Abortion stories: From a ‘sense of relief’ to a ‘broken heart

7 October 27, 2017 By Dang

One in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, yet it is rarely talked about.

For some, making the decision can be traumatic and have a long-lasting effect. For others, it is an empowering, life-changing choice. Three women speak honestly about their experience.

‘I felt relieved, buoyant and really happy’

Louise in London: “When I was 23 I found out I was pregnant. I have never regretted having an abortion. It helped cement my views on not wanting children.

“At first I put my lack of period down to stress. It felt like I had really bad PMT. Then one day at work I had to lie on the floor because I was so tired. I wondered what was wrong with me, and then the penny dropped.

“I took a pregnancy test in my lunch hour. As soon as I saw the positive result I remember violently shaking. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

“A colleague who’d been trying to get pregnant was beaming when I told her. When I said it wasn’t a good thing for me, she was wonderful. She just gave me a hug.

“My partner left me to deal with everything on my own. We never had a proper conversation about the abortion. My closest friends were supportive.

“My GP was matter-of-fact about it. I had two phone interviews with nurses before I went ahead. At no point did they ask me if I thought I was doing the right thing. I was certain. The procedure was excruciatingly painful because I chose not to have an anaesthetic, but it was brief.

“When I left, the stress I’d been feeling in the run-up to the procedure was gone. I felt relieved, buoyant and really happy.”

‘It broke my heart’

Beth (not her real name) lives in England: “I was 17 when I got pregnant and I had an abortion in February.

“I’m pregnant again now and this time I’m going to keep it and I’m excited about it.

“It was one Christmas, everyone was drinking and I just kept being sick. I thought it was because we were drinking but someone joked that I was pregnant and then I found out I was.

“My boyfriend didn’t really say anything about it and let me make the decision about what to do. My mum was very relaxed and calm and said I should do what I wanted to do.

“But a lot of people kept telling me that I was too young and not ready to have a baby. I felt very pressured into having an abortion. It broke my heart.

“I had a breakdown soon afterwards because I was so upset. I felt I’d made the wrong decision but I couldn’t do anything about it.

“My doctor gave me medication and counselling. I have already had depression and anxiety but this just made it worse.

“Now that I’m pregnant again, my mum and my boyfriend think I should make up my own mind.

“My baby is due in April and I’m really looking forward to it.”

‘There needs to be education that abortion is OK’

Harriet in South West England: “It was a bad experience but you learn from these things.

“I was 20 when I had an abortion.

“When I see my friends’ kids or nephews I think that I could have had a three-month-old of my own now.

“When I first found out I was pregnant I was happy and very protective – I thought this is my baby and no one can take it away.

“My best friend’s mum offered to help me and said that I was part of their family but I wanted my own family to say something like that.

“I didn’t have much choice. My dad said it was up to me but he couldn’t support me financially. It was true, he was just being honest. I felt it was selfish for me to have a child. A child should have the best upbringing possible.

“The father didn’t want anything to do with it. I feel angry at him for putting me in the position he did. It was like I was forced into a corner and not able to have this baby because I couldn’t afford it.

“It was very upsetting waking up from the anaesthetic. I was over three months so had to have a surgical procedure. It was awful. I woke up wanting to know what had happened to my body, but also not wanting to know.

“I was crying all the time and now I feel this is what I’ve done to my first child.

“The NHS gave me lots of support and lots of time to reconsider. There needs to be education that abortion is OK and it’s a woman’s choice but there also has to be more support.

“There is so much stigma attached to it.” Read:I Am A Married African Woman; I Do Not Want Kids. This is My Choice

Narrative culled from BBC.com


7 comments on “Abortion stories: From a ‘sense of relief’ to a ‘broken heart

  1. Anonymous

    In certain instances, an abortion should be recommended; incest,rape or with a mother who is ill.
    It is incredibly selfish to use a pregnancy to pin a guy down. Once he shows signs of not wanting to marry you and not wanting the baby, reconsider whether or not you are doing the right thing keeping the baby.

    Repeated abortions is a no no. That is too much guilt for any sane woman to handle.

    All sexually active ladies should install an apo on their phone to know when it is safe or not to have unprotected sex.


