• Fri, Mar 9 2012

My Abortion Was The Best Decision Of My Life

Some of us are baby people; some of us are dog people.

I was 11 weeks along when my gynecologist told me I was pregnant. I had been on The Pill since I was 18 years old and my period, since being on The Pill was non-existent. When it never came in January, then not again in February, it never crossed my mind that something wasn’t right. I had gone months before without a “period” — a quick splotch on my undies was usually all it was. Even before I was on The Pill (and after) I’m one of those women who is lucky enough to never have a menstruation that lasts more than two or three days.

The week before I went to the gynecologist and heard the news I had met my family in Punta Cana to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. I missed my plane at JFK. When I finally arrived in the Dominican Republic it was close to midnight and the only cabbie in sight was someone who fancied himself a psychic — something he told me within the first five minutes of me being in his taxi. Within the next 15 minutes, he told me I was pregnant, although I told him he was crazy. He also asserted that I had “the glow” of a woman who was, to use his words, “at the end of her first trimester.” Admittedly, I had noticed that I was somewhat puffy in the lower stomach, but I chalked it up to too much beer and pizza; and it didn’t help that the fella in my life at the time was a bartender. I don’t need to mention that the beer was free-flowing.

I told my sister what the cabbie said and we both laughed it off. When I returned to New York a few days later, I also mentioned it to my acupuncturist who shared her own story of getting pregnant by mistake. She said the dead giveaway was sore breasts. I laughed nervously when she said this. I had been sleeping and showering with a bra on for the last couple weeks, but assumed it was extreme PMS because, although more painful than in the past, it wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary. Since my insurance from my job had finally kicked in and I needed an annual pelvic exam anyway, I made an appointment.

The night before, mostly out of curiosity, I took an ept test — four to be exact — and the results were 50/50. I took a poll of my friends who had both been pregnant and had only suffered a scare, and again the conclusions when it came to home tests, were a bit wacky. I told myself there was no way I could possibly be pregnant. For starters, I drank too much, smoked too many cigarettes, too much pot and had also dabbled in a few other recreational items. There was also the fact that I had not experienced any morning sickness. Granted, I had been eating Honey Nut Cheerios for the last couple weeks because I had craved it like a mad woman to the point that my mother had to send me some from NH when my bodega ran out, but still it didn’t seem weird. I was prone to obsessive food modes, although in the past it wasn’t to the extreme that I would murder someone if I didn’t get my Cheerios.

So when the doctor told me that I was indeed pregnant and it looked as though I was about 10 to 11 weeks along, I wasn’t completely surprised. As I lay there with my feet in stirrups, the tears pooled in my eyes and trickled down my cheeks where they made a home in the shallow part of my ear canal. When the doctor asked me if I knew, I explained my suspicion, the Dominican cabbie, and the Honey Nut Cheerios — all of which could have been a coincidence. But in my case, they were not. After I got dressed, the nurse politely explained to me my options. She also told me that due to how far along I was, these decisions would need to be made sooner rather than later.

The first person I called was my mother who, and I actually knew this before I called her, was far more rational about it all than I was. Next, I called my sister who, being more like my mother than my father, was also rational, logical and matter of fact as to what needed to be done. I then called “The Guy” (whose name we’ll never utter) and told him. Since we were in a casual situation, I feared the response you see in After School Specials: “Well, how do you know it’s mine?” But he never asked that, and honestly, we both knew I was too smitten for there to be anyone else in the picture besides him. He was sweet, understanding and open to whatever I “chose,” but, as both my mother and sister had already pointed out, I really needed to consider what the “keeping it” choice would entail.

I had been in NYC for almost a full year when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, my abortion would fall on my one year anniversary in the city, not by choice but because it was the earliest they could get me in to see the doctor. So I’ll always have that date ingrained in my memory no matter what I try to do about it: March 27th. Like all New Yorkers I had come to the city with a dream, and although then, at 25 years old that dream was still faraway, I wasn’t about to give up on it and move home to my parents’ house to become a mom. There was also the fact that I’m not even sure if I want to have a baby ever, and the lifestyle that I had been living wasn’t exactly the best, body and health wise, for a baby to have been able to evolve without some sort of major issues that would affect it throughout its life.

It was never about the word “abortion,” or what it actually means. I know it means different things to different people. Having been raised in a very liberal family, abortion was a fact of life and you either supported a woman’s right to choose or you did not. To me, people are not pro-life or pro-abortion; but they are pro-choice or anti-choice. I’m not condemning those who view the issue otherwise, I’m just saying this is how I always saw it.

However, with this new knowledge about myself, I felt differently. Not in regards to abortion, but in regards to myself. I was all of a sudden dirty. I was a slut. I was disgusting. I was this person who, for the few days before my “procedure,” was not alone in her skin but carrying something unwanted, unloved and a burden to my life and my future. I hated myself for feeling that way. I hated myself for thinking something that was part of me was so repulsive. I tortured myself by Googling what a fetus looked like at 10 weeks. Did it have hands? Did it have eyes? Were the pro-lifers right with their fucking “Precious Feet” pin?

The nights leading up to my abortion, I’d lay in my bed with my hands on my stomach apologizing. I may be undecided on the baby front, but just in case I long ago picked out a name for a possible li’l nugget (from an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story of course), and that’s how I addressed the cells within me. No matter how much I tortured myself with pro-life propaganda, it was all still just cells to me. And although I consulted with friends who had had abortions and those who had been in the same predicament and decided to keep the baby, I knew what I was going to do. I knew that I was going to terminate the pregnancy.

