No one makes an abortion decision lightly. Women don’t have abortions as birth control. Late-term abortions only happen in extremely rare, medically necessary circumstances.
These statements are common among abortion activists as they fight for completely unrestricted abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. But they are not true. Women have abortions for many, many different reasons, and their stories do not always fit the hurting, desperate woman narrative.
In plain terms, one Reddit user explained she had an abortion last week just “because I wanted to.”
The woman described herself as in her early 30s and financially stable. She said she was in a committed two-year relationship with her boyfriend and on birth control when, several weeks ago, she found out she was pregnant.
“I have never been pregnant and consider myself a fairly responsible person,” she wrote. Later, she continued, “I also don’t want to have something control my life that I have made every considerable effort to avoid.”
At first, she said she wavered about whether to have an abortion. At one point, she said she even thought that it could be great to be a parent.
“I then went to see my therapist. We had an incredibly long conversation and I realized the reason I was so scared to terminate my pregnancy was the shame and guilt I felt from growing up in a conservative Midwest environment. The idea that I didn’t want to have a baby but could afford it was selfish and monstrous…”
A week ago, she aborted her unborn child.
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“What I’ve come to realize now is that it’s not. I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want this child. Yes, I COULD have done it, but I can do a lot of things. People make choices every day that we find morally abhorrent, but they are not expected to justify their decision to anyone.”
She concluded: “After everything was over last week (and believe me it was horrible, I would not wish it on anyone…) I felt relief. I felt like myself again. I know I made the right choice, I know that I did what is best for me.”
The post was anonymous and the story unverified, but, if true, it is not unique. Sometimes the reasons women abort their unborn babies are shallow and superficial. And in some states, it’s legal to do so for any reason up until birth.
Several months ago, another woman wrote about her abortion experience for The Tab, saying her decision came down to not wanting to be a mother.
“But more than anything, I didn’t want to be a mother. And I still don’t,” Danielle Fersey wrote.
Some more extreme abortion stories have drawn international outrage. In 2014, an aspiring glamour model in England faced international rebuke after she said she wanted to get an abortion so she could star on a reality television program.
Sometimes, even viable, late-term babies are aborted for “purely elective” reasons.
Abortion practitioner Martin Haskell, who is credited with inventing the partial-birth abortion method, admitted that most of his patients had late-term abortions for non-medical reasons.
In a 1993 interview with American Medical News, Haskell said: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective….”
In 1997, Ron Fitzsimmons, the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, also admitted that he once lied about late-term, partial-birth abortions being rare, according to the New York Times. Fitzsimmons said late-term abortions were performed far more often than his colleagues acknowledged and on healthy women and healthy babies.
The truth is, no matter what the circumstance, there always is a better option for women and their children than aborting an unborn child. Thousands of pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and other organizations are eager and willing to help struggling moms and babies live and thrive; and adoption agencies and countless waiting adoptive families are willing to help raise children if the birth mother decides to make an adoption plan.