Abortion Story #179: I’m a Minister and a Mother—and I Had an Abortion

Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days. The following excerpt is from a story by Susan Chorley originally published in The Daily Beast. Susan refutes the narrative that pits religion against support for abortion access and vice versa. She shares her story because she wants “communities of faith to be places that embrace each person’s full humanity.”


“I am a minister and a mother, and I have had an abortion. I was serving in a congregation in New England at the time I realized I was pregnant. I was far away from family and friends. I had always imagined I would have a second child and I knew that it would be a struggle on our family financially as well as add to the stress of our marriage, which was starting to fall apart. I didn’t want to bring a baby into the world that would feel it was a burden—and I prayed to God to help me make the best decision I could in a situation that seemed impossible.

As you are well aware, we don’t generally associate people of faith with abortion, much less a clergy. That has led to my 12 years of silence on this reality. But, in fact, faith doesn’t need to be a dividing line on abortion. Instead, faith can help us open important conversations about the role of abortion in our lives, including the lives of religious women.

The truth is, the majority of women who have abortions are religious…”

Susan Chorley is an American Baptist minister and lives in Boston, MA. She is on the board of Exhale, a pro-voice organization that uses listening and storytelling to create a more respectful, supportive culture for people who have abortions. She tweets at @RevSusanB.

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