Woman Who Had Abortion: Aborting My Baby Didn’t Bother Me But the Stigma Surrounding Abortion Did

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 6, 2017   |   11:46AM   |   Washington, DC

Abortions always cause suffering.

The unborn child always suffers in an abortion and often the mother does, too. Many times the father, grandparents, siblings and others also feel pain and grief because of the unborn child’s death.

But sometimes the suffering is blamed on social stigma and judgment rather than the unnecessary death of an unborn child.

In a story she submitted to BuzzFeed, an 18-year-old Jamaican woman pointed to social stigma as the reason for feeling pain after her abortion.

The liberal website recently asked women world-wide to submit stories about their abortion experiences. BuzzFeed said it received more than 1,200 responses in English alone. Many of the stories were from women who regret their abortions and want to help spare other women and babies from the same pain.

The young Jamaican woman said her abortion was bitterly painful, but she claimed her continued suffering is the result of social stigma, not her decision to abort her unborn child.

The young woman said she became pregnant by her boyfriend after he removed his condom without telling her. She confided the news to her godmother, a doctor, and her godmother referred her to a doctor who did abortions.

“Although abortions in Jamaica are illegal, private doctors still do them, but they’re surgical,” she wrote. “So I went back early in the morning the next day, after crying for hours, and had my abortion. I remember walking into the room and lying on a chair and there were straddles to put my feet in, and a bucket at the end of the chair. I was bawling my eyes out as they put the IV in because I was so scared.”

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Only her parents and godmother knew about the abortion. She said they cautioned her not to tell anyone else because it might “reflect badly” on her.

She concluded: “For me it was the stigma around women who have abortions that got to me, not the abortion itself. I felt dirty for the longest time, and being intimate with someone, even just cuddling, was difficult because I felt like I no longer deserved to be loved. Gradually I started to get over it, but it was always there in the back of my mind — it was my dirty little secret.”

Abortion activists often lead women to believe that an abortion rarely has negative consequences and when it does, it’s society’s fault for stigmatizing women. Many times, they hide the truth from women: They claim no one knows when life really begins or that their baby isn’t a baby yet, just a blob of tissue. They say most women feel relieved after an abortion, and deny or ignore the numerous studies showing women have greater risks of physical and mental health problems after an abortion.

Women deserve to know that an abortion kills a unique individual human being’s life – their child. But they also deserve to know that they can recover and heal, that though their choice led to their child’s death, they can grieve the loss of their child and learn to forgive themselves.

Post-abortion counseling, retreats and other programs are available across the world for women and men who are struggling with pain and regret from an abortion. Programs like Rachel’s Vineyard, Surrendering the Secret and others have helped thousands of women and men find healing from past abortions by addressing the core issue: the loss of their unborn baby’s life. In a compassionate, confidential setting, these programs encourage women and men to grieve their unborn babies and forgive themselves.