While abortion is said to be about protecting a woman’s “choice”, the reality is, it’s extremely common for pregnant mothers to be pressured or coerced into the procedure by the people around them. While it is possible for a woman to withstand this kind of pressure, it is extraordinarily difficult, especially if she is not aware of her legal options and resources available to help her. And afterwards the woman is often left alone, to pick up the pieces and deal with her grief, heartache, and regret. One post-abortive woman begged for advice after going through an abortion at her boyfriend’s insistence, only to find that she felt terrible afterwards, and doesn’t want to live anymore.
The unnamed woman explained in a letter to Wendy, former CNN advice columnist who now writes at DearWendy.com, that she was 25 years old and had previously never been in a serious relationship. But when she met her ex-boyfriend, she fell in love hard. She had difficulties trusting him, though, so she downplayed her own feelings. “His best mate was a big alpha guy who cheated on his girl, and my guy was pretty similar in terms of being popular but with an untrustworthy character,” she said in her letter. “So although we carried on sleeping together and I had strong feelings for him, I said I wasn’t sure. We were like this for six months. He knew I never slept with anyone else during this time, so in my head I guess I kinda thought he realized it wasn’t a casual relationship.”
When she found out she was pregnant, she went to tell him, and says the only thing he said to her was to “get rid of it.” Furious, the woman left saying she never wanted to talk to him again. But she quickly changed her mind, and the next day, agreed to have the abortion. He did not go with her for the procedure, and instead, her mom went to support her. “The whole thing broke my heart,” she said. Her mother told her to let the boyfriend go and she did, but quickly began to worry that she had “pushed away the only person I’d ever loved.”
While she does not disclose how far along in her pregnancy she was, it seems likely that she was still in her first trimester. The most common first trimester abortion procedure is an aspiration abortion, or a dilation and curettage. In this procedure, the abortionist uses a powerful suction catheter, 10 to 20 times stronger than the average vacuum cleaner, to vacuum the preborn child from the womb. A curette is then used to scrape the mother’s uterus to remove any remaining pieces of the baby.
READ: Where can women like Candace get help when they’re being coerced to abort?
About three weeks after the abortion, the woman saw her boyfriend. She said that they talked and she cried, and they kissed — but the very next day, he met another woman and didn’t tell her about it. She was unaware until he began sharing pictures of his new girlfriend on social media. “I questioned him, and he sent me a text saying he was happier than he’d been in ages and that she was changing his life for the better, that he’d gotten what he had wanted all along,” she explained in her letter. “I felt sick. All I know now is that he’s totally in love with her – my housemate has told me. He’s not using it as some way to hurt me back; he literally doesn’t care about me anymore. I feel used and worthless, and it has only been two months since the abortion; I still don’t feel ok about it.”
So after insisting that she have an abortion, her boyfriend almost immediately moved on to a new relationship, and yet, still managed to make her feel that the entire scenario was her fault, leaving her heartbroken, depressed, and suicidal. “His new girlfriend is basically everything I could never be,” she said. “I get that he’s with her and I know I pushed him away, so I do blame myself for a lot. I basically wish I weren’t alive.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization that was formerly the research arm for Planned Parenthood, about half of post-abortive women reported problems with their significant other as well as fear of being a single parent as their reasons for having an abortion. And this often leaves the post-abortive woman devastated, as many of them have reported. Abortion facilities are there to commit the abortion procedure, whether it is the woman’s choice or someone else’s. Women deserve to know that there are resources that can help them if someone is pressuring them to have an abortion.
And for women struggling after being pressured into an abortion, there are organizations that can help them heal. No one should be forced to feel the way this woman does: used, exploited, worthless, replaceable, suicidal. Women and their babies deserve better than this.