What would you tell the US-States/ all the politicians that are responsible for the current passed abortion ban tightening it in such an extreme way that even in cases of rape or incest you can’t have one.
I‘d like to ask them if anyone among them has a daughter or a wife and if they seriously would make her get that baby after having experienced such a cruel encroachment.

 
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„…incredibly hard, but I’m stronger after it. Not always but most of the time.“

She, anonymous, 26

1. You had an abortion. Why did you decide to end your pregnancy?

“ I fell pregnant after a one night stand. A cliché situation where we used a condom but it had broken without us realising.“

2. At what moment did you know it was the right thing to do for you?/Did you take long to decide or was it clear instantly?
„The minute I saw the second pregnancy test I knew exactly what I had to do. I was extremely early so I had to see the clinic twice as the first time I was too early for the abortion to be done. During the week in between visits a part of me was like maybe I shouldn’t, but deep down I always knew.“

3. How were your emotions after? 
„I think the perfect would to describe how I felt was numb. There was a complication with mine where I woke up in a lot of abnormal pain. I was reminded of it for quite sometime. There was a great deal of sadness as I want to be a mum more than anything. In terms of getting over it, this took a long time. I would try and cope by joking and being open about it like it wasn’t a big deal but when in fact it really was. It took me about a year to come to turn with it all, which to this day I haven’t completely.“

4. Are you thankful for your abortion/the possibility of having had one?
„I’m thankful. I couldn’t imagine the feeling I would have faced knowing I was bringing a baby into the world that wasn’t ready for it. I know even inAustralia some people don’t have access to that service. So I’m very thankful I could.“

5. Do you often/sometimes think of how your life would be different if you hadn’t had one?  

„I think about it often. I think about it on the date I had it, the date the baby would have been born. There are times where I get into a dark place in my life I have moments of regret and sadness. But I also think that comes with some selfishness.“

6. Do you “regret” it sometimes?
„It definitely changed me. I felt like a big part of me changed, became missing but also grew a lot. I found a stronger part of myself but also a very painful side. I don’t regret it but I have regret about that time of my life, how it happened to me, why it happened to me.“

7. What would you tell a woman facing this decision? What would your personal advice be?
„To do what is best for her. There are so many opinions on this topic and not everyone will agree and support their decision whether than be abortion or keeping a baby. I personally also believe you just need to take a minute to think about the life you and your baby would have.. that can be a really important factor.“

8. What would you tell the US-States/ all the politicians that are responsible for  the current passed abortion ban tightening it in such an extreme way that even in cases of rape or incest you can’t have one.
„That they need to think about their daughters, sisters, wives, mothers. The women in their lives. If these women, they love and cared for were to be raped or fall pregnant with a child that was ill or put them in danger.. how they would feel? I understand there are religious beliefs in all of this, I don’t want to dismiss them, but you as one person can’t make that decision for everyone else.“

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…the toughest decision of my life that I wouldn’t change.”

She, anonymous, 29

1. Why did you decide to end your pregnancy?
”Last year while I was pregnant the doctors detected the Turner Syndrom and a heart defect with my unborn child. This rare form of it in our case was the reason that our baby did’t have any sexual characteristics. On top of that there was the heart defect. All specialist told us, that our baby will not survive the pregnancy. That’s when I decided out of self protection to end the pregnancy because I couldn’t live with the thought to constantly worry every day about when the bleeding would start or when my body would repel the fetus.”

2. At what moment did you know it was the right thing to do for you?/Did you take long to decide or was it clear instantly?
”It- was a long process to think it all over. For me and my husband both. We knew from the beginning that there was something not right, but saying it out loud and singing it, is a whole different thing. After I gave birth to my baby the natural way, I still had to go into surgery for the womb scrape. After I woke up, I knew it was the right decision to end it on this day. “

3.  How were your emotions after?
”I was endlessly sad. The moment of the birth was the worst. I had to let it go, but I couldn’t. I cried, and pressed my eyes so tight together but couldn’t let this baby go. But I had to. It got cremated and we buried it next to other stillborn children in the cemetery. On the day of the original birthday I went there and we put a litte wind mill up as a memory. We will do this again this year. I think the sadness will never fully go away. Even though my husband is my biggest rock and biggest supporter. At the end I found the thought comforting that this little fighting creature was with me from its first to its last heartbeat.”

4.  Are you thankful for your abortion/the possibility of having had one?
I am extremely thankful that I had the possibility of freely deciding for myself. It’s unimaginable to me imaging that someone would have taken this decision from me or for me. I have had voices around me telling me that the decision to end my pregnancy was egoistic and I didn’t act in the interest of my unborn child. And yes, maybe it was. But it was healthy egoism, that I don’t regret until this day.”

