General Question

Scarlett's avatar

Can a girl get traumatized after they have an abortion ?

Asked by Scarlett (915points) August 20th, 2010


Just want to know if I can get trauma after getting an abortion?

I’ve heard stories about girls getting depressed and feeling really guilty and I want to know if this is true?

I’m pregnant right now and haven’t gone through with it because I’m 50/50 on abortion, and don’t know what choice to make.

I already feel guilty for considering it and have cried at night because I feel like I’m murdering my baby, my child, a part of me, and a part of my soul….

I’m not sure if I did have it, after, I would get depressed and very emotional.

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98 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

It’s possible, but it’s not inevitable. This question might be helpful. I would read the whole thing, though.

Good luck with your decision. Remember, places like Planned Parenthood have people who can counsel you and talk about your options.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
plethora's avatar

Might be good to check this too Yes it is pro-life. Planned parenthood is pro-abortion. Listen to both sides. You can have the child and adopt it out. You are going to have both depression and trauma regardless of which one you do. Do your own research on the web. The long term choice is that you will either know there is a child somewhere on earth for whom you are the biological mother. Or you are going to know that there was a child and you permitted it to be killed. (Our criminal justice system calls it murder)

Take your choice. Neither one is without guilt feelings on your part. Just do your best. If you are 50/50 now on your decision, carefully consider having the child and letting it be adopted.

Be aware that most of the participants on this site are strongly pro-abortion, so you are not going to get balanced info here.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@plethora No, it doesn’t. For our legal system to call it murder, the victim must have been born.
Someone who was really for checking both sides would have the decency to call the opposition “pro-choice” instead of “pro-abortion”. Aside from the large difference in what they mean, it’s a smear tactic, and a dirty one.

Seaofclouds's avatar

What each person experiences is different. I’ve heard of some women having a sense of relief afterwards, while others get very depressed and regret it. It’s not really possibly to predict how you will feel. If you haven’t already started talking to someone about it, you may want to look into that. As @nikipedia said, Planned Parenthood has people that can talk to you about your options and they may even be able to help you with support groups for which ever decision you make.

Do you have a support system right now (people that can help and support you with your pregnancy and decision)? Have you talked to anyone close to you about it yet? In the long run, you have to do what you think is best.

jerv's avatar

It plays hell with the hormones, so there is that “joy” to deal with. If you think menstrual cycle related mood swings are bad…

Also, most people will feel guilty about ending a human life even if they feel that it had to be done.

My opinion is that any woman who is not traumatized at least a litle bit is not someone I want walking around in society; that isn’t human.

chels's avatar

It really depends on the person and the situation.

To be honest if you’re already feeling guilty and you’re only thinking about it—more than likely you’re going to feel the same way, if not worse if you do choose to have an abortion.

There are so many things you need to take into consideration. Even though you’re feeling guilty and having all of these thoughts, you need to remember this isn’t just about you. It’s about the unborn baby too. Are you in a position where you could raise a child and in a good environment? If you have the baby, will you end up resenting him/her? Do you feel as though having a baby could bring good, or even great change to your life?
If you choose not to do it and you do end up feeling horrible after, are you ready to deal with that?
The guilt may be there right after, but just like lots of other things – it subsides with time. It may not go away forever, and you might find yourself thinking and wondering if you made the right decision, but it will get easier.

The most important thing is to think very long and very hard about the decision. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of each of the different scenarios. Make sure that when you come to the final decision that it’s something that you really feel would be best for everyone. Make sure that you honestly and truly want whatever you choose.

Good luck.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Mom2BDec2010's avatar

Yeah, its possible. My friend had an abortion, and it messed up her ovaries and now she can’t have children. :(
But, I hope you make the right decision. If you decide to keep it a child is a wonderful gift.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please take all side debate to an appropriate thread. Let’s stick to the actual topic at hand, please.

Scarlett's avatar

@Seaofclouds – Yes I do have a support system. Both my parents want me to get the abortion, and other friends aren’t sure and tell me it’s going to be my choice, and I don’t know what to do.

I feel very guilty and sad already. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and now being pregnant, I feel like the timing isn’t great.

I’ve cried and when I walk down the street and see little babies I get even sadder.

I feel like if I get an abortion, my conscience will take over me.

I know some people are going to say IT’S NOT EVEN A BABY YET, I’ve heard that before, but I think of it already as my child.

This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, and probably the hardest one I’d have to go through in years to come..

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

There is no way to know what you will feel and experience. However, because the pro-life movement has often used the tactic of “if you get an abortion, you’ll become traumatized/depressed/suicidal”, even if it means distorting the truth, twisting reality, or blatant lying (some organizations more than others, obviously), it’s important to note a few things:

-There is no scientific evidence of a causal relationship between abortion and poor mental health.

-The term post-abortion syndrome (PAS) has been popularized and widely used by pro-life advocates to describe a broad range of adverse emotional reactions which they attribute to abortion. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association do not recognize PAS as an actual diagnosis or condition, and it is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR or in the ICD-10 list of psychiatric conditions. Some physicians and pro-choice advocates have argued that efforts to popularize the term “post-abortion syndrome” are a tactic used by pro-life advocates for political purposes.