It was the Saturday of Easter weekend. My mother couldn’t make it to the city because how does one explain to my Catholic grandmother that Easter is canceled because my mom needs to run to NYC for her daughter’s abortion? My sister was stuck in Colorado because of one of those freak mid-March snowstorms and my roommate and one of my best friends, Thal, had totally checked out of the situation because she was too emotional too deal with it. But my college roommate and one of my best friends in the world, someone who on a daily basis (like Thal) puts up with my fucking drama and shit, Bess, drove the 12+ hours in a snowstorm from Pittsburgh to be at my side. Not many friends will do that, if any.

So that Saturday, after having not eaten for the 24 hours as they requested so I wouldn’t vomit when I was put under, Bess, “The Guy” and I headed to the clinic. I was put in a room with another girl who was there for the same thing and waited my turn. When my name was called, my blood was taken. I learned two things that day: I have “rolling” veins and I have Rh negative blood. As someone who’s quite consistent in getting tattoos, I’ve never been ideal blood-giving material, so I never knew my “status.” Basically, as I was informed that day, most people are Rh positive, so if an Rh negative person conceives with an Rh positive person, the antibodies and all that (yes, I’m not being scientific at all, as it’s all a hazy memory) will collide and the baby could possibly abort itself resulting in a miscarriage if a shot isn’t given to even out these differences. In other words my baby, had I decided to keep it, may have ended up doing itself in anyway. There was mild relief in knowing that my decision was just beating my body to the punch, but it didn’t take away from how I viewed myself: disgusting. [tagbox tag="abortion"]

The procedure was quick and without any issues. As I laid on my back, the doctor told me to count backward from 10 (promising me I’d never reach five, although I swear I would) and before I reached seven, I was out. I awoke confused and unaware of what was happening. My initial response, just like after I had been knocked out to have my wisdom teeth removed was to cry, so I did. It was during that cry that I heard a nurse say: “I guess she wanted to keep the baby.” She was wrong.

Yes, I wish I was never put in the position to have to choose between an abortion or motherhood but I was, and I know in my heart I chose right. My abortion is something that never really crosses my mind at all, and in the brief moments that it does, I feel almost guilty that I don’t feel guilty about the decision I made seven years ago. Occasionally when I’m out, as I was last night telling a friend about my post for today, I stop and think: “Fuck. If I had chosen otherwise, I would not be here at the moment.” At the moment last night, I was at a cafe in Paris. I had just suffered a necessary and deliciously inspiring heartbreak that would not have happened had I been a mother of a seven-year-old; nor would I write for The Gloss or live in NYC or have my Hubbell. Hubbell, my fiercely protective Jack Russell, was a gift from my parents as proof that I am capable of loving something more than I love myself. I realize to a non-pet owner that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true for me: Hubbell is my baby. Hubbell is the age my child would be this year had I not had my abortion. I also went so far as to tattoo Hubbell’s name on my arm as a reminder that sometimes the most difficult decisions end up being the best.

I wrote about my abortion back in the day for myself as a way to work through it, although it was never quite necessary because I had made peace with it long before it happened. I’m not ashamed at all about it. Maybe it’s because I read too much Sylvia Plath as a kid, but I believe in being completely honest and confessional in my words, and anyone who has read my stuff on The Gloss or in other place can attest to this: I firmly believe in candor and that life is a shared journey. Maybe some intimate things should not be up for grabs, but other things, items in which others can learn and grow, are important lessons to put out in the open. In other words, my reasoning for writing about this is because if it makes one woman feel less alone in her own abortion, than I’ve done my job.

What it comes down to is I had an abortion. It was not a decision I wanted to make, but hell, it was the best decision of my life… and this is coming from someone who is the queen of bad decisions, so I know a good one when I see it. And my life, in all its flaws and indiscretions, is proof of it. In other words, I would not have it any other way.

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  • Sadako

    Don’t they determine whether you’re pregnant through a blood test? Why were you in stirrups when the doctor told you?

    • sara

      She writes that she got the test during her annual pelvic exam.

    • Jenn

      She said she did it with her routine pelvic exam, so the doctor probably just told her before after the exam.

    • Sadako

      Right, but it takes time to get the results back. If she went in for her regular exam and also wanted to know if she was pregnant, they’d do a test, but she wouldn’t know the results while she was there.

    • Amanda Chatel

      @Sadako

      I was far enough along that they could see that I was pregnant… 10 or 11 weeks, isn’t like a week or two.

  • sara

    “My abortion is something that never really crosses my mind at all, and in the brief moments that it does, I feel almost guilty that I don’t feel guilty about the decision…”

    You story is similar to mine!! The difficult emotional part for me was not the abortion, it was reconciling the fact that I actually didn’t/don’t feel any guilt, and I’m still a loving, kind. caring person. I’ve had one other friend who trusted me enough to share the same thing about her abortion.

    And of course I’m not trying to dismiss people who are more conflicted about their experience. But, thank you for being brave enough to put your story out there. I’m sure you will get backlash.

  • Kristina

    Because I, like sara, worry that you will get a lot of backlash for this, I’d like to put it out there now that this story was moving and heartfelt and exactly why I am pro-choice ALL the way. You are a brave person for acknowledging that a child born to you at that time would have had a hard go of it. And even braver for putting it out here. I love reading your crazy dating stories because they are well-written and hilarious, but this is even better written and tremendously touching.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Honestly, like you and Sara mentioned, I am somewhat fearful of the backlash that will come with this post. I think this might be the last time I check the comments… for my own sanity!

      But like I said, I’m not ashamed and if it helps one woman feel less alone, any backlash will have been worth it.

