Should I tell my mom about my 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: Sara

I had an abortion 8 years ago. I never told my parents… I barely told anyone. I have always been terrified of disappointing my parents. The experience of having an abortion caused me a lot of trauma and really affected my self-esteem for a while. I eventually worked through it, changed as a person, and healed.

I’m now a mom of a 1 year old and am happily married. I have recently been contemplating telling my mom about my abortion because of encouragement from life-coaches. Their argument is that I should lean into resistance, and that fear and resistance is how we grow.

Part of me believes this to be true and thinks that maybe I could deepen my relationship with my mom if I tell her, but part of me wonders — why am I telling her? For my own benefit? And why does she need to know? This was my choice, my body, and it was an intimate medical experience. I am pro-voice, and I do believe in the power of sharing stories, but I feel sick to my stomach thinking about telling her. Do I really need to open up this can of worms again?

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3 responses to “Should I tell my mom about my abortion?”

  1. Ana

    Dear Sara,
    Thanks for sharing and congrats on being a mom! I googled “when to tell your mom you had an abortion” and this popped up. I had my in-clinic procedure on November 9th in the morning. I have been feeling so many overwhelming and mixed emotions, the past few weeks have been incredibly difficult. I am in my early 20s and I will be graduating with my undergraduate degree in exactly 3 weeks. I don’t live at home, but I have always had a very close relationship with my mother. Like you, one of my greatest fears in life is disappointing her or losing her love and trust.
    I’m going home for Thanksgiving next week and I’m very scared. For whatever reason, I feel compelled to tell her the trauma I have endured. I’ve also tried to ask myself why it would be necessary now that it’s all said and done anyway. I told my sister and she has been begging me not to say anything- as it would ruin our family dynamic and “kill mom.” My mother is a devout Catholic and she used to volunteer at a center that encouraged women to have their unborn babies… as of right now I feel that she will be highly disappointed, embarrassed, angry, and upset if I tell her. It might change our relationship and the way she sees be forever. Yet I still feel like I want to say it. Especially before she sees me walk the stage.
    I still have no idea what I’m going to do, but what I do know for sure is that the choice is mine and mine alone to make, just like it was with the abortion. That was such a difficult decision and I made it! So did you! We can and should do what we believe is best for our well-being and our relationships with our mothers, no matter what. Personally, I think telling my mom would help me not feel like I need to hide around her. I don’t want to assume that my mom would hate me if she truly knew what I have been through. I don’t want to feel ashamed of this every time I see her. When I discovered I was pregnant one month ago, I was so distraught. All I wanted was to cry to my mom. I needed her love and her comfort desperately. I want her to see me as a person and it would feel so freeing if she learned to accept that. Some people might call that selfish, but it’s not their story to tell or their life to live. The courage it takes to share the truth about something life this is extremely powerful and I admire people who are brave. I want to be brave.

    I hope this helps in some way.

    1. Dmg

      My daughter has had a Abortion 5 years ago . I just found out last November. I am looking to talk to someone about this as she acts weird at times I just don’t understand looking to talk to someone about this

  2. Suzanne

    My gut reaction is that you are well within your rights to not tell your mom. Moms suffer when our children suffer and this will be tough for her to hear especially because she might feel as if she failed and wasn’t there for you. In my opinion, you’ve “leaned into resistance” and your fears already and done an outstanding job of pursuing healing and wholeness. So you can keep this between you and your husband and enjoy your child and celebrate! ?

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