-Pre-existing factors in a woman’s life, such as emotional attachment to the pregnancy, lack of social support, pre-existing psychiatric illness, and conservative views on abortion increase the likelihood of experiencing negative feelings after an abortion.

-While some studies have shown a correlation between abortion and clinical depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, or adverse effects on women’s sexual functions for a small number of women, these correlations may be explained by pre-existing social circumstances and emotional health. According to the American Psychological Association, various factors, such as emotional attachment to the pregnancy, lack of support, and conservative views on abortion, may increase the likelihood of experiencing negative reactions. Studies have either failed to establish a causal relationship between abortion and negative psychological symptoms experienced by women, or been inconclusive.

-Some studies have indicated that those who have undergone abortion have experienced positive or no change to their mental health.

plethora's avatar

@Scarlett You sound like a very wise and perceptive young woman. This is truly your decision and not your parents. The feelings that you are having should be trusted. They are yours, not the speculation of anyone else, regardless of their qualifications.

Scarlett's avatar

I can’t afford a baby right now, I can’t even take care of myself, and It would make me going to college and traveling more difficult, but I think with my heart not with my mind, which isn’t good.

Even if I can’t take care of him/her right now, I STILL feel like I can give the child the most love, dedication, but I know taking care of a kid is a lot more.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

@Scarlett If you feel so guilty already maybe its not such a good idea. :/

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett I’ve read some of your previous questions. Is the father they guy you were in the relationship you mentioned a week or so ago (the 31-year-old)? Have you told the father that you are pregnant? Have you thought about what you will do in regards to custody, visitation, and child support? I know those are hard topics to think about (especially after the relationship you discussed previously), but you have to think of those things as well. I’m really glad that you have people there that are willing to help you and support you. I can only imagine how you are feeling right now. I hope you are able to make a decision that you can live with. Don’t worry about what other people say about it. When it all comes down to you, you have to live with the decision you made (be is abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby).

AmWiser's avatar

A very tough decision that only you can decide. But whatever the outcome, please consider counselling afterwords.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
jerv's avatar

@Scarlett One thing to remember here is that it is a decision you must make. We can tell you what we would do, but when all is said and done, it is you who must accept the consequences, whether it be a guilty conscience from getting an abortion, misgivings over giving the child up, or 3AM diaper changes and temper tantrums from keeping the kid.

No matter which way you go, there will be problems and backlash. The key here is your moral compass, what you feel you can live with. It’s your choice, and I think there will be some sort of trauma regardless.

Response moderated
Scarlett's avatar

@Seaofclouds – YES the father of my baby is the man I was in an abusive relationship with, and I’m dealing with the trauma of getting over that.

I’m not with the dad anymore and don’t plan to, he has anger and violent issues.

If anyone has been following my questions, I was in a homeless shelter, to an abusive relationship, and now am pregnant.

I’ve always wanted kids and felt I could be a great mom, I just can’t afford it.

But this girl told me everything happens for a reason, and if that is true, that “everything happens for a reason” quote is going to make me think “What if?”.

If I was a mom and even if my daughter who was 16 got pregnant I would want her to keep the baby and I’d say we’d go through this,

but I’m 20 years old and my parents are saying getting an abortion is the best option for me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Scarlett : What @Seaofclouds said should be an important factor in your decision. You need to make your own choice, but remember that if you keep the baby, you will be tied a certain amount to father, unless you can convince him to sign away his parental rights. If you choose to terminate, you will have to deal with those issues. Definitely talk to the counselors at Planned Parenthood, or whichever clinic. They can help you find a balance. I would recommend you first talk to the counselor alone, then later with your parents, as they are somewhat involved with whatever decision you make. There are benefits and consequences to either decision, don’t let the judgement of anyone else sway you from doing what is right for you.

Scarlett's avatar

My idea is, If I have a kid, it would be the greatest thing to live for. Does that sound weird? I know I can and should live for only me, but I feel the most alive helping other people, and have a soft spot for kids and life.

I feel being a mom and having this baby will give me purpose and a reason for all. I don’t know if this isn’t the right way to think.I hope I don’t sound dumb saying that.

But this could be the emotional and not rational me speaking…..

phaedryx's avatar

When I read over your comments is sounds like you have already decided that you don’t want an abortion and are looking for support to oppose what your parents want you to do. What I’m getting at is that you need to listen to yourself.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Scarlett That doesn’t sound dumb.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

It’s your body, and your decision. If you want this baby (and it sounds like you do), then don’t let your parents decide for you, do what you want to do.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

@Scarlett A child is a great thing to live for. :D
and it sounds like you don’t really want an abortion just like @phaedryx said.

Scarlett's avatar

@phaedryx – I really don’t want to get an abortion BUT there was a few times (VERY FEW times- maybe 3 or 4 seperate times ) I have thought that I should have an abortion, because I know I can’t financially take care of a child right now, and that itself is conflicting with me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett If you want to keep the baby, do it. I can understand where you parents are coming from (in saying to get the abortion) because they want to see you move past that relationship (and probably don’t want you tied to that guy) and I’m sure they would like to see you go to college and be able to take care of yourself. There is no reason that you can’t do all of those things while having a baby if that is what you wanted to do as long as you have a support system. Would your parents still be there for you if you kept the baby? Have you talked to them about it? I know it’s hard to think about caring for a kid, but it’s something that you will find a way to do. You will find a way to make money and go to school.

