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 Mashable, which polled women on whether they feel shameful for having an abortion. An 80% of responders said NO.
The writer says that stigma is what still affects her from her abortion experience.
I had an abortion when I was 34 years old, three-and-a-half years ago. It was a heartbreaking decision for me to make, because I still have not had children and I would love to be a mother. It was not the right time.
I was marginally employed in the “temp economy” and I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with someone I had met only two months earlier. Still, I felt like because I am a working professional (a lawyer), and I want children, I should have been prepared, so I questioned my decision before I did it and even after. My partner at the time did NOT want a child.
“None of us is a murderer, not a single one of us who had an abortion did what we did with malice in our hearts.”
I thank the universe that I live in a state where all that was required was a phone call and one appointment and a very long day at a very crowded clinic. There were protesters at the clinic that day, they were not loud but they did make me feel a bit scared.
I used to sometimes argue with people on Twitter who are against abortion. The worst is when they call women who have abortion “murderers.” None of us is a murderer, not a single one of us who had an abortion did what we did with malice in our hearts. I did what I did out of love for myself, my then boyfriend, my family who would have been burdened helping me raise a child I was not financially or emotionally prepared for, and my future children if I am lucky enough to have them.
Stigma still affects me because I feel like I cannot be open at all times about my experience. I tell people sometimes, but I cannot admit it on social media, even though I want to, because I think it’s important to tell our stories and not let the other side dominate the discourse.
If they want to call us murderers they can do that to my face. Sometimes I wish I can just say whenever I want: “It happened to me, and it was really hard, and I grieve for the child I could not keep, but I am not sorry.”
I am sick of being silenced. My abortion was the hardest thing I ever did, but I know why I did it. Women who go through this deserve compassion, not sadistic laws that make our experience even harder. Stigma affects me to this day because every time I read an article about abortion restrictions, or every time I hear an anti-choice person say that abortion is murder, they are talking about me, and it’s not okay.