Abortion Grief: If only I listened to my gut

A view looking up from underneath dark water with a bit of light shining through representing grief after an abortion

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: Clarissa

It’s been almost a year since the abortion I didn’t want to have and I’m still grieving. Between the stress an unplanned pregnancy caused in my relationship & the constant reminder of it because women’s healthcare is all over the news as abortion rights are constantly under attack in the state I live, it feels like I’ll never get over my abortion. I mostly feel numb when I think about it but still have occasional fits of uncontrollable crying at times.

This was my second abortion. The first one was at age 23 & I did not experience grief following that one because I had no doubt it was the best thing for me. But it did confirm I very much wanted to be a mother some day. I am 34 now. I was actually very excited about this last unplanned pregnancy when I found out, but was nervous to tell my new boyfriend at the time in case he was unsupportive. Of course, that’s exactly what happened.

I knew I would not be able to do it alone for financial reasons & just couldn’t stand the thought of being resented for forcing fatherhood on someone before they were ready, so I agreed to have an abortion with the understanding we would get through it as a couple. We would move forward as a team & plan for a family when the time was right.

But the next 6+ months were much more difficult than expected. After the procedure my boyfriend became reluctant to move our relationship forward in ANY way, which only exacerbated my grief. I found myself thinking “I terminated my pregnancy for THIS?!” each time he disappointed me. The chances of a happy future together seemed to slip further & further away.

I deeply regret not chosing motherhood when the opportunity presented itself a second time. Honestly, at 34 after dating several dishonest people in a row I can’t imagine finding a man I care for and can trust. Certainly not in the fertility timeframe my doctor recommends due to having diminished ovarian reserve. So I’m pretty sure that was my last chance to have a biological child which breaks my freaking heart.

* * * * * * * * * * *

TO BE CLEAR: I am proudly pro-choice. For me this isn’t about feeling guilty for “ending a life” in the first trimester of pregnancy. What I’m feeling is a mixture of:

1. Anger at the world & the politicians who use women’s bodies/lives as political fodder by pandering to religious extremists.

2. Anger at the anti-choice laws in Texas which forced me to make a fast decision about my pregnancy & life instead of taking the time I needed to be confident I make the right choice for ME.

3. Disappointment in myself for not being brave or prepared enough to choose single motherhood while I had the chance.

4. Disappointment in myself for not choosing the right man… Again.

5. Heartbreak over the end of a relationship with someone I loved.

6. Heartbreak for what is likely the end of my dream of being a mom.

7. Loneliness because I don’t have anyone in my life who understands.

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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