Scarlett's avatar

I follow my heart, not my mind, and I think that is an issue for this..

My mind would tell me that I can’t afford him or her, that I need to go to school, travel and see the world, etc. BUT my heart is pulling my and making me feel like—- The love you already feel for your unborn child is the greatest kind of love there is.

That probably sounds really sappy, but I want to be the best mother I can be.

So the other half of me says since you can’t afford it, you aren’t married to the dad, the dad has anger and domestic violence issues, this is not the right time…


zophu's avatar

@augustlan Aw, come on. That was a legitimate point. I understand, though.

The things that determine whether or not an abortion should or shouldn’t be done involve more than the possible trauma it can have on the mother.

casheroo's avatar

You might feel a lot of remorse, but you have to realize..if it’s not the right timing and you cannot support the child financially, emotionally, need to do what’s right for the child.
I’ve had two abortions and would be happy to talk privately with you about them. I also have two healthy children.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Scarlett Would you be happier giving up the child, or is it important for you to raise the baby?

Not to add to your stress, but this is just my observation:
My mother wanted me soooo much. After waiting 8 years, she and my father finally had me. However, while they both were initially overjoyed at my arrival, my father was too busy with work, and almost never got to see me – I have 3 memories of him from when I was under 5, although from that time I have countless memories of waiting for him. As for my mother, I think she expected that I would bring her fulfillment and enlightenment, and while babies often bring a certain amount of both, there is absolutely nothing that will completely fulfill you and enlighten you except that which comes from within your own soul. Since I, and later my sister, did not completely “fix” her, she grew to resent us. Building upon lots of pre-existing issues, both she and my father became extremely abusive towards us, and towards each other. My mother used to scream at me that I was “sucking the life out of her” and that she was now an “empty shell”. They divorced several years ago, and my mother developed an issue with alcohol, and sued me in an attempt to revoke my status as “having reached the age of majority”. I’m not particularly close with either of them now.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett Honestly, how can you tell when the right time is? I had my son when I was 20. I was married, we both had jobs, and we had a place to live. He walked out when my son was 10-months-old. I was left to raise my son alone (with help from family). I had a mediocre job in my opinion (definitely not enough to be comfortable raising a child alone). I worked a full time job and went to nursing school. My mom helped watch my son in the evenings so that I could work. I was in school during the day and my son was in daycare. I managed to get through it. I finished school, became a nurse, and got to the point where I could take my son on vacations when I wanted to. It was hard and we struggled for a bit, but I never regretted it. I’m telling you this to show you that it is possible.

As far as the dad, if he is interested in seeing the child, you can request supervised visits for the child’s safety due to his history or you could potentially go for full custody based on his abuse. His rights will really depend on where you live.

As far as traveling and seeing the world, you can either do that with your child when they get old enough to enjoy it as well, or you can do it when your child is grown and out of the house. You are still young and have a lot of options in front of you.

I think it’s great that you are trying to think with your mind and not just with your heart. If you honestly don’t think you could pull everything together to take care of your child properly at this time, you need to consider that. Talk to your family about things and take some time to really think about what kind of life you want for yourself and your child. If you can’t make that happen, consider abortion or adoption. If you think you can pull things together and make it happen, keep the baby.

Scarlett's avatar

@Seaofclouds – I don’t know when the timing would be right, My father just told me that once I have a kid in the future and prepared financially it would be the right “Timing”.

zophu's avatar

There are lots of ways to make things work. If you’re passionate about being a wonderful mother, there will be people to help you even if you don’t start out with all the pieces on the board. But passion seems to die pretty easily for most people. It’s up to you.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Scarlett There’s an article that was recently in New York Magazine that might be helpful ,depending upon what exactly you’re looking for.

There’s also a book called Maybe Baby that you might also like (again, it depends on what you’re looking for).

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett My point about asking when the timing would be right was that even when we think it’s right, there are no guarantees in life. You could end up losing your job, losing your house, having your car die, or end up having the father walk out and leave you on your own. We really can only go with what feels right in the moment and do our best to provide for our children and raise them the best we can.

lapilofu's avatar

Regarding @Mom2BDec2010‘s story—I don’t doubt that complications like that occur, but you should bear in mind that those are the exception, not the norm. You’re actually less likely to incur medical complications by having an abortion than you are by carrying a pregnancy to term.

I think you’re sidestepping your real concerns by asking about post-abortion trauma. I think you need to make this decision based on what you think and know now rather than based on theoretical and (from what I’ve learned) unlikely “side-effects” that might come later.

sweetie432's avatar

Like many others and you have said, you don’t seem to want an abortion and I don’t think you should do it just to please your parents. If you want this child badly and the only thing stopping you is the finances there are many organizations that help families and single mothers. It could be tough but no matter what there are support groups even the governement if that is what it comes to. You could also look in to open adoptions in which you would still be able to know your child and find a financialy stable, loving family to raise him/her. Good luck and do what is right for YOU

Aethelwine's avatar

It sounds like you really want this child, but you keep bringing up the financial part of the situation. If everyone waited until they could afford having children, there would be a lot less people in this world. Some would say that is a good thing, but I know many people that get by, and are happy they decided to keep that child they thought they couldn’t afford.

