Happy With My Choice. No one Else is.

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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: LJ

How do you deal with an ongoing family issue around your overall family being anti-choice. I talked about my abortion publicly in detail and alluded with no specifics that someone else in my extended family had to make a hard choice to end a pregnancy. Then I posted this on a relatives page who is a figurehead in the church that was trying to get people to roll back rights to choice. I since then have been excluded from this whole side of the family. Uninvited to all events.

People are just cold and standoffish or outright refuse to even talk to me. I was not even allowed to go back to grandmother’s house after her funeral when everyone else in the family was. My mom (who is also pro-life but not a complete asshole) and siblings at least just went to lunch with me so I would not be alone but it has been three years from that… so they go to events while I continue to be excluded.

I have a right to talk about my story. I also understand people have right to hate me for it. Any mention of the additional person was literally so vague no one would know who it was unless they already knew, and knew the family very well. Also I did not know it was hush hush it was talked about openly and at length in my house all the time I was 12 no one said it is a secret I thought most people knew and it was no big deal, one of the reasons I was like not all people who have abortions are bad at a young age despite grow up in an anti-choice house was her story… Since it was for a medical reason… I assumed it was like talking about having hip surgery it just needed to happen, no one ever said don’t talk about it. And I never thought it was something to be ashamed of. I thought it was common knowledge. Maybe they are just trying to blame and shame me because I choose to talk about my abortion openly and stood up to the church leader that happens to be in the family.

I tried to write a note to get out my feelings of anger and disappointment towards them but maybe it is not even worth my time. It comes out as lengthy and all over the place and super angry and ranting and rage-y. Womxn losing their rights makes me angry. If they can’t accept me — abortion and all, then screw them?? But it stills makes me mad, disappointed and sad, because for years I tried to be a supportive family member and even attended church events when I hated the church and do no even believe in god or organized religion.

20 years later and I am still completely happy with my choice. I did what was best. I do not want to have kids and never did, even when I was a young person. Overall, I’m happy I finally decided to share, overall. I had to bite my tongue every time someone would go on a “she is a XXX, she had an abortion” rant. Now at least they can say it to my face knowing I had one.

I guess I knew this could happen if I talked openly about my choice, but it still really bums me out. I think I thought more of them. Like they would be bigger people. I guess now I see that the extended family really never cared much for me at all, was just exchanging pleasantries and are closed minded. Just makes me sad and mad. Not sure how to not feel those feelings like I thought they would be better people. But they are not.

Recently, they wanted me to apologize for even speaking vaguely about this other family member, but I am still confused since it was so vague how could anyone know. I even made sure to take down any vague mention of it. Are you mad at that or are you mad I shared my story. I never meant to hurt the person, and do have a lot of respect of how hard the choice must have been, but literally no one knows who it is. It seems like since I knew and was 12 at the time it was not kept super private.

We have a giant family it could be anyone, and 1 in 4 woman had one. I am sure there are other women I know had one and have never spoken publicly about it. They try to shame you into feeling bad and into silence and that is how they win. They were so shitty to me about the fact that I dared to go public and say “I had an abortion out loud” or said anything bad about the church its anti-choice policies. I feel like I was treated really badly and now they want me to say I am sorry. It goes both ways.

So I am not even sure. What to do? Just drop it and move on? It’s such a hot button issue, I don’t think I can stay calm as my family member is actively trying to get a person’s right to choice taken away — The right I had when I choose to have an abortion 20 years ago that is now under attack more than ever. If the freedom to choose when and if to have kids is taken away, it will literally bring us back into the dark ages. Womxn (and people who can be pregnant) will no longer be free. How do stay calm? How do you stay silent?

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