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ERH's avatar

People who have had an abortion, what are your feelings on it?

Asked by ERH (77 points ) March 28th, 2009

I’m a regular in the Fluther scene. I created this account to ask this question. (kinda cool that Fluther is such a great community that I felt the need to create an alias to protect my alias :D)
This is NOT intended to be an abortion debate. I’m looking for personal experiences. I know it’s a very personal issue, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets very few answers, or answers from other aliases. If a discussion gets going, I hope it stays mature and respectful.
Women who have had abortions, and men (or women) who have had a partner who have- What made you decide to take this route? How did your decision line up to your previous or current moral and religious beliefs? Is it something you still think about? Do you still think it was the right thing to do? Do you commemorate the date in any way? Have your feelings about the issue changed since you had the procedure?
So you know I’m not coming out of left field or anything, I had one about 6 years ago. I have never believed life begins at conception, but somehow I still struggle with my decision even though I was in no way ready to be a parent at the time. I’m just looking for other experiences… not for anti-choice shaming.

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27 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I can only answer for family members who have had. My sister had two children when she was 18, one just after her birthday, and the other just before her next birthday. She gave them both up for adoption. She then had one who was taken away from her before his first birthday. She kept the next two and two more she had aborted. As you can see this is not your typical woman. She still misses the ones she did not keep, aborted and adopted, and she did a very poor job with the others.

My son’s girlfriend had an abortion, against his will, and when he looks at the two son’s he and his wife have, he still misses that little unknown one.

A survey by an advice columnist once showed results that the majority of respondents are sorry they had children at all!

No matter what choice a person makes, they will always wonder about the path not taken.

Ivan's avatar

I am perplexed by the comment in parentheses

ERH's avatar

@Ivan Which? There were 2.

Ivan's avatar

@ERH Sorry, the first one.

ERH's avatar

@Ivan I feel like I’ve made friends here, like it’s a community I’m part of under my usual name. there are cruel and judgey people out there, just like in the real world. This topic is so totally personal, I didn’t want it associated with the person everyone else knows. It makes sense to me.

Ivan's avatar

@ERH I understand that, but I don’t get how that makes it a ‘great community.’ If it was a great community, you would feel confident that no one would judge you.

ERH's avatar

@Ivan If you want to discuss your feelings about Fluther, this is not the place. I haven’t “gotten” a shitload of what you’ve written on this site, but I’m not hijacking threads to have them suit what I want to talk about. Bye, now.

Ivan's avatar

@ERH What? What are you talking about? :S

rooeytoo's avatar

It is an interesting question. I have never had an abortion but know many women who have and some of them are now opposed to abortion. I always thought that to be hypocritical because they used it as a solution but now don’t want others to have the same choice. These are not women who used abortion as a method of birth control but who had a failure with their usual birth control and simply did not feel they could offer a good or stable life to a child.

Here is my personal opinion and I’m sure the analogy will annoy people but it is the way I think, I had a couple of litters of puppies, it was so difficult to find appropriate homes, they were of a breed that could be used as big bad watch dogs and I was always worried that the wrong sort of person would buy them. I also would rather have an animal put to sleep than have it adopted by someone who would not love it and give it a good life. Now if I have this depth of feeling about a dog, how could I ever give a child up for adoption, you would have no clue if the child was abused or went to bed hungry or was loved. To me, it is better to prevent the birth. If there is a god, I would assume that she/he is not a vindictive being, therefore the child that I chose not to have would not be lost in the universe never to know a happy life, rather that child would be born to someone else who hopefully would give it the life it deserved. And I personally am not over concerned about the feelings of the father, I think before a male has sex and risks fathering a child, this is a subject that he should discuss if he has such strong feelings about it. If the woman is pro choice and the man is not then don’t have sex because the chance of pregnancy is always there.

Now, nobody has to attack about comparing humans and puppies, I am simply saying it is the way I sort it out in my head.

kevbo's avatar

Two of my ex-girlfriends each had one while I was with them. The first never told me and the second told me some ten months later. (Our relationship was tenuous at the time.) I grieved over the second one and sort of figured out about the first one as a result of just rethinking old conversations, etc. In both cases, I am glad I did not get trapped with those women and what were subpar relationships, and I feel lucky in a way to have been prevented from participating in those decisions, but thinking about it still makes me feel like a loser—in that I’m 35 with no kids or family but with that and two dumb relationships to look back on. Not that I was aware enough to make better decisions, but it’s disappointing.

Sakata's avatar

“People who have had an abortion, what are your feelings on it? ”

Like a weight’s been lifted.

Sorry .. couldn’t help it.

spinner's avatar

I too am a Fluther regular ERH, and because I really wanted to respond to this question, I created an account under an alias. I have had an abortion.

I do not believe life begins at conception. The relationship I was in at the time was horrible and the baby-daddy refused to acknowledge the child was his. He called the fetus a “thing that invaded my body that we had to get rid of.” I was young, alone, scared out of my mind and decided to terminate the pregnancy. The hardest part was the protesters outside of Planned Parenthood who grabbed me asked “do you know what you are doing to your baby today?” and showed me pictures of aborted fetuses.