My oldest son is going off to college tomorrow. He’s majoring in pre-engineering. He’s very sweet, intelligent, kind, and is going to contribute greatly some day to his community. I was 20 when I became pregnant with him, and considered an abortion for a moment. I’m so happy I didn’t. My husband and I managed to bring a wonderful human being into this world with little money. You can do it if you set your mind to it.

I wish you the best with whatever decision you make. I really do.

MaryW's avatar

First of all I think you should confide in someone and get help on choices. Check your area. You should be counseled on both sides of your situation.
If you consider your baby a baby, as I do, then this will be a very serious choice for you. Please seek counseling from a service that discusses both options.
There are many services availble to go ahead with the birth. You do not sound like an abortion candidate.
Love and Hugs to you.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

First of all, I want to say I’m 14. Just so you know.
Second, I think at least someone needs to tell you not to abort! This baby has potential. You never know – they could find a cure for cancer when they grow up! Everyone has the right to have the joy of living. If you decide to go through with it and have the baby, you don’t have to keep it. Just give it a chance to live. There are tons of people who want to adopt (I hope and pray that I’m financially able to adopt a couple of kids when I’m older, instead of having my own) and are just waiting for the perfect kid.

jerv's avatar

@ChocolateReigns (and quite a few others) I think it safe to assume that the OP already has their own sense of right and wrong and doesn’t need a bunch of strangers on the internet to tell her what to think.

Besides, it sounds to me like the OP has already made a decision and just needs support accepting that it is right for her, even if it’s not what we would decide.

Nullo's avatar

I’ve heard of it happening.

As I’ve said elsewhere, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea now, you aren’t going to be any happier about it later.

Pandora's avatar

I really don’t know but from what you said.
I already feel guilty for considering it and have cried at night because I feel like I’m murdering my baby, my child, a part of me, and a part of my soul
You are already call it murder of your baby, your child, your soul. You aren’t 50–50 on abortion. At least not for yourself. I think your already decided for yourself. No one would feel comfortable with murder. If you see it that way already than I would think this is not the decision for you.
You should talk to a counselor or someone who can talk to you face to face and give you the information you seek and who can maybe help you find alternatives to abortion.
I don’t know how old you are but you should talk to your parents if you are underage. They may get angry or disappointed but they will be more hurt if they ever found out you did this on your own and didn’t trust they loved you enough to help you.

Scarlett's avatar

@Pandora – Well I think I’m 50/50 on abortion when it is rape, or if a girl was 13, I think some situations are ok. But you are right, I am not so much on abortion for myself… For my friends and everyone else, I say the choice is yours, you can have the freedom to decide whether to get an abortion or not, but I am more on the pro-choice side…

I’m 20 years old, turning 21 in one month in October.

Scarlett's avatar

@jerv – I do like having different people tell me what they think, atleast to get an opinion on this and past situations… I’m leaning towards keeping the baby but a part of me is still unsure.

Scarlett's avatar

Thanks for everyone who’s answered

JLeslie's avatar

I have not read all of the above, but this is my advice. Think about each option, and how you will feel in the future not just the abortion option. You seem to not be considering giving the baby up or adoption, so I will omit that one.

- If you abort you are worried you might be very emotional and have regret. Are you also maybe afraid of the procedure?
– If you keep the baby how will your life be? Will your family help you? Can you support the baby? Will the baby prevent you from acheiving what you want in life?

What do you want? Many young women have babies when they have little direction. Having a baby gives them an identity. They are now someone’s mom. They have a purpose, but it is usually much less than ideal. Having a baby when unprepared, and I assume you are poor, I could be wrong, means you are most likely to stay poor and for your child to repeat the cycle. Not necessarily so, but probable. I am not judging being poor, all I am saying is if you have a fantasy about getting a great job, having a baby, living in a middle class neighborhood, just be realistic about being able to acheive what you want. I do not mean to impose what I think you should want, don’t take it that way.

I personally do not consider abortion murder if you are at the beginning of a pregnancy. But, it seems you do, so what I think really doesn’t matter. I would guess feeling you committed murder would be pretty traumatic. Most women I know were not traumatized after an abortion. I only know two who were upset for an extended period of time, but even then it was not that long. You say your parents want you to get an abortion, so I wonder where you get the idea it is murder? Usually people feel this way because of their religious upbringing.

Honestly, since it is the baby of the abusive ex I think it much better not to be tied to him forever, and having a baby with him will do that.

I really feel for you, this must be very diffcult. You have been through a lot.

Scarlett's avatar

I don’t have a lot of friends, that’s why I like Fluther, but I do have my family, and a psychologist I see. This is gonna be a tough choice, but I appreciate everyone responding.

jerv's avatar

@Scarlett I see a lot of people crossing the line between “telling you what they think” and “telling you what you should think” when it comes to abortion, religion, and politics.

From what I’ve read of your posts here, it does seem to me that that would be your best option in the long run, though by no means an easy one. The problem with being an adult is that sometimes we are faced with tough choices like this one.

perspicacious's avatar

I would think if that didn’t happen the girl would be in a coma.

JLeslie's avatar

@Scarlett It sounds like there are two things going on. That you feel it is murder and that you like the idea of being a mom. Can you separate the two to figure out what is really the primary force in your hesitation? If for a moment you accept it is not murder, then do you still want the baby? If for a moment you pretend you don’t want the baby, then do you still worry it is murder?

