Abortion Was Actually the Least Problematic Part of my Abortion

wire fence in a green field

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: Sarah N.

The “trauma” of my abortion has nothing to do with the abortion, and everything to do with the guilt and shame forced on me by conservative parents who also forced shame and guilt on being pregnant and unwed. Of course they didn’t say it explicitly to me, but they raised me that way. And as I tried to tell my father I was pregnant, having mustered the courage and strength to do so, I looked into his eyes and knew that his love would turn to hate, fury, and shame the moment the words left my lips. So they didn’t. I told him never mind and had an abortion.

I hated the cluster of cells growing in my body. My doctor told me at 19 I’d not be able to conceive naturally because of my irregular periods and a barrage of unrelated symptoms (another story for another day, but it took me 30 years to finally get an MRI to diagnose my MS, and then dysautonomia, Raynauds, fibromyalgia, MCAS, and Hashimotos), having never run a single test. It’s just so neat that doctors feel so comfortable saying things like that to young women. I personally know four other friends told the exact same thing for similar issues (irregular or painful periods), and guess what: the doctors were dead wrong on all of our accounts and we all wound up pregnant thinking we were infertile.

When you become pregnant and you don’t want to be it’s a level of panic and dread that is unrivaled by almost anything else. It’s your own body, and you don’t have control. It’s your own body betraying you. I HATED that cluster of cells. I resented it so much. It would destroy my life. I wanted to die. I seriously considered it. And if conservatives had their way, I would have just killed myself over having an abortion. Thankfully, I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking, so I took control and had an uninvasive medical procedure to keep my body and life healthy. The end. I have felt guilt and shame about not feeling guilt and shame, but I have never felt any regret or guilt or shame about the actual abortion.

Now, I just feel rage. Rage that I ever was made to question myself and what is best for my life and my body. Rage that women are put into a position of always being shamed and guilted for any and every decision about pregnancy and abortion, which shouldn’t be anyone else’s business at all. I certainly can’t speak to others’ colonoscopies or testicular exams. Why in the actual hell have we decided that women don’t get medical and bodily autonomy? Based on…a religious belief that is supposed to be completely separate from our government, per the US Constitution? The very notion that bodies can be legislated based on a Christian belief is unconstitutional. Why aren’t we talking about that?

A complete aside from the legality, do you really think it’s okay to force human beings to be incubators? Women don’t exist to serve men and incubate young. My body will never ever be the same after having children. No, I’m not talking about aesthetics, though it’s true in that case as well. Pregnancy is incredibly hard on the body and carries a lot of risk. It also often is the catalyst for autoimmune diseases to show themselves. After my second child my health declined incredibly rapidly. I’d had symptoms my entire life that doctors ignored and dismissed and invalidated, but after my second child, my body just tanked.

I’m now permanently and completely disabled. It’s unlikely it would have been such a rapid decline without the pregnancy. Was my daughter worth it? Yes, because I wanted the pregnancy and made that CHOICE. No one should be forced to sacrifice their body and potential well being to incubate a cluster of cells. Even if you refuse to look at a cluster of cells as a cluster of cells: no one should be forced to sacrifice their body and potential well-being for another person. Period. Even cadavers have more rights than women do. Dead bodies can’t be used without consent, but living female bodies are used forcibly.

What do you think the lives are like for the women forced to give birth and what do you think the life of the child who wasn’t wanted and was forced upon the mother looks like? Probably pretty bleak, honestly. Probably nowhere near as good as it could have been if she’d been able to have an abortion. Why are conservatives insisting on forcing births so children can live in poverty and in resentment? Because…Christianity, right? That’s their argument since science debunks the rest of their nonsense. But it’s illegal to legislate based on religion.

Stop allowing conservatives to consistently force unconstitutional law on us. Stop voting for people whose only goal is to harm citizens and remove rights and protections. Stop voting for people who want complete and total control. Stop voting for people who truly have no agenda beyond obstructing democrats at every single turn. They don’t have a platform beyond stopping anything democrats put forth, no matter how much good it would do for the American people, just so they can hold on to power and control. Vote for the people who have actual goals and plans and want the voices of the people to be heard. Who work to better the nation with actionable measures. Who work to make life better for YOU and your family. Who don’t believe in different sets of rules depending on your income, race, sex, or sexual orientation.

With the way the ruling was justified, what do you think is next? LBGTQ rights, most certainly. That likely doesn’t bother you if you’re unbothered by Roe v Wade being overturned, but then what? Interracial marriage? Integrated schools? Women’s right to vote? That’s not a stretch. It’s the reality we’re terrifyingly looking at right now. There’s only one way to stop that, and its to stop voting for the monsters who have no agenda other than stripping rights from citizens and enacting a police state, which we’re well into.

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