  • Lindsey

    Great article! You seem so brave and open to not only be able to tell ALL the people while it was happening, but also to post it here. You’re also lucky to have such a supportive family.

  • Cassie

    Oh my god your dog is SO CUTE!!!

    Ahem…now that we’ve got that out of the way…thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been fortunate enough never to have gotten pregnant and I’ve always wondered if I would still stick to my guns if I did. After all, the whole world is supposed to change when you ~*become a mother*~ right? At least this is what everyone keeps telling me. I’m glad you’re happy with your decision.

  • jo

    Thank you for sharing your story. I actually was in a very similar situation and decided to keep my baby (10 weeks today).

    I remember deciding between the two choices: motherhood or my normal life — and I remember how incredibly conflicted I was.

    No matter what, its a tough decision and one that only you can decide. Thank you for sharing this other side of the picture — that life goes on and that no women WANTS to be in this situation regardless of what choice they make.

    • Amy

      I always wonder if pro-choice mothers will change their tune after they give birth, and it’s refreshing to hear you continue to support other women who chose (or may choose) differently than you. Thank you for your understanding.

    • Goldie

      @Amy, you might be interested to know that 40% of the women who have abortions already have children. I was surprised to learn that. I really don’t understand why abortion (and contraception) is never discussed as a family issue since for so many birth control is about allowing people to control the size of their families and meet their existing children’s needs. Why do these debates always rest on whether or not these women are villains?

  • macalny

    I too feel no guilt, only gratefulness for the option and freedom with which to make the decision, over my own abortion. I don’t doubt for one second that it was the right decision for me, and I’m someone who has always wanted children and thinks she still wants a family. At the time there was not one moment of hesitation when my pregnancy was confirmed; almost two years later I would not change anything about my actions. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing others to hear their own thoughts and feelings echoed by others.

    Just a few technical points – I can’t help it, working in health care as I do – to clarify:
    1) Yes, the author was having a pelvic exam, but if an early pregnancy is suspected/confirmed, a sonogram would be performed to date the pregnancy. In the first 10-11 weeks of pregnancy, the sonogram is done vaginally rather than (or in addition to) abdominally.
    2) Roughly 10-15% of the population is Rh- and plenty of women have babies with a man who is Rh+. If you’re Rh- and want a baby, don’t assume you will always have a miscarriage. It just means you get a shot, during pregnancy, called Rhogam, which is a manufactured protein that prevents your body from attacking the pregnancy like an infection. When an Rh- woman is pregnant for the first time, even with an Rh+ man, she likely does not have antibodies to his blood antigens and might not have complications. Once her body is sensitized to Rh antigens, however, her immune system will respond to the pregnancy – any pregnancy with any Rh+ man – and this is very dangerous to the fetus.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Yes, they did inform me in the future, if I did decide to have children, I would need that shot. But thank you for clarifying something that I didn’t understand fully at the time and have always been a bit unsure of!

    • Pix

      I was also surprised that the nurse would assume that you crying when waking from anesthesia meant you wanted to keep the baby. My understanding is that outbursts of emotion (anything from fighting to crying) are not terribly uncommon when waking. I’ve woken from general anesthesia crying. The only thing they took from me was sediment and tiny stones from my bladder. I can guarantee you I didn’t want to keep that…

      Like the other commenters so far, I’m impressed with your willingness to share your story and your true feelings about everything even though it leaves you open to some extremely negative comments. It was honest. And I love honesty.

  • Sil

    Thank you for sharing! really touching and important to share

  • Halle

    If you want to read more pro-choice abortion stories go to imnotsorry.net.
    Thank you for sharing your story with honesty! More people need to talk about their abortions in order to stop people from viewing abortion as shameful.

  • Amy

    Thank you so much for telling your story! It is beyond wonderful to know that I am not the only woman who feels no regret about that decision. I relate to so much of your story here. Thank you again!

  • MR

    At first I wasn’t sure if you wanted to hear a guy’s story – but I guess that was kind of dumb. Yeah, one of my college girlfriends got pregnant by me. I stood by her, and we decided to wait and think it through a little, and then she had a miscarriage less than two months in. So she didn’t have to make a decision. I would have backed her either way.

  • Miscarriage survivor

    I am a mother and a miscarriage survivor. I miscarried my first child at five weeks. The physical pain and mental anguish of the experience proved to me that this clump of cells was something more, not the mere shedding of something formational. It was a tansformational experience that made me think hard about abortion.

    I think it is terribly sad that educated women rally around abortion, as does this author, as an act of kindness or self-discovery. Is this generation so irretrievably self-involved that the decision to have sex, a procreative act when it comes down to it, does not require responsibility?

    • LM

      I am sorry you suffered the loss of a baby that you wanted. That must be incredibly difficult and hard to get over. But shaming “educated women” for making the choice to NOT become mothers is counterproductive and judgmental. Clearly you know what it feels like to be in a situation which you have no control over and no choice – would you will that on another woman? Is it better for a child to be born to a mother who does not want to be a mother?

      And clearly the author WAS behaving responsibly – she was on hormonal contraceptives at the time. I don’t understand how anyone can read this post and think that she made this decision lightly. Men and politicians are doing enough right now to take away the rights of women – let’s please not start tearing each other down.

    • Lindsey

      I’m sorry that you had to lose a pregnancy. I think the mental anguish had to do with the fact that you WANTED it, and had hopes and affection towards it. That doesn’t mean it’s a person. The author didn’t have any of the hopes or feelings for her fetus. Just dread.