I think you want the baby from what you have written. Forget about if abortion is murder, or if you will be traumatized, I think you like the idea of being a mommy and these other things help you justify keeping the baby. I am not criticising you, I wish I knew how to write this in a way that would sound more caring.

Scarlett's avatar

@JLeslie – No it’s ok. You don’t have to make it sound caring. If having an abortion isn’t murder then what is it? Because if i’m pregnant, I get the abortion, then I’m not pregnant and my kid is dead, I consider that murder…. but I don’t know all the science about it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Scarlett Well, for those who believe the soul enters at conception, they feel they are killing that soul. Some religions believe that the soul enters at the time of birth. I am not religious, so I do not really concern myself with the soul explanation. I draw the line at viability. If the baby can support itself on it’s own, then it is a separate being in its’ own right.

The first couple of weeks of pregnancy the enbryo is a bunch of cells where every cell is exactly the same, they have not started becoming different parts of the body yet, so to me that is a bunch of cells. After that the fetus begins to take form. For a few weeks it looks like a little sea creature practically. Pro-life campaigns show full born babies in their ads, Big photos, implying the fetus always looks like that. At 6 weeks the fetus is probably just a centemeter or two (I would have to check, I don’t remember). When they say they hear a heart beat initially it is not a full fledged four chamber human heart yet, but it is the pulse of a circulatory system.

I don’t tell you the science to convince you it is not a baby. I completely respect people who feel their baby has a soul from the moment it is conceived, if that is their religious belief. But, maybe knowing the science will help you decide? You can look up the stages of pregnancy if you are interested, or maybe you prefer not to, which I understand as well. If you do, stick to non-biased sites, maybe wikipedia.

le_inferno's avatar

@papayalily I’m sorry, but the term “pro-abortion” is hardly a “smear tactic.” There is no difference in meaning between “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion.” If @plethora had said “pro-baby-murder,” that’d be a different story. But pro-choice does mean supporting abortion; pro-life does not support it. The “right to choose” = the “right to have an abortion.” Let’s be serious.

Girls can absolutely feel traumatized after having an abortion. But getting pregnant when you don’t want to is traumatic either way. It involves tough decision-making and sacrifices that you don’t want to make. Good luck with your decision.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think that if a child isn’t born to you it will be born to someone else. I am not a religious person but I believe that we have an essence if you will that is beyond physical and that cannot be deterred from life. That is just my own little opinion. So definitely not murder, just another place and time.

I personally am totally pro choice. I have known women who did have abortions and also ones who opted for adoption. Both sets will always wonder “what if???” And both sets were saddened by having to make the choice. That is inevitable I think, regardless of what you do. I don’t think I could ever put a child up for adoption because I wouldn’t know if it was being treated properly or kindly. Hell I couldn’t even breed puppies because I worried about their well being.

JLeslie's avatar

@le_inferno I actually use pro-abortion sometimes, but there is a difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion in my mind. I know people who would never get an abortion, they are pro-life for themselves, but understand different people have different beliefs and feelings on the subject so in the political sense they are pro-choice.

Dog's avatar

[Mod Says] Just a gentle reminder that this question is in the general section and quips need to remain on topic. The topic is “Can a girl get traumatized after they have an abortion?”

This is not the place to debate abortion vs pro life.

Please respect the asking user and stay on topic.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Scarlett I answered another question which asked about abortions, and I’ll share with you the same thing that I shared there:

“I had one four years ago. I’ve been pro-choice for as long as I can remember and I always will be. That said, it was definitely a lot harder on me than I would have ever been able to imagine. I still think about it, all the time. I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about it, if only for a few minutes every day. Some days I deal with it better than others, sometimes I break down and cry like it happened yesterday. Part of this, I think, is because I have endometriosis and I wonder if that may have been my one and only chance. I don’t even know if I want kids right now, or if I will… But I don’t know. I want the choice. Knowing that I might not have one makes it that much harder.

Right after the fact, I kind of don’t feel like I had enough support from the people who knew. I mean… None of them looked down on me, none of them disagreed. But the support that was there was a little too silent. Which, I guess, a part of me understands. It’s not the easiest thing to comfort someone about, for fear you might say the wrong thing. If fear is what stopped people from talking to me though, I wish it hadn’t. To this day, I still don’t know how much it did or didn’t affect my partner. I asked, a lot, especially when I was having a really hard time with it, but… It was never clear to me. Sometimes I felt like it didn’t matter at all to him and I didn’t know how to deal with that. If it was easier for him, I’m glad in a way. But I wish he would have seen how much I was hurting.

I also bled a lot. Too much. I almost had to go to the hospital the day the clots starting coming out. The pain was so horrifying that I actually thought I might be dying. Again, that same day, my partner knew and decided that he wanted to go out with friends instead of staying with me to help. He may not have known what to do, but anything would have been better than nothing.

I don’t know. Unfortunately there are not enough words in our language to accurately convey how abortions make people feel. Women who get them aren’t bad. They aren’t evil. Sometimes, it’s just the right thing to do – regardless of what anyone else thinks. Dealing with how you already feel, plus all of the people that think you’re an evil bitch? Not so easy. The day I went, in fact, they had a bomb scare. It was very surreal, sitting there waiting to be seen, knowing that there are people out there who are so against “murder”, but so willing to commit it.”