Anyone, male or female who thinks it is an easy decision for a woman to have an abortion is wrong. I did not take it lightly in any way shape or form, I agonized about it and it tore me apart at the time. I don’t beat myself up over my choice anymore because at the time I did what I thought was the best and the right thing to do. But that doesn’t keep me from wondering what might have happened had a made a different choice.

I am staunchly pro-choice. I believe it is a woman’s body so it is her choice. Period. As a matter of fact I have always believed that if men were the ones who carried the baby, abortion – at any point during the pregnancy – would be legal. I hate to sound militant here, but to me the whole issue of abortion is an issue of men trying to control women.

rooeytoo's avatar

@spinner – I agree with you completely. I saw a bumper sticker once that said something to the effect, Opposed to Abortion? Don’t have one! I thought that was so appropriate. Those who are so opposed to it should devote their time and energy to seeing that the unwanted children who are already in this world are taken care of. I just read that there is such a shortage of foster parents, the people standing in front of the clinics should take in these kids and care for them, then they wouldn’t have time to stand on the street and browbeat others such as yourself.

YARNLADY's avatar

My favorite saying is “Make your choice before you make a baby”, but if it’s too late, that doesn’t help.

augustlan's avatar

I had an unplanned pregnancy when I was 18. I made the agonizing choice to abort. I have always regretted it, and would never have done it again. I am still pro-choice, but wish more people chose to give up the babies for adoption.

I made my answer public, as I have in the past, only because it may help someone else to know that I personally have been there. I don’t blame anyone else for keeping this information to themselves, though.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, it wasn’t an actual abortion, but here’s the story. My wife (back when we were first married) was discovered to have an ovarian cyst that was causing her great pain. She went in for surgery, they removed it, and in the process, found an embryo that was in the wrong place on her Fallopian tube. It couldn’t have gone to full term, mostly because of its placement and because she has been told by several doctors that she could never bring a baby to full term without severely threatening her life, due to health reasons and past history of abuse.

I remember it when she told me about it after she was in recovery. I realized that I had come > < this close to being a father. My feelings were mixed at the time, and to this day I wonder “what if?” but looking at it realistically, I am glad it was removed. I am not the sort to be a good father, and given a choice between having my wife and having a son (or daughter), well, that’s an easy choice to make. No contest, as I love my wife with every fiber of my being.

Even if it had been in the right place at the right time, and she was able to bear a child successfully, I would still make the same choice. Having a kid just isn’t something I want. I am pro-choice and I agree that if you don’t like abortion, then don’t have one.

Judi's avatar

I had one friend in High School that used abortion like birth control. She ended up being a crack head. She finally cleaned up. I saw her a few years ago. I don’t judge her for having abortions, but I do think she was incredibly irresponsible to not use birth control. It was the 70’s before AIDS and we were pretty wild. I think that the excessive drug use was probably her way of not agonizing over her decision, very unlike the responsible, brave (even if anonymous) women here have done.

casheroo's avatar

What made you decide to take this route? I was not physically, nor mentally ready for another child. Nor were we financially able to take on another child.

How did your decision line up to your previous or current moral and religious beliefs? I’ve always been torn on my views of abortion. I don’t believe it should be as widely used, but I also don’t want the government involved in anyones medical decisions. I was raised by a very pro-choice mother, who openly talked about having two abortions. I never felt it was a taboo thing. I don’t identify myself with prochoice or prolife, I don’t want to be involved in other peoples reproductive decisions.

Is it something you still think about? I sometimes think about it. I wonder if we made the right decision, if I’m going to go to hell because of it, I wonder if I’m a bad person because of what I did. I never thought I’d ever have one, but I’m also glad I had the option to have one.

Do you still think it was the right thing to do? I don’t know if I can ever answer that. It was the right thing for my family, though. It’s easier to justify it, than to think about it.

Do you commemorate the date in any way? No.

Have your feelings about the issue changed since you had the procedure? I felt disgusted with myself for a while. I felt the need to learn all I could about abortion. I cried a lot, when reading up on it. I felt I was becoming pro-life, but torn because I had had an abortion..how could someone who had an abortion be prolife? That’s what went through my mind. There’s no way we could have had a child at that point. My feelings on what I did and why I did it will remain the same. I don’t think I’d ever have another. But, I can’t say never because I can’t plan such a thing.

it took a lot for me to post this under my actual screenname. i really hope no one judges me for this

YARNLADY's avatar

@casheroo I give you a GA and a great big hug ((((HUG))))

ERH's avatar

@casheroo Thank you for your very honest answer. I wish I had the balls to do it under my username too!

