My Abortion #69: Tanya DePass’ Abortion Story

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. 

Today’s story comes from We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds, dedicated to illustrate the complexities of accessing abortion care.

Tanya didn’t take her abortion decision lightly, but what haunted her for over 20 years was the “shame inherited in having an abortion,” the pro-lifers shouting at her on her way to the clinic.


I was in a long term relationship, but neither of us was in a position for kids. We were living in his grandmother’s house, neither of us had a job that really sustained us in our current situation, let alone being able to think about having a child. Unfortunately, things happen and I got pregnant. After a long, heartbreaking discussion we decided to go through with the abortion. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t easy or any of the lies that pro-life activists will tell about people who decide to have an abortion.

It was one that set me off into tears every time I’d see an advert for baby things, because I noticed them far more than usual until we went to our appointment. Well, what we thought was an appointment to have the procedure done.

The first place we went to was one of those horrible places that shows you aborted fetus pictures and tries to shame you into keeping the child: a crisis pregnancy center. After that traumatic experience, we found a Planned Parenthood clinic that would do the procedure and a few days later, went in and thankfully had people who understood the decision we’d made.

It was hard to deal with, harder to go back to that house knowing that we’d just made one of the hardest and most painful choices I had ever made. It wasn’t simply for convenience or a get out of baby jail free card that we made that choice. It was a decision made knowing we could not provide for a child, or even take care of ourselves monetarily before the kid would have been born. It’s one that haunted me for a long, long time and something I didn’t speak on for over twenty years due to the shame inherent in having had an abortion.

Even when I wrote my story on Medium, finally speaking on the anger I had at how many were being shouted over by anti-choice activists if they chose to share their story on the #ShoutYourAbortion and the fallacy that women can just saunter into clinics and get abortions like candy, I still felt dread and shame. I still got harassed, was told ‘I needed to find God’ and that I was a ‘murderer’. My abortion was almost twenty four years ago, and it’s not something I did lightly. Occasionally I get bogged down with what if’s, but I will regret it no more. It was the best decision at the time, and though it was painful, it was necessary.

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