I believe a year or so has passed since I wrote that answer, and much of what I said still applies. Sometimes I still think about it, and I still wonder. But I haven’t changed my mind that it was the right thing to do. I was not financially prepared, my relationship wasn’t stable enough, and I would have driven myself insane if I had given my child up for adoption. I know this is a scary time for you right now – very scary – and I know you want to hear about experiences that other people have had. But I really, really want you to try and look within yourself to come up with the answer. Because, down the road, if you realize that you listened to other people over yourself (if you have the child or don’t), you’re going to feel regret and possibly resentment.

If you would like to talk with me further via private messages, if you have questions about the kind of options you have, what they specifically do for the procedure, don’t hesitate to message me, and I will try to give you as much information as possible. No matter what decision you make, I wish you the best of luck.

zophu's avatar

Was going to post a long story about a girl I knew who went through an abortion experience, but it got a little too specific and there isn’t really a point. I’ll just say that there are people who go through to process and come out okay even though it was tough for them. Really tough for them. It’s a significant event in anyone’s life and it’s going to have an effect no matter what.

I think a lot of women who made the decision are abused by being made to believe they committed murder, and that causes more trauma than anything else. I mean, even if a woman makes the decision to abort, then later believes it to be murder on her own terms, I don’t think it would be as crippling as what I’ve seen and heard about being done to young women growing up in the bible belt.

If the mother makes the decision to abort based on her own, confident understandings of what it means to her, I think trauma can be avoided. People can go through all kinds of things and still come out strong. Even bad decisions, whether the abortion is one or not.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
finkelitis's avatar


I know a number of women who have chosen to have abortions. Some have felt bad about it. Some haven’t had any regrets. All of them who I know feel that it was the right choice, even if they did feel bad at times, and would do it again if they were in the same situation.

Almost everyone has said that you’ve got to make the choice yourself, and whichever way you choose will be difficult, and they’re right. I don’t know the real details of your situation, but since you asked, I’d like to say that if I were in your position (and I’m a guy, so I don’t know how much my perspective counts) I would definitely have an abortion. Here’s why:

1. Having a baby who’s father was abusive is going to tie you to the father. He might decide that he wants to have custody of the child, or be a part of the baby’s life, or be a part of your life, and it will be much harder to stay away from him if you have his baby.

2. Having a baby when you’re in a desperate financial situation is going to make life harder than you realize.

3. Personally, I don’t think of a fetus as being anything like a living baby. It could potentially become a baby (though people miscarry all the time). On the other hand, a sperm and an egg are a potential baby too, and I have no problem using protection to keep the two from meeting.

4. I’m suspicious of the motive of wanting to have a baby to help yourself, or give yourself a role. I know that this works for some people, but it also fails, and when it does, a lot is at stake.

5. You can have a baby at another time, when the situation is a little more stable. Bringing a baby into a position where you can’t necessarily offer a stable environment feels unfair to me. Having an income, a stable network, etc., will make things so much easier, and in the end, help the child so much.

6. It feels unfair to those who will have to make sacrifices to support you and your child.

Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll have thought it through and made the best decision you can for yourself. I certainly don’t judge you whatever you do, and only wish you the best… it’s a hard position. But I do think that the stigma that abortion carries makes getting an abortion harder than it should be, emotionally. If the stigma were not there, and the question were just: should I have my abusive ex’s baby at this moment in my life, the answer would be clear.

Good luck.

vamtire's avatar

@Scarlett You know its nice to have someone to love even if its a baby,taking care of a baby is hard but I think the best part of a baby is that you love the baby,I dont have a baby before or anything but I can imagine even when times are hard,its always great to have a family to stick with and love.Its your choice as its your life,your choice will change your life alot as it is a big situation.
I watched a movie and someone was raped and married someone else without the daugter knowing that she is the daugter of the rapist but when the daughter is grown up she knows her mother was raped by a man and the mother does not hate the man so much anymore because the man gave him the daughter.this is a movie but to a certain degree,you can relate it to life,the movie is watchman.
In another movie,precious,a teenager with a bad life is pregnant by her own father and at a scene,she shouted:nobody loves me!” but the person told her:”your baby loves you,I love you!”
This is just an opinion by me you might think ridiculous,I am a guy but my advice to you is you cannot trust everyone in fluther,some guys who wants to have sex and later give the women the responsibilty to abort the baby will convince you to abort the baby,you should listen directly to women who have experience abortion and women who have given birth.I know people who told me of their friends who aborted having nightmares about the abortion of the baby.

nikipedia's avatar

If you can’t afford to raise the baby, someone else is going to have to pay for it. You want to have a baby so that you can feel loved and fulfilled, but your parents and/or taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill. Is this really the responsible decision to make?

Scarlett's avatar

@nikipedia – OBVIOUSLY I would get work and take care of my child, I wouldn’t sponge off my parents of the government for the rest of my life, sitting on a couch on welfare and food stamps. If the government can help me for a short while with the baby, then why not? People go on food stamps all the time, and I know some who didn’t even really need the food stamps, they just wanted free food.That is not my motive. If I am trying hard to take care of my baby and need extra help – from my parents of government programs to help struggling mothers, I see nothing wrong. I think it would be wrong to have a baby and NOT get some sort of HELP if you NEED it. But like I said obviously I would have a job and work, I wouldn’t sit around all day.