I was thinking about this a lot before I posted this q, and even more after.
I realized I’ve been confused about how I can mourn something I don’t think is a life. I think I’ve been mourning possibility, like I took the possibility of a potentially good life away. Does that make sense to anyone?

augustlan's avatar

@ERH Absolutely. It’s the ‘what ifs’ that haunt you. I used to cry every time I thought about it, but have come to accept that I did what was right for me at that time. I hope you can find peace with yourself, too.

samanthaxc's avatar

it has been 8 1/2 yrs since i had my abortion, but today i was reminded of it by an old friend who i have barely talked to since i had it. its not that i need reminding b/c i think about it every day….not in a sad depressing way, but it def. became a part of me and it would be a rare day if i didn’t think about it at all. to answer the questions you asked:
1.i decided b/c i was 20, and both my boyfriend and i were living extremely unhealthy lifestyles. we were doing a fair amount of drugs. i should have been on the pill, but due to previous eating disorders i almost never even had my period. i really didn’t think i was that likely to ever get pregnant, even when i was ready…on top of everything, i was one year in to college and i knew before the pregnancy that this wasn’t a guy i would spend my life with…he was a big part of my “rebellion phase.” and the thing is, i found out i was pregnant 5 weeks to the day after the 1st time we had sex….
2. getting an abortion didn’t match my previous morals, or my boyfriends wishes…but i was 20…i was no where near mature enough to have a child, and i would have had to drop out of college b/c my parents wouldn’t have let me stay. also, my morals were basically my parents’. they said abortion was bad for my entire childhood, and i never questioned it.

samanthaxc's avatar

3. i used to commemorate both the day of the abortion and the predicted due date. i used to talk to her all the time (even when it wasn’t a special date). i did for 6 years, and after that i finally felt ok,like i didn’t need to do anything special. i have seen a lot of websites that try to tell people the trauma/aftermath of having an abortion is so bad that no one should do it, and i disagree. i think i was way traumatized, and i spent a lot of money on therapy after….but i can say i didn’t ever think i made the wrong choice. not even the day after, when i would have given anything to take it back—i still knew i did the right thing. i can’t imagine how i could have been a parent when i couldn’t even take care of myself.

Cholder05's avatar

Well let’s see! I had an abortion 7 months ago, today would actually be my due date. I had the abortion at 11 weeks and 6 days the very last day that you are allowed to do it in a local clinic. Your questions: do I think about it, yes as you can see I no the due date and will never forget it. Y? I was 21 a single mother of a lovely 2 yea old with zero help form her dad a sophomore in college n a waitress! Not only was I pregnant again butI didn’t no who I was pregnant by! Judge me if u please but the lord knoWs that I no I messed up royally. I didn’t want to have to do it all over again by myself. One guy would be a great dad n te other turned out married. An yes I had been on birth control but was unable to get my next Neva ring until the following check. My views: totally prolife, I thought. I actually had a saying on my face book that said you got a chance y can I have one. When that cold January day came I was so sick and I thought maybe from the pregnancy but I new it was because of what I was about to do. The physical pIn was nothing compared to the emotional pain. It drained me for all that I had. I struggled to make it threw the day and as soon as my daughter was in bed I would smoke weed just so I could sleep n half the time I woke up within 5 hrs. Left felling so alone n lost I seeked help not so muh for me but my daughter. She was still here and se needed me. So after 14 weeks of theropy I was able to get my self together. Still never talking to any family about this pain I mad e I threw and have made sure to put my daughter first! She’s now 3 years old n just started cheerleading!

rooeytoo's avatar

How good you are to go to therapy and get help for yourself and thereby for your daughter as well. You are very brave.

I hope the 15 year old who wants to know how to deflower his girl friend reads your story as well.

AHC898's avatar

My daughter was 15 when she was raped in our old neighborhood. The boy who did this to her went to her school. After a few months she found out that she was pregnant. This tore her apart. She was not ready to give up high school…give up her future. She thought long and hard about abortion…and..decided against it. When she was in 8th grade she wrote a speech on the topic of abortion, stating that it was an issue of human rights vs. women’s rights and that we, as humans, are bound under the moral law to protect all forms of humanity. She stated that even though a baby is unborn it is still a human and that it belongs under the same protection of the moral law (under the law being the preservation of human life) which gave inalienable rights to the baby. She also stated that she thought it was wrong to give up a baby just for reasons being that it is unwanted or inconvenient (that makes up 93% of all occuring abortions) She thought it was ridiclous that people would even think about abortion with all of the birth control available today and that we should not destroy a child’s chance at life just because we are scared and because they are not as developed. Developed or not, it is still a human. Now, her situation was different. She was raped. She did not have a choice and she wanted with all of her heart to have an abortion…but I think her old opinions dawned on her and she wanted to show everyone the right thing to do..and that was to keep the baby..because it was her responsibility to be accountable this thing that was bestowed upon here, no matter how much she didn’t want it. I know if I was in her situation…I could not do this…and I am so unbelievably proud of my daughter..to look beyond the means of just herself…to be looking at the protection of humanity…that is a big thing for a teenager to think about…and I would say it is something to aspire by. 5 months into the pregnany went by and my daughter had a miscarriage. She was both devastated and told me that she was guiltily relieved at the same time. She now encourages me to tell this story, seeing as she went through one of the most terrible things that can happen to a women, and encourages the readers to take into consideration that abortion is not just an issue of a woman and her body, it is an issue of our morality; a morality we must maintain and abide by.

AHC898's avatar

I said months in my 3rd sentence. I meant weeks.

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