5.  Do you “regret” it sometimes?/Does it affect you still somehow?/How did it change you or maybe it didn’t at all? 
”No, I absolutely do not regret anything. At the time it was absolutely the right decision. For me, my husband and our life".”

6.  What would you tell a woman facing this decision? What would your personal advice be?
„I believe that every woman has to make the decision for herself. I am aware that a lot of women maybe wouldn’t have gone this far. We are all different. And because it was the right decision for me, it doesn’t need to be the right decision for someone else. I think we shouldn’t let ourselves get influenced from society when it’s decisions about our very own body. Because what others might think of it, doesn’t help you in this moment at all.” 

7.  What would you tell the US-States/ all the politicians that are responsible for  the current passed abortion ban tightening it in such an extreme way that even in cases of rape or incest you can’t have one.
Most likely these people have never ever experienced it themselves.  They force their will onto the women and their bodies. No one should get forced.  I recently read a very fitting statement: „Would men get pregnant, you could buy abortions at the pharmacy.“


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„…the right decision.”

She, annonymous, 32

1.  Why did you decide to end your pregnancy?
„The first time I got pregnant, I had just turned 18 years old and I was about to graduate from high school. It was with my high school boyfriend and I had forgotten to take my birth control pill that day. It was pretty soon there after that I knew something was different. I am rather in tune with my body, and so a couple weeks after we had sex, when I was feeling a bit ‘off’, I called a friend of mine to help me go and get a pregnancy test. I actually made a decision before I even took the test my course of action: I was going to terminate the pregnancy. I had always been pro choice personally, and I felt that one of the worst things I could do for both myself and the baby was to carry it to term. I was NOT ready to be a mom, and the life I could offer that child with no education or work experience was not a life I wanted to give a baby boy or girl. It was the right decision for myself at the time.

The second time I got pregnant, I was careless. I was studying abroad, age 21 and fell head over heels for a local guy. We were careless and when I became pregnant again, I had the same feeling I had when I was 18. I had made my decision before I even knew conclusively that I had been pregnant. I had made an adult decision to have sex, but I knew I was not yet adult enough to deal with the consequences. A child should never feel like a punishment or a prison sentence, and since I was abroad, I chose to terminate the pregnancy. I also made a promise to myself from that moment I would take my sexual health more seriously. I was always taught abstinence. I grew up in a conservative Christian home, and sex wasn’t talked about.“

 2. At what moment did you know it was the right thing for you to do?
„I knew right away that is what the right thing for me. The ripple effect these pregnancies would have had not only on my life and the baby’s life, but the life of the fathers, my family, my friends, etc would have been huge.”

3.  How were your emotions after?
„After getting the abortions, the feelings were definitely of relief, and that I had made the right decision. Even 10 years later, I still feel that I made the right choice for the situation I was in, however now that I am in a position in my life where I could have children and offer them the quality of life I would like, I do sometimes wonder how my experiences may affect me and my current relationship when we do finally decide it is the right time to have children (he is fully aware of both abortions, so we will cross that bridge together when we get there). But for the time being, I stand by my decisions, and I am a huge advocate for any other woman looking to make the same decision.“

 4.  Are you thankful for your abortion?
„OMG ABSOLUTELY! It may sound strange, but after having an abortion it was the first time I was empowered to take my own reproductive health into my own hands. I had never really been taught about birth control, or contraception. And the clinic at which I got the abortion was so helpful and supportive with education. I also am thankful that I was self-aware enough to know that I wasn’t ready to be a mom, because when the time comes and I am ready, I plan on being the best damn mom out there because it was on my terms.“

 
5.  Do you sometimes think your life would be different?
„I do sometimes think about that. I would have a 9 year old right now had I not gone through with the abortion, and I know that while I would have risen to the occasion, I know I made the right choice for me.“

6. Do you sometimes regret it?
„I don’t regret it for a moment. As far as how it might affect me in the future, im really not sure. I don’t plan on having kids for another couple of years, so perhaps when the time comes maybe I will see that it still affects me somehow, but I have a supportive partner, I have talked about it in therapy with a professional, and I believe I have the tools to face any residual trauma, and I am at peace with my decisions.“

7.  What would you tell a woman facing this decision?
„First off, you are NOT alone. There are far more woman out there who have had abortions than you think. By the time I had finished High School (gymnasium), I knew about 4 other girls who had had abortions. At University that number grew by a lot as well. We just don’t talk about it… even to each other. Second, reach out to your friends or to a support group. Most clinics will have recommendations, and anyone who is a close friend of yours will be willing to listen without judgement. I am not sure I could have gone through it without my closest girlfriends. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help either before or after. Talking with a certified therapist help me make sense of the experience and has really helped me be at peace with the decisions I have made. Finally, this is your decision and only your decision. Do not let anyone sway you one way or another. You know what is best for you in this moment, so do  not be ashamed of what you decide to do.“