      ALSO. Amanda, you showered with your bra on? What? If my boobs hurt that much I would be on WebMD in a second.

    • Amanda Chatel

      @Lindsey

      I learned long ago that looking to WebMD for information always ended up in that I was dying from something. Besides, I’m prone to very sore breasts when I’m PMSing… but yes, looking back it’s now obvious it was way worse than usual. But I guess denial is very powerful.

    • ThatKrazy

      Your personal history does not give you the right to judge hers. That’s incredibly self-centered.

    • Ellymoemoe

      I was experiencing infertility issues which were causing me a lot of pain around the time one of my friends got an abortion. Did it affect my level of support in her decision? No. Considering the unique situation she was in, I would certainly not have traded places with her

  • Liz

    You are very brave to share this. Thank you.

  • MM

    You’re great, Amanda. Keep writing!

  • jmh

    my second one is schedule for two weeks from now. i had a (not so mini) freak-out last night along the lines of

    • denny

      Oh, my god — is two weeks a normal wait time?? I’ve never had an abortion and just assumed that they could be scheduled next-day, or at least within a few days. I couldn’t imagine having to wait two weeks — that sounds absolutely awful. I would be freaking out, too. I hope me saying this doesn’t make things harder for you; I really am curious and I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you!

  • jmh

    (I keep fucking up the comment box so this is a way shorter version of the story i’ve tried to type out three times)

    Thanks for writing this — exactly the sort of “you’re not the only one” reminder i needed today, two weeks before THAT day.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Exactly my reason for writing this: you, jmh, are not alone.

  • cathy villalobos

    Really!!!! educatiional? options? She didnt dread the person growing inside her!!! its was the responsibility it intailed and how her life was gonna change from then on!!! I too was faced with that decison, and felt the same way when i found out i was pregnant and didnt want it!!!!
    But i had HER!
    Life is somehting not to be played with yet the life of another human being. Since her life was already a Mess!!! the baby might have grounded her!
    Anyways!!! theres nothing educated about being selfish and murdering!! How ever u wanna see, oh n so u kno Karma is a bitch!!

    • Amanda Chatel

      Um, I’m not sure why I’m responding to this, because I usually don’t respond to people who can’t spell. I also don’t believe in karma, nor do I believe that abortion is murder.

      But thanks for the feedback! If that’s what it was… but like I said, I can’t understand much of what you tried to convey.

    • Sabs

      Why would you troll someone else’s story? She obviously doesn’t believe abortion is murder, nor selfish, so those points don’t really mean anything. You chose a different path, but that doesn’t mean you should judge others for the path that they chose. There is no way to say the baby might have grounded her. That is just an opinion. Like as in saying the baby might have also ruined her life.

      @Amanda- thank you for sharing your story. This really speaks to all women who have felt the same way you do, and is appreciated.

    • Amelia

      I guess you didn’t read the part about the blood types…

    • Ash

      Since you’re okay being so completely judgmental, please allow me to share how I view you, Cathy….
      I think, based on your poor spelling and attitude, that you had children far too young, didn’t get an education, (great spelling, by the way) and live on government money to pay for YOUR lifestyle.
      Congratulations on not terminating your pregnancy or giving your baby up for adoption – you’ve made yet another person to DEPEND on the contributing members of society.
      l’ll probably be paying for YOUR LIFE and YOUR KIDS because of your CHOICE with MY education and lack of children.

      I could be totally wrong. But hey, if we’re going to judge, let’s do it.

      Thanks for sharing, Amanda – your story is one that needs to be told.

    • cathy Villalobos

      So the blood type situation makes her feel better… ok good for her. Trolling someone’s story? No, just giving my honest opinion just like the rest of you. And i can tell u dont believe in anything Amanda. But i guess not believeing in anything is the easy way to go, right?
      Like i said selfish. If u can have sex freely then u should b able to attend to the consequenses. A life is still that, A life! no one will be able to replace it. We women have the gift of life but lately its being used more like the gift and right to murder. Say what You want. You may be child free but your not guilt free.
      Hope u understood that one.

  • Alyssa

    Amanda,
    I don’t think I could thank you enough for this article. I had pretty much the exact same experience. I started crying during the paragraph where you talk about how “dirty” you felt, because that was exactly the same feeling I had. I love children, and it will be the best moment of my life when I can become a mother, but I was not ready or able to support a child when this happened to me. I was being safe, I had been on birth control for years, something just went wrong and I ended up in this horrible position. I felt so torn. I’m definitely pro-choice, but at the same time I just felt like a dirty, horrible person. I know I made the right choice. I would have ended up on welfare and myself, my partner, and my potential child would have had a very rough life. I want to be a mother when I choose to be, not when an accident forces me to be. I know I did what was right for myself, but I think about it everyday. I too have the date engraved in my mind. I still cry about it sometimes, and it’s not that I regret what I did, but moreso because it’s sad to been put at such a crossroad.
    This article really meant a lot for me, thank you so much for your bravery for posting it. I’m sorry that some people cannot understand or be tolerable of your decisions.

  • D.

    Abortion breaks my heart. It almost brings tears to my eyes and leaves me with a pain in my chest to have to think of a human life as an inconvenience. I know in my heart and my soul I was born to be a mother, but I am pro-choice. No offense to anybody, but we can’t put ourselves into anybody else’s life and make their decisions for them when it comes to things like this. The author of this article opened up to her readers in a way that deserves to be commended. It is honest, and it is real. I couldn’t have an abortion, but you did. Do I judge you negatively? No. It isn’t my place, and I was never in your position, so how could I possibly know where you are coming from? Amanda Chatel, you’re one of my favorite writers on here and I pray for your continued strength. :)

  • Carrie Penwell

    Thank you for having the courage to tell your story. I do not want children and I have happily chosen to be a dog mother like you. It is the best feeling in the world! I am happy for you and Hubbell.

