By Erin Jobes
FemCatholic recently conducted an anonymous survey asking women about their experiences with abortion. Many women answered regarding abortions they had while others answered regarding someone close to them who had an abortion--even two men answered!
One woman responded, “Not a single person around me told me it would be ok to have the baby. No one showed any confidence in me.”
Another woman spoke of how she was not told of the resources which would have been available to her as a pregnant student.
“After my abortion, I found out that there was special housing and financial aid at my college for ‘non-traditional’ students that would have been available to me. I also could have completed my degree in a modified way... If that information had been readily available, I would have a ten year old today.”
“When you go into the clinic they lie to you about fetal development and then they give you Valium or other conscious sedation while you wait. You are too high to stop it at that point,” another woman stated.
Many women responded with wishes they would have had more support from their friends and families. Some were scared to tell anyone, others were all but forced into getting the abortion.
Still others felt they would be ostracized and shamed for having a child outside of wedlock or choosing to give the child up for adoption.
“... we need a cultural shift in how we speak about sex and pregnancy so that women in these positions don’t feel so ostracized and shamed into trying to undo the situation without anyone knowing.”
When asked about the lasting effects of their abortions, every answer spoke of regret.
One woman simply put, “the regret will always be there. Always.”
However, these women also explained there is healing and peace. Some women spoke of the support they received from husbands, family, priests, and from the example of figures like Dorothy Day, a social activist and Catholic convert. One woman even joined a post-abortive women’s group, where she named her baby, asked him for forgiveness, and promised to hug him in heaven.
This survey shines light on what women truly need, which is love, understanding, and more accurate information and resources. They have expressed abortion was not the answer they were looking for, but it was the only one they could find. By ending the stigmatization of unplanned pregnancy and offering help to mothers in need, women would not feel like abortion is their only choice.