 
8.  What would you tell the US and the politicians?
„I am actually American, living in Germany, so this really hits home for me. I am so enraged by what these politicians are doing. Just because I am pro-choice does not mean I am pro-abortion. I did what was right for me, but I support the ability to offer that same choice to other women, regardless of what they chose. These politicians have no right to dictate what I do with my body, and until they offer the same love, financial and institutional support for children born to young mothers that they have for an unborn fetus, they can keep their mouths shut. There are very few support programs for single mothers, the foster care system is abysmal, maternity for many is nonexistent, childcare is unaffordable, education programs for young mothers are not easily accessible for all, sex education in many of these areas in the US is HORRIBLE in the first place. They can’t just care up until the child is born and then not care after the child comes into this world. It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest. I would encourage politicians to begin examining the programs for young mothers AFTER their baby is born, and on sexual education programs, as well as increase access to contraception. If you really want to decrease unwanted pregnancies, it’s time to EMPOWER women in their sexual health, not dictate it.

 
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“…relieving.”

She, anonymous, 28

1.  You had an abortion. Why did you decide to end your pregnancy?
„It was a hard, however necessary solution. I was in the middle of getting another Master’s degree. Everything that happened to my body made me feel constant fatigue and my brain wasn’t as agile anymore as it needs to be for successful graduation.“

2.  At what moment did you know it was the right thing to do for you?/Did you take long to decide or was it clear instantly?
„It was a hard decision, as I always was dreaming of having a big family with many kids, however I decided for myself that this is not the right time and place. I would not be happy raising a kid without getting what I was working hard for – new degree for the study I am passionate about and push my career on to the next level. It took me around few hours to be more or less sure of the decision to stop the pregnancy. In the Netherlands, where I reside, between the application date and the actual procedure there is a 5 days break during which woman has to think the decision over and ensure it’s a right one. These 5 days were extremely helpful for me and helped to set my decision in stone.“

3.  How were your emotions after?
„I had no emotions about the procedure during the first months, as it happened during the midterm in university, which kept me distracted. In the few month afterwards, before my menstruation cycle got to normal I was experiencing many ups and downs in my mood. I felt genuinely depressed at some point and had to talk to therapist, provided there is still some stigma in the society about the abortion and I have read a lot of the discouraging articles and faced some backfire from the people around me. The talks to the doctor helped, provided she gave me that self-validation and certainty that it is not bad to put the priorities in life. I would also be thankful for the opportunity to discuss this matter with my parents and my partner. However, facing some negative reactions from my closest friends – I decided to not tell them anything and remain closed on this matter further on. This decision is still questionable and I keep feeling sad about it.“

4.  Are you thankful for your abortion/the possibility of having had one?
„Absolutely, this helped me to manage my life better and be sure I am doing things when I want to, not when they happen accidentally.“

5.  Do you often/sometimes think of how your life would be different if you hadn’t had one?
„Yes, I sometimes come back to the situation of me going out of the clinic with all the information about pros and cons, about the procedure itself and having those two scenarios in my head of how can my life unfold further on. However, I still am convinced that the scenario I have chosen is much less harmful for me, my family and my future family.“

6.  Do you “regret” it sometimes?/Does it affect you still somehow?/How did it change you or maybe it didn’t at all?I wish the society would be more open on this matter. I can only regret that I was explicit and open in this regard with people who were quite toxic and pressing about my decision. Other than that I don’t regret about anything that has happened to me. The abortion still impacts me in certain ways: I am way more cautious about the contraception methods and self-care – both physical and mental. In my case - I got pregnant because of the torn condom and I was thinking that something like this will never happen to me, however it can happen to anybody.”

7.  What would you tell a woman facing this decision? What would your personal advice be?
„Be mindful about yourself and think about your own plans and goals at the first place. Any kid needs a mom that is happy and not the one that was forced into motherhood. Get rid of all the toxic people around you and don’t let them doubt your decision. Your body is your own responsibility and #1 priority, no one around can tell you what to do with it.”

8.   What would you tell the US-States/ all the politicians that are responsible for  the current passed abortion ban tightening it in such an extreme way that even in cases of rape or incest you can’t have one.
„At the first place, no man can make decisions for what women should do with their bodies. Abortion should be safe and accessible for everyone and hopefully free of charge as well. This will help to reduce “home-made” abortions that have a higher probability of harming women’s health. This will help to reduce the “unwanted” kids, who suffer from terrible life conditions and lack of attention. These two things will certainly help to build a stronger and healthier society.“