  • brittany

    that nurse in the room with you acted so unprofessional. why the need to say something like that?

    thank you for writing this. having an abortion is one of those things that I just can’t imagine what it is like to have to make that choice.

    I don’t think I would ever personally have one, but no one…. NO ONE has a right to tell someone what they should do with their body.

    every human has the right to do what they want with their own self.

    I am happy that you are happy, and feel ok with your decision. it was brave to write this, you will help alot of women out there.

  • Jamie Peck

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are strong and brave!
    This might be off topic, but I love the photo of you with your dog. You guys are making the same eyes!

    • Amanda Chatel

      Thank you, Jamie!

      Yeah, Hubbell and I are creepily similar in a lot of ways.

  • Allison

    I believe this article is amazing. I myself suffered a horrific miscarriage at 18 weeks, I almost lost my life and the experience forever changed me. However, my misfortune did not make me bitter. I am PRO CHOICE & I always will be. I am NOBODY to judge the lives and actions of others. In most cases, I feel that abortion is the more responsible choice to make as well as the harder choice. I see so much bad parenting and so many parents that resent their children for “ruining” their lives. I must say you are very brave for sharing your story. It’s great for other women in the same situation to know that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing! :)

  • Tom

    I, me, my…that is all I read out of every paragraph of this article. I’m sorry you got pregnant, but I am more sorry the world will miss out on your true contribution to society. Nothing anyone does, not matter how hard they work, will never give the world anything more important than children that are not a burden on society and work hard to make the world a great place to live. You may get your picture on the wall of a federal building or build a Fortune 500 company and make millions, but at the end of your life, you will still be dead and nothing you did will have mattered…except the legacy you leave behind in your children.

    It may seem that you were too immature or not ready, or had “things to do,” but bringing up that which YOU created, may have been your finest hour…too bad we will never know…

    • Amanda Chatel

      Um, does anyone have anything they’d like to say to “Tom,” or should I do it?

      A true contribution to society is not a child, sweet cheeks. We all make our impact in our own way, whether or not we have a child. But thanks for playing.

      I’ll say it again: my abortion was the best decision of my life. BEST. In fact if “bestest” was a word, I’d say “BESTEST.”

    • Lindsey

      RIGHT? People without kids are worse than worthless!

      Dr. Suess? What a loser! George Washington? Worse than useless! Nikola Tesla?

      What about Alice Paul? I mean, voting is great and everything, but by your logic things would have been better if she had just stayed out on the farm and birthed a couple of kids.

      Plus if she had had a baby who would take care of Hubbell?

    • kate

      I really hope that Tom is just some poorly chosen alias and you aren’t really a dude because that would be your first mistake. And if that’s the case, why don’t you start making a contribution to society by being engaged in issues that don’t involve a situation in which you will never even close to experience. If I had the words to sincerely express the kind of disgusting b.s. that guys like you produce, I would be using them all day thanks unfortunately to the amount of idiots like you that are walking the earth.

      Why shouldn’t it be about I, me, and my? Do we as people not deserve to make decisions for ourselves? And no I do not think abortions are selfish, selfless in fact. Selfish would be having a baby that you don’t have the means to care for and then leave it in a system or institution. I don’t think someone as dimwitted as you can begin to understand the psychological implications that would have on the child. Accomplishments aren’t quantitative or measurable by anyone’s standards, even if she doesn’t go on to be a prolific public figure, it doesn’t mean she won’t have done something incredible with her life and left behind her own legacy.

      P.S. November, 2010. No regrets and I’m totally also a dog person. Guess I’ll die alone, childless, with no successes to my name!

    • Amanda Chatel

      @ kate

      We can be childless and alone in HELL (as some emailers have told me.) But fuck it… we’ll be in great company.

    • MR

      @Tom: I was away for the weekend or you would have heard from me sooner. First, not all guys keep up there side of the unplanned pregnancy equation. My girlfriend and I sorted out our unplanned pregnancy situation together. We were in our third year of college, and she already wasn’t happy with her degree program, so during the pregnancy before the miscarriage, she said I can transfer to a better program at a university in Long Island where her family lived. It didn’t mean she decided to have the baby, because it was still a life altering event if it had occured. Most of the time women are looking at the decision and handling it completely alone. You seem to fail to see or mention that. After the miscarriage, we were together almost another two months at school. We both had this huge sigh of relief that we had dodged this life altering bullet. She went forward and transfered to that university in Long Island. I spent the summer in London with my British Aunt who preceded to do everything possible to remind about how lucky I was that my girlfriend didn’t have to make a decision. I’ll end on when I came back from living in South America, for a year and half, some three and a half years later, I decided to call the woman, and she I got together, and she told me I was great because I was there for her. So lighten up, you live in Rick Santorumville world where woman don’t have sex before marriage. The real world is a much more complicated place. You place all the burden on the woman.

    • Ellymoemoe

      So Tom, those who are unable to have children die without doing anything to contribute to society?

  • Jen

    March 12, 1996 and I have never regretted it. Not even once.