  2. Anonymous

    I found out I was pregnant this year around July and at first I was scared and really worried and immediately went online to check for tips on abortion. Then after speaking to about two friends I decided to keep the baby; but at that time none of family members knew about my pregnancy because I decided to keep it a secret. Later on I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore and I had to tell my sister’s because they were starting to suspect and by that time I was 13 weeks gone; so when I told them we decided I had to have an abortion because I couldn’t tell my parents, I was disappointed and scared they would disown me and all that…i first did the pill insertion but it didn’t work and I thought that was a sign from God that I should keep the baby but i later had to do a D&C because i just had to(i dont want to say i didn’t have a choice because i did, I could have kept the child but there was no money and am just 19 and still in school)…the bottom line is I had an abortion and honestly from the bottom of my heart I regret it so much and there’s always a constant reminder of what I did everyday…i don’t hate my sisters and as much as i hate the guy that impregnated me I wish him well in life and I pray God forgives me
    Abortion isn’t something you should do if you are not mentally, physically and emotionally ready….i will never forget all the tears and all.


  3. Anonymous

    Hmmm. This only makes me pensively sad as it usually does when I think I should have had a wonderful 8yr old now. I first got pregnant at 19. It wasn’t one of those careless event. He promised quite a sum of money which i needed for my mum’s hospital bill. He used a CD,which I suspected burst but was ashamed to ask. Found out I was pregnant less than a month after. Couldn’t tell him cos i know he would not only want me to keep it but could even go see my family about it as he had tried severally with his wife for years &had just one child after. I also didn’t have money for the abortion(the said money never came in full too) and was scared to death, so I went to a chemist where I was given several unknown drugs(even a postinor 4) but my baby never gave up. I drank alcohol so much ,still nothing. Eventually confided in a friend who took me to a Dr for an abortion. Nasty Dr began hitting on me. I didn’t have the required money but wanted it to be over with, so submitted my phone as collateral. I woke up to all my mess,all the guilt and wept profusely. For some reason,I kept calling mother Mary. The next day was one of the worst of my life. The guilt was so huge, the pain racking straight to my womb, I feel that guilt and loss yearly. That baby fought for life & I fought to end it. I am not proud of myself. I pray for forgiveness from my baby. I pray for forgiveness from God. I pray I’m blessed to be a mother again,ready to love my baby.


  4. Anonymous

    i have had an abortion twice in 2014 and 16. it was a very scaring experience, i regret having it but i felt i wasnt ready for the babies. the first one came as a surprise cos i hadnt even had sex yet, my bf jst played around, (was in final year) and when i got home, i didnt see my period, i felt like dying when i found out and even attempted suicide, my parent are pastors so all i thot abt was the disgrace, i made a decision to abort and the night to the doctor’s place was the longest, well i had it, i felt relieved but the guilt was always eating me up. the second time was an act of carelessness, i even took contraceptives but i guess i took it late, i feel bad everyday when i remember, the guilt and regret can make u go into depression. I pray each day for forgivesness and never to have complications when im ready to have a babied, i pray the littles souls(my babies) have forgiven me, i pray God has forgiven me too. I never advise anyone to have one cos of the regrets and guilt after. I have never seen a lady who gave birth out of wedlock and complained about the child(they always end up being the best part of thier lives). The abortion taught me to never judge anybody and i now av a sincere admiration to every lady who got pregnant out of wedlock and kept it, you all are courageous.


  5. Anonymous

    Just like the story is for me,i once had and abortion when i was 19,since then i have been playing very safe,,now i am pregnant again at age 26 and the so guy is not ready for it,,you know as a nigerian,i had to consult my pastor if i can go ahead with the abortion again,he said i shouldnt try it due to diff things i am facing.. At this age i wish is for someone that will appreciate it…. Now i want to keep the baby,,,,may God help me and give the strength


  6. Jay

    The hardest thing I’ve ever done and the biggest regret. I had been feeling sick for a few days but that was nothing new because I’m always getting sick. But then when I was also patiently waiting for my cycle to start I started to get nervous. After days passing and my cycle still hasn’t started I decided totake a pregnancy test so on the way home from work I picked one up from the groicweh store but decided to wait to take it until the next morning.

    The next morning came along, I got up to get ready for work and took the test. While waiting for the results I started to go about my day just like any other, and then I saw the test was positive. My heart instantly dropped. The whole way headed to work I felt as if I was in a fog and couldn’t hear a thing. I got to work and a co worker could tell I was out of it and made a joke about me not having on make up. And I just said “I’m pregnant”. I fall onto a table in the front of our store shaking, crying, trembling. Everything hit me at now that I actually said the words out loud. All day long I was in a state of confusion. But decided I needed to take another test. Knowing me, I messed it up somehow. So the next morning I took two more test, both also said positive. This all happened a week before my birthday.

    The person I was pregnant by and I weren’t talking at the time, we had an on again off again type of relationship. So when I reached out I think he was just as shocked as I. Once we finally spoke he made it cry clear that abortion was the only option unless I wanted to be a single parent. I was crushed. How could someone even say that who you once loved? I made it clear that I didn’t not agree I’m abortions.

