• Ella Sampson

We Spoke To Women About Abortion

Each and everyone of these unique stories come from brave women. When I think of the word abortion, very mixed emotions come into my head. I remember one day in Secondary School, we had a visit from a lady discussing abortion and coming from her religious point of view, how wrong it was and that life was made at the time of conception. To me, that was a valid opinion which she had and was completely fine - everyone is entitled to their opinions and belief. BUT, what we were not told was the other side. How it feels to gain control of your body and do what is right for you. Sometimes accidents happen, and they may seem out of our control, but we DO have a choice, and it's about making the right choice for you. If you had ever watched the Netflix series Sex Education, we see the character Maeve go through an unwanted pregnancy and ultimately she decides to have an abortion. It was so good of the series to demonstrate and highlight the emotions and feelings that happen before, during and after the abortion. If you haven't seen this series, I highly recommend doing so.

In this blog post, I spoke to women who have gone through an abortion and invited our readers to discuss their thoughts in their own words. In a world of religion, political debate and ethics are women who are faced with a choice, which cannot always be easy. Behind all of this information are people who go through their own stories; unwanted pregnancies which have happened by mistake, victims of rape or abusive relationships, the result of conception failures and mental health/wellbeing. The list is endless, but the right should be that we are able to take control of our own bodies and make decisions that are right for us. Sometimes, people are too young and have a whole life planned for them or the pregnancy just wasn't intended. I want to create a safe space in this blog for those perhaps going through an abortion or are going through an unintended pregnancy. Abortion still remains a highly taboo subject and is stigmatised from our everyday conversations. It is right for a person to make the right life choices and have control of their own bodies.

Thank you to every person who bravely came forward to tell us their own story.


Every person deserves a right to their own bodies and these women here tell us that....


1. Jen

When you first found out you were pregnant, how did you feel?

Very surprised....


Could you share your personal experiences you had leading up to the abortion?

I felt really stressed and was very conflicted between choices. I also was wondering how to tell my partner and what the reaction would be.


How did you make the decision that you decided to have an abortion? Did you feel it was the right choice for you?

Yes because I’m not young and my husband is eighteen years older than me and recently turned sixty so at the time he was fifty nine


How did you feel after the abortion?

Heartbroken, emotional, guilty, regretful and failure


Did you have any aftercare process?

There was none it was take those pain killer tablets and see you later. There was nobody to talk to or work through any of it I just expected get on with it


How could we end this taboo stigma of abortion? Do you feel we need to openly talk about it more?

By talking openly and allowing people to share their stories. This will mean we have better support and less shaming or blaming


2. Vicky

When you first found out you were pregnant, how did you feel?

Very upset! I already had one child and this pregnancy wasn't planned. It was conceived in a turbulent time where I wasn't with my first child's father but we were still living together and I was seeing someone new


Could you share your personal experiences you had leading up to the abortion?

I was unsure who the father was, and I was trying to make good of it again with my first child's father. I did not want children with different fathers


How did you make the decision that you decided to have an abortion?

At the time, I couldn't run the risk of that child being fathered by someone else who was just a fling


How did you feel after the abortion?

Devastated


What level of aftercare and support did you have?

I was back to work the next day (manager was aware and very supportive)


Do you feel we need to openly talk about abortion more?

YES!


What advice would you have for anyone thinking about or soon going through an abortion?

Talk - more people have had them than let on and it isn't a black and white choice. It is hard but you have to do what right for yourself - your body, your choice (I went on to stay with the father of my first child and we now have 3 children and been together 16 years)



3. Lola

When you first found out you were pregnant, how did you feel?

Not ready as I already had a very energetic toddler and couldn’t cope with another child at that time


Could you share your personal experiences you had leading up to the abortion?

Doubt, guilt, sadness, sickness symptoms, sore boobs, tiredness, emotions all over the place, hormonal


How did you make the decision that you decided to have an abortion? Did you feel it was the right choice for you?

It was a well thought out and discussed decision and I knew it was for all of the right reasons and I kept that thought in my head - I could not have coped at that time and I didn’t place any shame or guilt on myself once I had made that decision


How did you feel after the abortion?

Relief and sadness but I knew I had made the right decision for me


What level of aftercare and support did you have?

The hospital were very caring and understanding. I made sure I took some time to look after me and feel any emotions that I needed to feel


How could we end this taboo stigma of abortion? Do you feel we need to openly talk about it more?