    • Lynn

      Jen: “March 12, 1996″ So you remember the exact date and say you don’t have regrets? Quit kidding yourself. And yes, those little pro life feet are spot on what a baby (fetus’) feet look like. Ten tiny toes, ten tiny fingers and a nervous system that is completely intact by 8 weeks gestation. Which means your baby felt the blade that hacked him/her into pieces. Not once did I hear “adoption” mentioned as an alternative.
      From a proud “anti choice troll” and registered nurse (yes, I know what I’m talking about in regards to the biology of reproduction)

    • NotThumper

      @ Lynn

      How is that worse than a lifetime knowing your mother doesn’t want you.

    • Sam

      Oh man, because somebody recalling the day of a life-changing event is SO indicative of regret!

      I’ll be sure to tell all my married friends that when they tell me their anniversary dates and such.

  • Bette Paull

    How sad. This kind of story proves that some people will do anything — anything — to feed their self-absorption.

    • Mae

      You clearly missed the point.

      Being self-absorbed would mean having a child for whom you are not emotionally or financially ready.

      I’ve also had an abortion. And like the author, I, too, wouldn’t change a thing. It’s not about being self-absorbed. It’s about making a difficult decision that no one wants to make. But you obviously have never been in that position, so lucky you.

      Now quit judging others before we judge you for your ignorance. Don’t you have a Santorum rally to attend?

    • Sam

      Agreed.

    • Ro

      Bette, this article went way above your head, huh?

  • M -

    I can appreciate your sentiments, but I’d like to correct one thing – you are more likely to lose the child if you, the mother, has negative blood type, but it is not a guarantee. My mother had negative blood type – she spent most of her pregnancy in the hospital, but we’re both alive.

  • Gwenfrewi

    The first child of a rh- mother is usually ok (assuming it’s a rh+ child, that is. No problem with a rh- child of a rh- mother). It’s subsequent ones that are at risk.

    I’m sorry you felt you had to get rid of it.

    I wonder if you were right about the “precious feet” badge?

    • courtney

      “usually okay” so it is true it may spontaneously abort. “get rid of it” as someone who sounds pro life by your comments that is a disgusting way for you to refer to an abortion.

  • Jane

    1 in 4 American women will have an abortion in her life. It’s not uncommon and a lot of the women who respond “I could never do that” just haven’t been in that situation before.

    Thank you for sharing this story, Amanda. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that the anti-choice trolls here are assholes, but I’ll say it again, they are assholes.

  • Jessica

    Amanda –

    You are an incredibly brave woman. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is my hope that it will help someone struggling with the same internal turmoil. I know I wish I had had this to read on September 9, 2007.

    Best,

    Jessica

  • RL

    October 2, 1984
    Irresponsibility on my part got me into a situation where a decision had to be made. No regrets. Three years later I almost lost my daughter at just 9 weeks. I now have three grown children and hope that the rights of my daughters are not taken away by politicians.

  • Emily

    Throughout your whole story I kept hearing excuses and reasons for you choosing to have an abortion (Almost like you were trying to make yourself feel better):
    “… the beer was free-flowing…”
    “I drank too much, smoked too many cigarettes, too much pot and had also dabbled in a few other recreational items…”
    “…the lifestyle that I had been living wasn’t exactly the best, body and health wise, for a baby to have been able to evolve without some sort of major issues that would affect it throughout its life…”
    I kept thinking maybe Amanda thinks that if she has this baby it will be malformed in some way because of the abuse she has inflicted on herself for quite some time now.
    I also wondered why Amanda cried when told she was indeed pregnant…”As I lay there with my feet in stirrups, the tears pooled in my eyes and trickled down my cheeks where they made a home in the shallow part of my ear canal…”
    Why cry, Amanda? Maybe because you imagined your dreams flying away in the wind if you had “the cells”? or maybe it’s just the inconvenience of having to go through this situation at all. How dare these “cells” grow inside me?! I was responsible!! “…been on The Pill since I was 18 years old…”

    I will end with this:
    1. I do hope my post is not deleted because I am pro life and I can spell.
    2. Amanda, you may never reach your dreams because that is really all they are “dreams”… real life is what we live on a daily basis. The unselfish decisions we make while we are waiting for the “dream” is what makes us people of courage and integrity. Thinking of others before ourselves. Now, you may say… “But that child was unwanted.” That my dear is a choice you made in your mind. Amanda, you could have said, no to your Self… your Pride… and said that little fetus (“little one” in Latin btw) is alive. It has value. It is not “cells”. It has a future. It has “rights”. I will “choose” honor and embrace it. At some point in your life someone taught you to devalue life. Or maybe not. Maybe you just chose that. It is clear reading your article that you put your own personal interests and comfort above the value of life of your baby.
    Since you obviously are very intelligent, but believe in abortion and that the life in the womb is not human. I have a question for you. Is it okay, to take a fertilized egg between a man and a woman and place it in the womb of say, a dog?
    A. If you say no, then why? If it is not human then it doesn’t matter, right?
    B. If you say no because it will become a human then you admit that it has human nature and is alive. If it is human in nature and alive, then you do not have the right to abort it.
    C. If you say it is alright, why is okay?

    • Learn to Think

      ..or maybe she cried because she knew that the child would be another unwanted person…?

      ….or maybe if she went through with the pregnancy and put it up for adoption, she knew it would go into a system where abuse is practically inevitable until the child “ages out” once he/she turns 18?
      Most children in the system aren’t adopted into loving families like your rose-colored glasses seem make you believe.

      I understand that you have your own thoughts on the matter, but you’re obviously inexperienced with how reality outside of your bubble works.

    • EE

      Emily, while on your undeservedly high horse, you seemed to have (conveniently) missed the fact that the pregnancy would’ve eventually ended up in a natural spontaneous abortion. The only difference would’ve been a matter of WHEN.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      You may be able to spell, but you sure as shit don’t know Latin.

