Community Post 🗣 Tell Us About Your Abortion
In most of the world, abortion access is getting easier and safer. It is a basic healthcare need for millions of women, girls and others who can become pregnant. On June 24th, 2022, a United States Supreme Court decision effectively overturned Roe v Wade, a 1973 case that established the constitutional right to an abortion.
I find during overwhelming events, when I feel like I’ve lost my power or my voice (or I’m filled with rage or sadness), connecting to other people one-on-one and sharing stories helps me to find my way again. We would like to hear from you, our community of parents, caretakers, and soon-to-be-parents. We are opening up comments below to hear your stories.
If you leave a comment with your name, your name will be listed (you can use a nickname). If you’d like to be anonymous instead, then make sure to log out if you’re logged in and use the name Anonymous with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and the website startupparent.com to leave a comment anonymously.
Share with us:
- How has access (or lack of access) to abortion affected your life, work, or family?
- What was your abortion like? What do you wish other people would know about abortion?
- What stories aren’t told about abortion that you wish were shared more?
- What are you feeling today, and do you have any vents or frustrations you want to let out? You’re welcome to, here.
Our community guidelines: we start with the words “In my experience,” because there are hundreds of stories and ways of being. We are interested in hearing your personal stories. If this thread becomes unwieldy or subject to spam, we will block comments and/or shut it off.
I have had two abortions. The first was in 2015, when I experienced a premature rupture of membranes in my first pregnancy at 20 weeks. Despite hospitalizations, many doctors visits to find the most qualified specialist in the Bay Area and four weeks of bed rest the risk to my life by infection and near-constant bleeding was increasing by the day. I was weak, severely anemic, and on a 24-hour antibiotic IV drip. I had to make an unthinkable choice and I chose to induce labor and have her one day before the state would have deemed her ‘viable.’ She did not survive. This decision broke my heart.
The second was in 2017. The pregnancy was unplanned and I was just seven months postpartum with my first baby. I spent a week considering the reality of having two babies back to back. Having suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression after my first, I decided that I couldn’t mentally or physically handle another pregnancy and birth. At five weeks along, I went to my doctor and, through tears, gave her all the reasons why I didn’t think I could have this child. My mental health, my, physical health, my relationship….I’ll never forget what she said to me. “Alexis, you could come in here and tell me that ‘the sky is blue, and I don’t want to have this baby.’ You don’t need to justify your decision – it’s your body, and I’m your doctor.” I will never forget the way that doctor made me feel. Heard, understood, cared for.
Both times in different ways, abortion saved my life.
Abortion is still legal and protected in Nevada (for now). If you need an abortion, I will help you. You can stay at my house. I will take you to your appointment. I will care for you post-procedure. <3
Thank you for sharing—it’s so important. I’m so glad it saved your life. I’m so glad you had people who could take care of you. And I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this.
I wish more people understood that abortion is often medically necessary healthcare and not only for the termination of an unwanted pregnancy.*
After my first child was born, my spouse and I quickly wanted to have another. We had visions of children close enough in age to be playmates, and we wanted to condense the amount of years we had to pay for childcare so we could continue pursuing our careers, which were important to us. But we struggled with secondary infertility, and it took us 2 years to get pregnant again. And when we found out we were pregnant we were thrilled! And so hopeful! And then, the baby died. An ultrasound (actually several, very agonizing and heartbreaking tests over the longest week and a half of my life) revealed that I remained pregnant but there was no heartbeat. My body failed to miscarry the pregnancy on its own. So my doctor performed an abortion, on July 11, 2016. For me , the risk of not having that procedure was greater than the risk of having it, particularly because it was performed by a highly qualified and experienced physician in a safe and well-equipped hospital. My abortion also probably preserved my chance at having future children, which I did – I am now a mother to three living daughters. My family and I are so thankful that I had access to that kind of healthcare when I needed it. And I will fight like hell so that for their entire lives, my daughters have the opportunity to exercise their human right to safe health care — including abortion.
[*I DO believe anyone should have the right to an abortion to end an unwanted pregnancy – this was just not my personal experience.]
Oh this sounds absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so grateful that you shared this. There are so many people who have abortions for so many reasons — ending a WANTED pregnancy is also so very real. You are not alone.
I had an abortion on June 20, 2016, at 13 weeks. It was one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made and it altered the course of my life, in a positive way. I was intentionally pregnant with a very wanted baby. But genetic testing revealed a medical condition that, while not terminal, would have resulted in serious, life-long complications and effects on quality of life. We decided not to accept the hand that fate dealt us. The doctor who diagnosed the fetal condition practiced at a Catholic hospital and so could not refer us to an abortion provider. We found one on our own, 345 miles away from our home. We took the time off work, traveled there and back at our own expense, and paid for the procedure in cash — these are luxuries that so many people in our situation could not have afforded. The procedure itself was handled respectfully and compassionately, and it mattered so much to me that the providers all knew that this had been a wanted pregnancy. They allowed me to grieve that loss. I look back on that decision with no regrets and with profound gratitude for the availability of the procedure. It allowed me to reject a life I did not choose to lead, even though many families would have chosen differently. Today I am the mother of four healthy children.
I feel like so much of the conversation around abortion completely ignores how much so many pregnancies are often wanted pregnancies that have taken such a huge toll. I’m so sorry you experienced this, I’m so grateful you were able to make your own decisions, and I’m so happy to hear you were treated with compassion and respect. Thank you for sharing your story here.
I have never had to have an abortion. But I am incredibly grateful I had the right to one, because without it, my daughter would not have been born.
I had wanted to be a mother for as long as I could remember. My vision of the future was centered around a happy family with two kids. I was lucky to birth my first child without many complications. I looked forward to having another… until a trip to the ER turned my world upside down.
I was transferred from the local emergency room to the ICU of San Francisco’s biggest research hospital, then was diagnosed with a rare condition that would require surgery to preserve my ability to breathe.
The first surgery was a partial success, and I felt a sense of relief. But I was unprepared for the bombshell that would come next.
I was told my condition would require corrective surgery, every 12-14 months, possibly for the rest of my life.
My son was 18 months at the time, and we had planned to start trying for another in 6 months. What would this mean for our plans to try to have another child?
I remember asking the surgical team whether I could undergo the surgery while pregnant. One of the doctors laughed and said “No, of course not.”
I sobbed for days. But then, I did what any decision engineer would do: explore my options and fully map out my decision tree. I mapped out the options, the uncertainties, and possible outcomes.
Many end nodes were too unthinkable to even put into writing.
My husband has always supported the fact that all decisions regarding pregnancy, birth, and anything else that has to do with my health are MINE to make because it’s MY body, but he also made his perspective clear in this decision. The possibility of losing the love of his life and leaving our son without a mother was NOT a risk he was willing to take in order to try to have another child.
If there ever was a future moment where we would need to choose between my life or the one I was carrying, he would choose me every time. He was not willing to leave that to chance or in the hands of doctors. I agreed.
So if the only way to avoid that risk was to not even try for another baby, that was the path to take.
Fortunately, there was a way to mitigate that risk: the right to an abortion. That right tipped the scales. It made it safer to try for another baby.
My right to an abortion was the reason my daughter is alive today.
Michelle, I am so thankful for you sharing your health journey with us, and all of the far-reaching considerations these decisions must encompass. Grateful you are here, and thankful that you shared this story with all of us.