It is a very personal decision but it is an individual’s decision to make and no one should be shamed for making their choice. There really shouldn’t be a taboo in this day and age. It should be discussed without giving anyone guilt. It’s unfair that a woman is shamed for wanting or having an abortion but if a man wastes semen for example by masturbating that isn’t perceived as a living thing when we all know they are called swimmers for a reason


What advice would you have for anyone thinking about or soon going through an abortion?

This is your decision to make. You will be okay whatever the outcome. Be kind to yourself


4. Amy

When you first found out you were pregnant, how did you feel?

Scared, I was in a really toxic relationship and had made choices which get out of my control.


Could you share your personal experiences you had leading up to the abortion?

I found out I was pregnant and immediately knew a termination was the right way forward for me. My partner tried to talk me out of it resulting in some abuse from him but I stood firm on it. I only told a few people such as my gran and mum and I was anxious in the few days between my appointment and my termination.


How did you make the decision that you decided to have an abortion? Did you feel it was the right choice for you?

I didn’t want to bring a child in to the world where I couldn’t provide them the love and respect they deserved. That I was true in, it was hard but wholeheartedly the reason I don’t regret my choice.


How did you feel after the abortion?

Numb for the most part but generally relieved. I never felt sad because I had come to terms with what I was doing before it happened.


What level of aftercare and support did you have?

Nothing from the clinic or doctors, not even a call


How could we end this taboo stigma of abortion? Do you feel we need to openly talk about it more?

We do need to talk more. Abortion is there for a reason and as the people who would need to carry these pregnancies forward we have every right to say no to that. If men were in our shoes it would be widely accepted I feel


What advice would you have for anyone thinking about or soon going through an abortion?

Be true to yourself and reasoning. If this is what you want because you believe in this then never let anyone tell you any differently. Hold your head up, take a shed load of painkillers because it’s rough and step through to the other side.



5. Stacey

When you first found out you were pregnant, how did you feel?

Scared, nervous, worried, daunting, overwhelmed. Panicked, what would people say, how would they react, was i ready, was we ready, helpless.


Could you share your personal experiences you had leading up to the abortion?

There was no real experience as it was all hush hush & secret. I called my doctor's for an appointment, during the appointment explained my reasons for a termination and he referred me to Marie stopes. It was all quite fast and easy, too easy I was thinking why was I panicking about explaining to the doctor but he understood and didn't judge


How did you make the decision that you decided to have an abortion? Did you feel it was the right choice for you?

Shared decision with partner at the time. We had only been together 2 months and were early to mid 20's, and felt we wasn't ready. Overall yes I now believe it was the right decision, however at the time I did think we could have the baby our reason wasn't really a reason, I could do it on my own if I chose to, that it was more the opinion of others & what they would say that seemed to matter more than mine, my partner was less prepared than me. Although i agreed, had and ultimately had the final decision, I certainly debated it 100s of times. We went on to be together for 7 yrs and although sometimes i thought the "what if: the abortion I still feel was right at the time.


How did you feel after the abortion?

Mixed emotions for some time, not constant but in flutters. The recovery period and pains after made me think why did I do this. However the support from my partner, friends made me feel pleased I had made the right choice & it was all going to be ok. The dread and guilt feelings came as people spoke about their opinions which made me feel bad. The fact that I went on to miscarry two times and thought it was Karma to then having a child my life being settled and complete and glad I never had a child earlier


What level of aftercare and support did you have?

Not much, just details of what to do or who to call if i was unwell or had side effects etc


How could we end this taboo stigma of abortion? Do you feel we need to openly talk about it more?

Yes talk about, stop judging and making people feel they have to have a reason to justify their decision. Everyone is different, no one can judge, or understand until it's them there. Talk about it, social media it, make it ok to talk


What advice would you have for anyone thinking about or soon going through an abortion?

Do what you believe is correct, don't let anyone tell you either way what decision to make, it is yours. Try not to over think your decision or justify it, if you don't want a baby that's fine, it's you in the position no one else. If you haven't made a decision yet chose a small circle of people to talk to it about and to support you. Too many people and they could make it harder for you to make your decision which is right for you because of their beliefs but I'd speak to a varied bunch to get all support to help guide you to your decision so you don't just get one sided views.



Again, thank you to those who have bravely come forward to share their story. I hope that these personal experiences can provide you into an honest insight to the whole process.


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