    • Amanda Chatel

      @Emily…

      Although I find your comment ignorant, it will not be deleted. The world needs to know that it’s people like you who are doing what they can to not only try to shame those who are put in the difficult situation of having to CHOOSE to have an abortion but you’re also among the group who want to take away HUMAN RIGHTS from those who differ from your opinion on the matter.

      “At some point in your life someone taught you to devalue life.” – Nope, my Catholic mother taught me to think for myself and allow others to do the same… but I’m sure she loved reading that line since you just insulted her, too.

      “It is clear reading your article that you put your own personal interests and comfort above the value of life of your baby.” – Yep, I sure as hell did. Why? Because it was a bunch of cells and I’m allowed to make CHOICES for myself.

      “The unselfish decisions we make while we are waiting for the “dream” is what makes us people of courage and integrity.” – People of “courage and integrity” allow others to make their own decisions about their body.

      And you want to know why I cried? As you so condescendingly pointed out, then came up with your own conclusions. I cried because I knew what I was going to CHOOSE to do. I cried because I knew that people like you, not that I care what you think and, frankly, I don’t even know why I’m wasting my time in replying, exist in the world and try to take freedom and choice away from women. I cried because I have a fear of needles – how does that grab you? And lastly, I cried because I knew someday I’d tell my story and I have to read a comment like yours and feel compelled to respond simply because I’m procrastinating.

      That’s why I cried.

    • Kyidyl

      “Is it okay, to take a fertilized egg between a man and a woman and place it in the womb of say, a dog?”

      …What the actual F? A, who’d want to put a dog through that and B, what exactly do you think is going to happen if you put a fertilized *human* egg in a dog? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. It’d be rejected. You can’t grow a human in a DOG. So, yeah, go for it. Put all the human zygotes you want into a dog.

      This is how you rationalize being anti-choice? Really? You sat down and went “oh! I know what’ll trip up those pro-choicers! I’ll be like OMG put a human zygote in a DOG” /facepalm

    • Laura

      How about, it’s not okay because it isn’t fair on the dog? It makes no difference from the egg’s perspective and there’s no way it would carry to full term – I’d certainly hope not. But it’s not fair on the dog. That’s why it would be wrong. The fertilised egg has no perspective and so is inert and therefore cannot be harmed in the way that a dog can be.

    • Jennifer Wright

      1) I don’t think anyone is making a pro-abortion rights argument that hinges upon putting humans in dogs. Ever. Because no one here is a Nazi scientist.

      2) HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

      3) If I couldn’t get pregnant, and a dog could carry my baby, I would totally go for that option. It would have to be a big dog, though. Like a doberman. Otherwise the baby would really weigh it down, and it would be all waddling adorably.

      4) That’s not an option though, because science is not on it.

  • Sealie

    Thank you for having the guts to post this Amanda.

    When I was young I made a lot of stupid, reckless decisions and I truly didn’t know how close I came to getting pregnant until I was older.

    We all make mistakes, sleep with people we don’t want to really be with, hate ourselves and inflict damage of people we love, we’re all screwed up!

    But, A big part of being a responsible human is understanding when it is appropriate in our lives to bring a child into this world.

    By the way, I can’t stand nurses who feel the need to put their two sense into our lives. When I was a kid, I had a nurse announce that I had an STD to a lobby once… most embarrassing thing EVER.

    Thank God I am no longer a kid…

  • Penny

    It’s lucky that we have people like you to share their stories. Thank you for being so brave and open about a decision that millions of women are faced with but so rarely talk about.

  • J(e)n

    I got pregnant and chose to keep my baby, although it was a great debate in my head and heart. I must say that at nearly 2 now my son is the most fantastic, awful, wonderful, hilarious, maddening and amazing thing I have ever done. I am so thankful for the fact that I got to choose to have have my son. I couldn’t terminate my pregnancy despite it probably being the easier choice at the time, but I would go to bat for any woman who decided to end her pregnancy. No man, woman or government should ever have the right to force a woman in to motherhood.

    • Ash

      You said it all.

  • Courtney

    Thankyou for this article. I’m a sexually active woman in her mid 20s. I’ve never been in a situation where I had to make this kind of choice. But, it’s nice to see an honest viewpoint of what it was like for you. Ultimately I think I would keep the baby (assuming there were no blood issues like yours had). Because for myself, guilt would eat me up. It was cool to read about your emotions though, and I wish someone would make a book of collections of essays from women who decided life or abortion, so that young women could get honest real life perspectives.

  • doris grady

    I am pro-life. I would be more respectful of anti life people if the dialogue was honest. As an example, “Crap, damn contraceptive didn’t work! Now I’ve got this baby at least 3 months along growing in my uterus. Well, this won’t do, it needs to die and remove itself from my life. I have hopes and dreams here and babies aren’t part of the plan. Sorry kid but this chick isn’t mommy material. Now I have to get a procedure done that scares the snot out of me because I hate needles. As a journalist, i certainly need to get my facts together so I may write about it later.
    Lets see, heartbeats can be detected at six weeks which means we have brain waves, and this picture of a 12 week fetus does look surprisingly like a baby. lawfully, in a hospital setting, brainwaves that support life function means you have a living person. While this is true, and it is a fact that I have a living person inside me, I also have the right to choose to kill it or not. Well lets cut to the chase, forget making any excuses for my choice, its my right to choose, and I choose to kill the child because it is in my best interest. Case closed.”
    Now that I can respect. Call a spade a spade, no emotion, just the facts, the choice is made, and a dog got a good home.