Scarlett's avatar

@finkelitis – Thanks I really appreciate your answer. What’s wrong with wanting a kid you want to love, raise, and teach things? Just because someone has a lot of money right now and married, does not mean that that can’t fall apart in the future, and just because a mother is having difficulty in the beginning, does not mean in the future things can’t change for her. There have been women in history and the world, who did NOT start off financially set, or in bad relations with the father, or had some other trouble, and they made it through because of hard work and dedication to giving a better life for themselves and their offspring.

Scarlett's avatar

I probably sound selfish and dumb for giving those answers.

JLeslie's avatar

@scarlet it is a different way of thinking. The middle class generally waits until they feel financially ready and capable to have a baby. So, it is difficult for people like this to understand people who seemingly have little concern about it. We have in our heads things like affording extracurricular activities, and what if something goes wrong and it is expensive, and paying for college, paying for child care. We don’t factor in the state paying for our children.

I’m curious, why do your parents want you get the abortion?

Scarlett's avatar

@DrasticDreamer – Thank you. That helped a lot.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Scarlett : Rule # 1. No calling yourself selfish and dumb. Think on all angles, get some counseling. (I know I keep saying that, but it’s important). Getting the feedback from a trained, impartial 3rd party who has no agenda will be enormously beneficial. As much as I love Fluther, some answering your posts do have an agenda. Remember, we care, but we’re not there with you, we don’t know your parents or what resources are available in your community, and are not the ones who will be dealing with any of the consequences of any action you take.

nikipedia's avatar

@Scarlett: You don’t sound selfish and dumb, but you do sound young and maybe a little too optimistic. You say that you would get a job if you had a child, which suggests that you don’t have one now. This is a very difficult time to find a job, and it is always difficult to work and raise a child on your own. Daycare is very expensive, or very burdensome to family members if you are expecting them to be responsible for that.

Please think through these kinds of logistics before you make any decisions. As @JilltheTooth very wisely points out, a counselor would be a very very good idea at this juncture.

Scarlett's avatar

@JLeslie – I do dream of being able to pay for my kid’s things. If I had a son I would want him to have karate lessons, and if I had a daughter I would like her to take ballet, or vice verse, and have them take art classes. Obviously as a mother I would want the best for my kid and be able to provide.

I come from a middle class. Both my parents are college graduates, both have 2 story houses, both my mom and dad are very loving and smart people. My mom had me when she was 34 and my dad had me when he was 53.

Just because a mom can pay for things doesn’t make her a good mom, I knew teens when I was in highschool who were richer, but were mean,rude, unkind, ignorant, etc.

I know what everyone is saying, and I understand, I know I can’t provide financially right now.

I’m struggling now, but this is not forever. Maybe that’s the optimist in me, but 5 or 10 years from now I think i’ll be in better circumstance and independant.

I could just be really young to know how difficult raising a child is, as everyone suggested, except for one who said I shouldn’t abort, and others who said it’s my decision.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@JLeslie Did you mean to type the idle class, or was that supposed to be middle class?

Scarlett's avatar

My psychologist says the best option is abortion, she knows about the situation and the violent father.

If anyone is wondering – I wanted to see a psychologist after the break up of the abusive relationship.

@JilltheTooth – Thank you :) You seem like a nice person, and I understand what you’re saying. I’m going to see a therapist, and take a break from Fluther to take care of this thing called Life.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Scarlett : I’ll be thinking of you… :-)

Scarlett's avatar

@nikipedia – You’re right. When I was with the babies father I worked at his company in beverly hills for passports and visas, with the Brazil consulate. But as of right now no I do not have work :(

JLeslie's avatar

@papayalily I fixed it already. I’m getting used to this new iPad. Thank you for pointing it out though.

@Scarlett I am not assuming you won’t get a job and pay for your child. I am only pointing out the different thought process. I am all in favor for providing for children once born, even if it means I am going to be forking over my money in the form of taxes for them to be fed and have a decent shot at life. But, I am not fond of the idea that people do not think about these things before getting pregnant. Since you made it to 20 without getting pregnant I assume you generally used birth control and this is probably an accident, and ANYBODY can make a mistake, doesn’t matter how rich or poor how old or young. Since the age of 15 I have thought on and off about what I would do if I got pregnant by accident. Had you? Did you always think you would keep it?

Scarlett's avatar

I made up my mind and am going to look into open-adoption.

A lot of you have said I should get an abortion, but all of you are ALIVE to think, breath, and speak. There is no way I can go through with this.

When I see my friends and family, I could not think of aborting any of them, or people I don’t really get along with – because everyone deserves a chance at life.

Any of you Fluther people, I can’t think of being YOUR mother and aborting you, even though I’ve never met any of you in person—I just think Life is very precious, and my child could change or world, and should have a chance.

If other women can have kids under bad situations like not having a lot of money, and survive, then I can make it too.

I think people see this kid as a burden and mistake.

