5 Honest, Personal Stories From Women Who Have Gotten Abortions

This week, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. Known as a "moderate swing vote," Kennedy’s involvement in maintaining core rights for women and LGBTQ+ individuals was paramount. Upon his exit, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision to uphold a woman’s right to obtain a legal, pre-viability abortion, is in critical danger. No matter your political affiliations, we invite you to read five stories from women who have had abortions. Knowledge is power, after all. 

Deciding whether or not you're ready to have a kid is never easy—it's made even more difficult by decades of controversy, political rhetoric, socioeconomic preparedness, limited resources, and even medical circumstances. And during a time when activism and female empowerment stand at the forefront of our media consumption, the emotional and highly polarizing discussion about abortion often eclipses the details of the process itself and the psychological impact of making that decision. As a society, we are massively uneducated about the procedures, allowing the conversation to vacillate from facts to fiction in mere moments. So much so that Black Mirror wrote a wildly misleading and medically inaccurate abortion plotline as part of the fourth season—the episode confused the abortion pill (a series of pills meant to terminate a pregnancy—the first blocks the body's progesterone, while the others induce miscarriage) with the Plan B pill (an emergency contraceptive that temporarily stops the release of an egg from your ovary to prevent pregnancy).

Without a proper understanding, we're all vulnerable to propaganda, fear, and misinformation. I can't imagine how many people had to approve that script before the episode aired. Tiptoeing around the specifics regarding the choice to terminate a pregnancy will only perpetuate what is already an incubator for intense shame, guilt, secrecy, and dissension.

With that in mind, I reached out to people who have experienced an abortion to share their stories, each one diverse in reasoning, age, and takeaways. Read their thoughtful words below.

Please note that sensitive content is ahead. 

Ed. note: Names have been changed.

To learn more about reproductive health, contact your local Planned Parenthood or make use of its resources online.