There’s no doubt that abortions are one of the topics that are extremely difficult to talk about. It’s a hard experience that only the one going through it can understand. Nobody, absolutely no one, wants themselves to face the tough decision of whether or not to have an abortion.

However, some women not only went through it but also revealed the things they wish they knew before getting one.

1. “The shame other people make you feel when they find out you’ve had an abortion. I told my friend in confidence and she told multiple people and they shamed me for it. I felt guilty enough going through it and I knew I was doing the right thing.

2. “That you can be sad about it and still know it was the right thing to do.

3. “I wish I had known to line up counselling, it was the right decision but I regret struggling with the amount of sadness I held onto for years. I regret telling my mum, she spilt to the family the next day and I regret telling my sister who posted it on social media and that ended up in us not speaking for 2+ years.

4. “I wish I would have known I could’ve gone to my mom for support. I kept it a secret from literally everyone except my partner, who was absolutely useless throughout the ordeal. I needed someone there for me, instead of going through it basically alone. Which no one should have to do. But it was ten years ago, and I was afraid to tell anyone.

5. “To ignore all the hype and nay-sayers. It’s a really simple medical procedure that some folks try to create a drama about where there isn’t any.

6. “I wish that I’d known how great planned parenthood was at making abortions safe and sane.

7. “That it would not, despite what people told me, break my heart, haunt my dreams or cause me to feel guilt and shame and regret. I was the same person afterwards as I was before. It was not an enormous deal. For many women, it is not the all-encompassing, emotionally tumultuous, life-defining event it is so often made out to be. It was a straightforward procedure carried out by competent professionals and I was and am fine.

8. “That it’s nobody’s business but your own and it’s ok to pick and choose who you want to tell even if it’s family.”

9. “That it really is a medical procedure. I had two young kids at home and didn’t tell anyone so I was miserable and alone after. No regrets at all now, but I wish I had known to ask for help or think about getting help then.”

10. “I wish I had known that I didn’t have to let other people pressure me into it, no matter who they were. *It was the right decision and I can see that, years later but my first abortion my then-partner bullied and pressured me into, as I didn’t want to do it. My second, my parents said I couldn’t live with them unless I aborted (I was staying there temporarily after a failed marriage, mid-twenties). I had a much easier time with that second abortion because I already had a toddler and needed to get on my feet, but I was still sad about it and upset with my parents for giving me that ultimatum. After it was done, though, they shamed me and called me horrible things for “aborting their grandchild”.” 

11. “That the clinic wouldn’t allow my partner (now husband) or friend in with me for support. Both came with me and were told to sit in the clinic car park for hours instead. I have BPD and other MH issues and this was all known to the team at that time but they wouldn’t let me have support. I was stuck in a room with 4 other girls.

12. “That the pill form is basically a medically-induced miscarriage. This means you’ll be able to see a clump of cells or in more advanced cases like my own, the fetus. I thought this way would be less traumatizing but I found it to be exceptionally difficult seeing the fetus after it was expelled.

13. “That it affects the dad too. He’s a good guy, not a manipulator, let me make the choice but also cried a lot and had a deep feeling of loss afterwards.”

14. “I wish I knew that they would not stop if I said stop. I changed my mind the second I saw what they were putting up me. They said it’s too late now, then forced it up to my cervix and then turned the machine on. There was absolutely still time and it was not too late.”

15. “That sometimes the recovery can be hard. I was 14 weeks. My recovery was a month of bleeding, pain medication and the suicidal ideation increased.”

It’s high time that we, as a society, break the entire stigma associated with the word abortion.