I would rather struggle for a bit and have the happiness of looking into my child’s eyes, than to have an easier life going through the abortion, knowing I killed my baby. But this is how I feel.

@JLeslie – I don’t see kids, pregnancy, or babies as a mistake, but as a blessing. I haven’t had a lot of partners, when I lost my virginity we were using condoms, and I never have been pregnant before this. I agree people should think about the consequences of sex, like having kids.

I feel weird people mentioned about their taxes, but if I was older and not pregnant, or already had kids, I would be worried about where my tax money was being spent. I felt people were saying, ” HEY WE WORK AND WE ARE GIVING OUR MONEY TO YOUR UNPLANNED KID, WHY SHOULD TAX PAYERS PAY FOR YOUR DAMN MISTAKE?”, but this just the reality.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett I’m glad you came to a decision. I hope you are able to find some good information about open adoptions in your area and that you have a healthy pregnancy. Good luck!

Scarlett's avatar

@Seaofclouds – THANK YOU :) and I will.

JLeslie's avatar

@Scarlett I was not calling the baby a mistake. I was saying maybe you had made a mistake, had sex without protection, or maybe a mistake or accident happened like a condom breaking. As I said this can happen to anyone. I also said I assumed you had been using birth control typically, since you had not become pregnant until now, meaning I was giving you credit for being responsible with your birth control.

You sound pretty sure you are against abortion for yourself, I think this has probably been a good process for you, you seem in touch with what you want and what you feel is right.

I don’t know if you were directing your final statement about taxes directly at me, since I was the last name mentioned, but I just wanted to say again I willingly pay taxes to give kids a chance. I was talking in general about people who do not think ahead and just get pregnant (remember I am assuming you have been fairly careful with your birth control) talking about people who have 2 and 3 and more babies and never think twice about the money. I see a lot of people like that. I don’t think it of you, you seem to take this very seriously.

I wish you all the best.

Scarlett's avatar

@JLeslie – I understand what you’re saying. Thank you.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Scarlett : Best of luck to you, Darlin’, be healthy and stay strong!

perspicacious's avatar

If you feel guilty for thinking about it, there’s your answer. Choose another option.

MaryW's avatar

Planned Parenthood or check with
These organizations can help with expenses when having your baby. Also see if there is a way to legally separate yourself from the dad. Check with the organizations on that.
It is very important to not have legal ties with an anger and abusive person. You should get help immediately from either of the two organizations I mentioned. I would choose the Catholic Charities as I know 3 different kids now grown whose moms gave them a chance through that chartiy. The moms hospital was paid through donations to the charity for well wishers.

finkelitis's avatar

@Scarlett : I told you what I would do in your shoes, but I’m glad you came to a decision that you’re happy with.

Best of luck!

JLeslie's avatar

@MaryW Maybe she should lie and say she is not sure who the father is? She would never be able to collect money from the father, but if he is abusive he will probably never pay. I have no idea about his economic situation which could factor in. If she names him, most states will require him to take a paternity test, and he will be forever linked to that child. Unless @Scarlett already told her ex she is pregnant, then my plan doesn’t work.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@JLeslie : If he even suspects he’s the the father, and wants to continue to have control over her through the child (a not uncommon situation with abusers), and can show probability, he could, conceivably, get a court-ordered paternity test to prove same.

JLeslie's avatar

@JilltheTooth I know. If he is a deadbeat he might also understand that the court order test proving paternity will make him financially responsible or the child. Obviously, I don’t know how often the OP and ex cross paths, or how intertwined their friends are, that he will be aware she is pregnant. She can easily kep it a secret for sevral months, hoping he cools of and finds some other girl. But, I am just putting the idea thought out there, @Scarlett may not want to keep the preganancy hidden from him. I was just responding to @MaryW comment, although I just reread her comment and I think she might be assuming they are married, which they aren’t. My biggest fear with this pregnancy is the abusive boyfriend being tied to the OP and her child. In my state however, it is not easy for dads out of wedlock to get court ordered visitation, let alone custody. There is no quick way for it to be done, it is not automatic, the court does not lean towards equal custody like in a divorce case. The state likes to prove paternity in the hopes of getting out of having to provide welfare and other social supports, that is its’ main goal, to have the father financially responsible. Plus, outside of legal rights, if he knows about the kid and wants to see the child, he will pressure her to do so.

Scarlett's avatar

@JLeslie/Jill Tooth – My ex who does have money, he always paid for everything and had money to throw around. That’s probably one of the reasons this didn’t work out was because I was dependant on him for money, since he was making much more income than me. A lot of people don’t realize that a lot of wealthy men can be just as abusive as broke guys with no cash..

He knows I’m pregnant and that he is the father, because I was with him basically every day and we always spent time together, so he knows he is the biological father.

JLeslie's avatar

@Scarlett Does he want to be a father to the child? Wealthy men can be deadbeats too, I was not assuming if he was rich or poor.

CherrySempai's avatar

First of all, I’m going to mention that I’m the President of the Pro-Life Club at my university, so I’m biased. But, I had some women from this organization come talk to my campus, and they really have a lot to say.

Click “About Us” at the top to see more about who the organization is. Then “Testimonies” on the right to read what women who have had or didn’t have an abortion have to say. There’s also testimonials from men.

You should research both sides, but this is showing you what trauma can happen after abortions.

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