    We went back and forth for days. At one point I thought he gave up and realized I wanted to keep it. We began hanging out again, having normal conversations, him checking on me and not even bringing up the pregnancy much. Until one day he asked my schedule for the up coming week and TOLD me he was scheduling me an appointment. And I realized it was all just a front from him.

    I felt all alone. Not knowing what to do. Trying to weigh out my options, I finally gave in and told my mother I was pregnant. She had me at 16 years old and was a single parent of 4. I needed to talk to her because she’s been in my shoes. She was stunned and supportive at first. She tried to help weigh out my options of keeping the child, adoption, abortion, being a single parent. And I remember apologizing, I felt like I let my family down. And she said there is nothing to apologize or be ashamed of. I would be shocked by the amount of support that would be behind me. At this point I kind of decided I’ll jisg be a single parent and do this.

    The next day I woke up and told him my decision and made it clear you don’t have to be in the child’s life. He brought up how life would change forever, the likelyhood of me finishing college, living in a state with no family at all. I then started to think about my childhood and growing up seeing my mothers struggle which still happens now 23 years after the fact. I want to be able to give my child the world and not have to struggle. After crying and crying I just said “you win” and scheduled an appointment for an abortion.

    The morning of the abortion I felt sick to my stomach but was trying to remain strong. As the gps was giving directions and I realized we were getting closer I started to tear up, I fought so hard to hold back the tears. We sat in the car for a few minutes and then he asked me “are you ready?” And I said “I guess so”. We walk up to the building and i go to grab the handle to the door and I break down. I feel like I’m having a panic attack and can’t stop crying. Is this the right thing to do?

    Inside the lobby was extremely full and I remember thinking to myself , it’s only 8am this is crazy. I filed our all my paper work, still trying to hold back tears. One of the documents asked if you would like to hear and see the sonogram? I of course checked no. The called my name back and I took the walk of shame (at least that’s what it felt like for me). I’m waiting on another area of women of different ages some making jokes of their story others sobbing. I go back to have the sonogram and I’m looking opposite of the screen of course and then the lady says “you’re 9 weeks and 1 day.” I went back into the area of ladies and was trying my hardest to breathe and not let a tear drop out of my eye. An older lady ask “honey are you okay?” And I didn’t know what to do or say so I shook my head yes and no and just started crying. She asked me am ja her this is what I wanted and I told her I didn’t know. Life was already hard tk take care of myself. And she said “it may be hard but not impossible”

    Waiting to be called back into the room I tried to think of everything calming to clear my mind. A sign on the wall said “inhale courage exhale fear” . The called my name, I go back into the ro and lay on the table to be put to sleep. My heart rate was up way too high and a nurse told me she couldn’t begin until I calmed down and I started crying more. She asked me am
    I sure this is what I wanted to do, it’s not too late. And I said it’s what I have to do. She told me them from that day forward I need to use this and accomplish everything I want and need to. She doesn’t know it, but she is the reason I started to feel some comfort.

    I wake up and everything is over. I go home and go straight back to sleep.

    I returned to work two days later trying to seem normal. And it just happens that my first customer of the day was a pregnant lady shopping for a dress to wear in her pictures. I tried helping her and asking her questions. She just kept going on how this is the happiest time of her life. And I slowly walked away and started to sob.

    That was 5 months ago now. And everyday i think about it. What life would be like today. I regret the decision I made. I live in fear of people knowing what I went through as if I should be ashamed. After reading this post it Motivatede and made me realize abortion is okay. Yes, I still do regret my decision however I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders by expressing this. It’s the first time I’ve fwlt relieved in 5 months.

    Thank you al for sharing your stories. You have no idea how it has just helped me.


  7. Anonymous

    I had my first abortion in 2010 ,I was just a fresher in school,sincerely my then bf dint penetrate, he just played around and boom… I was on a 2nd semester break and I was glowing and adding up unnecessarily, people kept commenting on how fresh I was looking lol and I thought it was rest,until I started having morning sickness,I talked to an elderly friend who told me about test strips ,I got 2 ran a test twas positive.. Ah Mogbe I went back and bought strips worth 500naira again and used up all,twas like for every strip that showed positive a hammer was hit on my head..

    Bhet I dint have sex na,how would I explain this to anybody and they’d believe me??I always hid in my room to avoid my mum from scrutinizing me.
    The dude became invisible after I told him,…I was 8 weeks gone when I had the abortion.. I literally passed out cos the pain from the D and C .
    The baby was removed but I can’t help the guilt,for over 2 monyhs after that i cry whenever i see a little baby..its over 7 years and whenever I see a child in that age range thoughts come back.

    We all have choices I made mine,I still have regrets but This is Life..



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