…I would tell them the truth and hold my head up high, because I am not alone, I do not regret it, and I should not have to feel ashamed or be stigmatized.

by Pia

January 2, 2018

I loved him from the day I met him, there was this connection between us .. that was nearly three years ago now. We recently broke up.

He lived in one country and I in another, so we spent a lot of time chatting online, then finally met up again and became an item. A few months later I found out I was pregnant. We were still long-distance. The time it happened, the condom slipped. He had been having some problems, but so far it had never been a problem; he couldn’t perform, he just exited me, fine, no bother. I wasn’t on the pill. I had been on the pill for many years before and when I had finally gotten off it, I felt so free, so emotionally well. I didn’t want to be on it again and all other birth protection methods have some side effects too, so we thought the condoms would be fine. After the condom slipped, we had unprotected sex another two times, because we thought, oh well, that feels good, and I’m going to take the morning-after pill anyway the next day. Neither of us (at age 26 and 31) had ever previously thought about abortion and contraception much, so we didn’t know that the morning-after pill is only at a 80% chance of preventing pregnancy. We thought it was 99% like the pill. We will never know which of the three times made me fall pregnant. Maybe nothing would ever have happened if it had only been that one time. Maybe. Or maybe it would have.


Plan B failed.


I suspected I was pregnant. It may sound silly, but my body felt different. I did the test. I was pregnant. I was horrified, devastated, scared, ashamed. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. These kind of things only happen to ‘other’ women. But it was me. It happened to me.

I knew he didn’t want it. I knew I didn’t want it. We had other plans for our future. In addition, he had depression and he would not have been able to cope with pregnancy (his own words, and I believe that too). Myself I have never been super emotionally stable either, and we didn’t feel we could do it. I called the clinic. Alone. Because he was in another country. I did the appointment. Alone. Told him he didn’t have to come. So he didn’t, when secretly of course I had hoped he would come regardless, no matter the costs for the plane ticket. Turned out they couldn’t perform the abortion yet, because they couldn’t yet see if the pregnancy was in the uterus or outside. So I had to come back. Again I told him he didn’t have to come. Again I hoped he would.Again he didn’t.


I told one friend about it. She came to my flat after I returned from the clinic. She was compassionate. So was the clinic. They were very kind and understanding. I had telephone counseling a few times.


My then-partner and I continued our lives and I spiraled into depression and a deep low that lasted well over a year. About ten months after it happened, we got to live together in another country, until we broke up (for other reasons) a few weeks ago. I feel the abortion overshadowed everything. I feel I deserve all the bad luck that came our way. I feel shame.


I do not regret the decision. I believe it was the right decision. We were not and still would not be ready to be parents. But the stigma sticks. Not many people know. I don’t dare tell my parents, though I crave their support. I still feel shame. I still feel God doesn’t want me. We’ve never been that close, but close enough. Since it happened, I haven’t really prayed much, because I don’t feel I am allowed to. Reading the church’s side of this topic, God only wants you if you regret. I do not regret.


I am grateful for campaigns like this. I realize my story is very long and perhaps won’t be read much, but it’s good to add my voice to this campaign. Because whilst I am still suffering from my emotions and the stigma, it is mainly the stigma that makes me suffer. I do not regret my decision. I wish I had the courage to really shout out about my abortion, like so many other brave women do. I wish I was past the shame stage. I wish I could move on faster.


And still, I do not regret it. It’s our lives. There’s so many problems in this world, so many messed up people. We may have gotten it right, but the chances are we wouldn’t have. It was an ca 8 weeks old fetus, not a human being. We mistreat so many other real beings, be it humans or animals. This was a blob of cells. It wasn’t life yet.


I am sad that I don’t feel (yet) that I can talk about my abortion with my friends, because I am scared of their reactions. But I know that if someone asked me, I would tell them the truth and hold my head up high, because I am not alone, I do not regret it, and I should not have to feel ashamed or be stigmatized. If there is a God, then he will forgive me too. The church may not, but God may. The relationship broke up. This was punishment enough. (And part of me feels this is why it broke up)


Let’s keep talking, so that all the women like me, who are still working through their emotions, don’t have to feel alone and ashamed.

Let’s shout out about our abortions, because all we did was take our own healthcare decisions. I think it would be more irresponsible to bring an unwanted child into this world than to have an abortion. It wasn’t a child yet. It was a blob of cells that had the potential to become one. Like every single sperm that comes out of a penis. But like not every sperm is meant to be, these cells weren’t meant to be either.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!