no stigma, no judgment, no shaming.

abortion-tee

When you’re making a decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, you might turn to the internet for help. What was the experience like for others? Was it painful? Did they struggle with it until the last moment? Did they change their minds? Did they regret it, or do they feel good or even great about making that choice for themselves and their futures? Unfortunately, the internet is jam-packed with misinformation and scare tactics on this subject, mostly planted by religious groups, and the authenticity of the first-person stories on anti-choice websites is questionable at best. This decision is yours alone to make and shouldn’t be subject to the personal beliefs of others. We want to offer a safe space for people to share their stories, and read about the experiences of others, with zero judgment, pressure or bullshit. Just real-life, first-person accounts.

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Draw the Line Monologues: Women’s Abortion Stories, Narrated

From Jezebel:

“In a series of videos for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Elizabeth Banks, Dascha Polanco, and Retta among others narrate the abortion stories of American women. The stories, submitted by women across America, show the continued importance of abortion access. The series—called Draw the Line Monologues—nicely illustrates both the incredibly complicated and often simple reasons that women choose to have an abortion.”

 

How to really defend Planned Parenthood

More women than you realize have had abortions. Women you know personally, perhaps even someone in your family or a close friend. We’ve just been conditioned not to talk about it, partially because it’s considered TMI in most situations, but mostly because of the stigma. That internalized sense of shame is what keeps abortion a taboo issue. The New York Times has a pretty great run-down of why we should be more open about it all:

We need to say that women have sex, have abortions, are at peace with the decision and move on with their lives. We need to say that is their right, and, moreover, it’s good for everyone that they have this right: The whole society benefits when motherhood is voluntary. When we gloss over these truths we unintentionally promote the very stigma we’re trying to combat. What, you didn’t agonize? You forgot your pill? You just didn’t want to have a baby now? You should be ashamed of yourself.

The pro-choice movement can’t flourish unless we speak up. That’s why we started this site.

Read the whole article here

Story: Recommending the medical option over surgical

Submitted by: Tristin V.

Tagged: Planned Parenthood, surgical abortion, Asheville, North Carolina, endometriosis, hyperemesis, pain

I began getting sick to my stomach in early April. I have a number of stomach issues, so thought nothing of it. I’ve never had a regular cycle, so when I was a week ‘late’ I thought nothing of it. Well, after throwing up for a few weeks and being well over a week late, my partner suggested I look into it as a possibility. Turns out he was right! I have endometriosis, along with a few other uterine health issues, so it is highly unlikely that I was even able to become pregnant. Even the girl who told me I was in fact pregnant at Planned Parenthood was surprised. (I go to them for almost all of my women’s health needs, so she knew my medical history.) I scheduled my abortion the same day I found out I was pregnant. I have known for years I didn’t want children, so there was no doubt in my mind. I had to wait a week and two days. During that time I became even more ill, needing to be hospitalized twice. I lost weight, and was throwing up everything I put in my body. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis of pregnancy. It’s morning sickness, but the severe, all day and lasts the first three months of pregnancy. 1% of pregnant women suffer from this, and I’m one of those people where if something can, it probably will go wrong.

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Story: Multiple medical abortions with no complications

Submitted by: Julia Fawkes Stuart

Tagged: Medical abortion, positive experience, multiple abortions, Westchester, Connecticut, 6 weeks or earlier, no other kids

The first time I became pregnant I had been with my boyfriend for 4 years, and we lived in a cute rental home in Connecticut. I was almost 25 and had a good job. So when I got pregnant there didn’t seem to be a “reason” to not have a baby.

The Decision: I sat on my bed, closed my eyes and breathed calmly, I was finally able to center myself and clear my mind (it took a few minutes to relax as I had been worrying about what to do for the whole day since I took the pee-test). Once I was reasonably calm, I asked the question to myself: “Do you want to have a child now?” The answer was so strong, and so definitive: “No.”  I kept breathing and asked the question a couple of different ways, and the answer was “No.”

So for me, it was clear; my body and mind said no, and an abortion I would have. Going deep inside myself to ask the question was important to me, so going forward I had no doubts that the decision was the right one for me (and over a decade later, I can verify it WAS absolutely the best choice for me!).
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Story: Positive surgical abortion after having kids

Submitted by: Laura Slack, AMAMA co-founder [contact with questions/comments: askmeaboutmyabortion.info@gmail.com]

Tagged: Abortion after kids, surgical abortion, positive experience, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

How I’ve struggled with chronologically where to start this story.

Not because the pregnancy and abortion I’m addressing itself is a long winded tale, but I know that just as many of you are here to weigh your options as are here with minds made up as are here to be supported and support others by reading accounts after the fact. The reason I’m having a hard time knowing where to begin is because I’ve run the gamut on pregnancy choices, so to speak. I elected to terminate my last pregnancy, but had given a baby up for adoption before that, and had two daughters that I kept and raised even before that. So I have a somewhat unique overview of “the options”, but I want to talk about the abortion first since that’s what this website was created for. I’ll cover the pros and cons in my experiences outside of abortion in a “part two” for those that are interested in exploring those options.

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What pregnancy centers will really tell you about your options

pregnancy center

While Cosmopolitan writers usually serve us fluff like hilariously absurd sex tips, sometimes they dive a little deeper into serious topics like unplanned pregnancy.

“Pregnant? Scared?” If you live in an area of the country where abortion services are hard to come by (which is true for vast tracts of the United States, mostly due to recent anti-choice legislation), you might find yourself exploring ever possible option – including local pregnancy crisis centers, which now outnumber abortion clinics 3 to 1. But what actually happens inside these places? Cosmo recently completed a year-long investigation and found (perhaps unsurprisingly) that most of them are faith-based, and not only do they push inaccurate or downright fabricated information onto the people who walk through their doors, they often harass them for weeks afterward.

 A yearlong investigation of crisis pregnancy centers — including dozens of interviews with center staff and volunteers, anti-abortion and reproductive-rights advocates, lobbyists, elected officials, and women who have visited centers across the country — reveals that behind the scenes, an orchestrated network of donors, lawyers, lobbyists, and state representatives supports the individual centers. The national organizations Care Net and Heartbeat International train thousands of center staff to attract and dissuade “abortion-minded women.” Online for Life, a deep-pocketed tech nonprofit funded by Texas billionaire Farris Wilks, helps pregnancy centers market themselves to “abortion-determined women” searching online for abortion-related terms, according to an Inside Philanthropy report.

Read the whole report at Cosmopolitan.