Heartbroken post-abortive woman says if she had felt supported, she might have chosen life
Analysis

Heartbroken post-abortive woman says if she had felt supported, she might have chosen life

abortion, regret, coercion

A woman has shared her story of abortion coercion and regret on a new website dedicated to giving women a space for their experiences. Writing for Her Voice, Freyja explained how she ended up getting an abortion, and the pain she feels to this day.

Freyja, whose last name was not given, said she was 27 years old and on holiday in a foreign country when she realized she was pregnant, despite having used contraception. “I felt overwhelmed, fearful, and anxious. My first thought was, ‘What will I do?'” she said. “Naturally, I decided to ring my mum first and tell her the news. She was furious and told me I had to sort it out myself.” Her partner was more supportive, but they hadn’t been dating for long, and she was already scheduled to go back home within a month. To make things worse, Freyja was soon diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme and dangerous form of morning sickness.

READ: Former Planned Parenthood workers: We coerced women into getting abortions

Explaining that she tried to just put the pregnancy out of her mind, Freyja eventually decided to return to the abortion facility to ask about abortion. But after making an appointment, she backed out, thinking it would be better to have the abortion in her home country, since it was illegal in the country where she was vacationing. But she was still unsure.

“My mum, on the other hand, was completely against me having the baby,” Freyja said. “She said we couldn’t afford it – we live together in rented accommodation on low income wages. If I continued the pregnancy, she told me I would have to move out and become a single mother. Of course, that was the response I expected from her. But looking back now, I feel like some support from [her] might [have] altered my decision.”

At nine weeks, Freyja underwent a surgical abortion. The most common abortion procedure for that gestation is an aspiration abortion, in which the abortionist forcibly dilates the woman’s cervix, and then uses a powerful suction vacuum to remove the child from the womb.

 

At nine weeks gestation, a preborn baby is remarkably well developed. They can yawn, have their own unique fingerprints, suck their thumbs, and even sigh. Babies are even known to express right or left hand dominance by nine weeks.

 

Afterwards, Freyja immediately regretted her decision. “[T]he day after I returned from hospital, I instantly felt something was very wrong. This pain in my heart was unbearable,” she said. “The realisation fully dawned on me that I had killed my innocent baby. I felt like my world had ended. What had I done? My tears were endless in the coming days, weeks, and months.”

She said she’s speaking out now so women like her will know they have a choice, and that all life is precious. Yet the sad reality is that many women suffer through similar circumstances as Freyja did, and ultimately end up regretting their abortions.

Freyja’s mother coerced her into the procedure by threatening to kick her out if she had the baby; this is an example of “soft” coercion in which there is no violence but a woman is facing homelessness, she isn’t truly free to make that choice fairly. Many women are similarly pressured, coerced, or forced to have abortions. Abortion is not empowering. It hurts women and takes a life, every single time.

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