    • Sorry

      Except it is not a fact that there’s a “living person” inside of her.

    • Kristina

      A. Not a baby. Not by any scientific definition.
      B. Heartbeats are not what control brain waves. I don’t even think you understand what brain waves are. As a commenter, you certainly need to get your facts together so you may more effectively try to stamp out differing opinions from yours!
      C. If the fetus does have brain waves and the law says that “in a hospital setting brain waves that support life function means [sic] you have a living person”, then that is again a fail, considering it is the mother’s body and mothers “brain waves” that are sustaining the fetus. Try taking it out and seeing if it will live. It won’t? Then you’re wrong.
      D. In conclusion, it’s not killing. But nice try, though!

    • lgv

      Did you even read the post, Doris? In the first paragraph Amanda lets us know that she was on the pill. She took precautions to make sure she did not get pregnant. This wasn’t a ‘Crap, damn contraceptive didn’t work!’ kind of deal. Why do most people take birth control pills? TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT GET PREGNANT. She is someone who was responsible, who was on the pill, who was trying not to get pregnant. Why are you making it seem like she was soooo irresponsible?

      And please shut up with your ‘kill the child’ phrase. That’s not making anyone feel guilty. If anything, that’s making pro-choice people feel better because you look insane. And I bet normal, non-crazy pro-life people dislike you because you give them a bad name.

    • joy

      “No emotion” is what you’re requesting. You cannot divorce emotion from this. The only purpose for erasing emotion from this is to stereotype anyone who has ever had an abortion (a rather vast array of often complex situations) to the caricature of “trivial, selfish, lazy, whore.” Harldy in line with reality, or as you would say, “just the facts.”

      If you were really interested in preserving life, wouldn’t it make sense to use your time to productively reduce the number of abortions? Little tip: to have an impact on a culturally taboo subject, you have to get people to talk to you about it. Because nothing will change until the causes of these consequences are really addressed. Finding the ‘why’ stories are critical to helping to prevent the problem. But no one will talk about it if means automatically being attacked.

      So let’s really call a space a spade on this one. No emotion, just the facts. You are not pro-life, you are pro-slut-shaming and hatred. Abortion isn’t the problem, it’s a controversial consequence of the *real* problem: unplanned pregnancy. Your argument doesn’t even acknowledge the problem and relies solely on insisting that the woman is the problem, not the unplanned pregnancy. How unproductive.

    • asdf

      Actually, Sorry, it is legitimately debatable that there is indeed a “living person” inside of her, even if it’s a “mass of cells” which is nevertheless capable of a future.

  • TSH

    Was adoption considered or did that choice cut into your drinking, smoking, barfly time?

    Enjoy your selfish life, celebrate your choice knowing those “cells” will never have that option.

    “Anti choice”? that type of stupidity reminds me of “freedom fries” and “sodomites”.

    • ThatKrazy

      Do you really think anyone wants a baby that’s handicapped and deformed from the drinking, smoking, and other drugs? She knew that those things she was doing when she didn’t know she was pregnant had already greatly harmed the fetus.
      And yes, you are against giving women the choice, anti-choice. You are disgustingly selfish, to think you have the right to make this call for this woman.

    • ThatKrazy

      Do you really think anyone wants a baby that’s handicapped and deformed from the drinking, smoking, and other drugs? She knew that those things she was doing when she didn’t know she was pregnant had already greatly harmed the fetus.
      And yes, you are against giving women the choice, anti-choice. You are disgustingly selfish, to think you have the right to make this call for this woman.

    • Bea

      So TSH, YOU are going to adopt her child?

    • Alicia

      Adoption only solves an unwanted child, not an unwanted pregnancy. As a tocophobic, if I were ever pregnant, I would have to choose between my sanity or carrying to term. I know what my decision would be.

  • Maris

    Amanda, thank you for writing this. You’re a better person than I am for responding to (or even reading) some of these hateful comments.

    People need to be more open and honest about what a huge sacrifice having a baby is. Of course, there are the people who say it’s a gift and, in a way, it is. On the other hand, the fact that society still acts like a woman’s main goal in life should be motherhood is outdated. The world is overpopulated.

    I’m not saying I’m pro-abortion but I am pro-choice. I’m 22 years old. I live at home. If I got pregnant, would I wasted my $40,000/yr education and my shot at grad school at Columbia to become a young (unemployed) mother? Absolutely not. I deserve more than that. Is that selfish? Yes. Would it haunt me forever? Yes. But my children (should I have any) deserve better, too.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that society deserves better as well…a financially independent and emotionally stable version of myself that can contribute more to the world; offspring that are well taken care of.

    Whateva. You rock.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Maris:

      Thank you… that was so perfectly and eloquently put. I actually got goosebumps.

      I think I’m done responding to the hateful comments. You can’t convince them otherwise… and I’m exhausted trying to defend myself.

      Now back to these croissants!

  • JaneBrownEyeDoe

    I commend you for your honesty in writing this, as I am also pro-choice. However, as a registered nurse, someone who has had 3 miscarriages, and has an Rh negative blood type, it makes me cringe a little when you write such a poignant (what could be considered controversial) article without checking some of your facts first. If you are going to be up front about your situation to shed some light and insight on your personal experience with abortion, make sure it’s credible and can serve some educational purpose. Your facts on Rh factors are very misleading. A woman who has Rh negative blood can carry an Rh positive baby with the invention of Rhogam, without a pregnancy “doing itself in.” Although pro-choice, I think it’s important women are educated about their bodies before making decisions such as abortion.

  • Avodah

    I don’t know why people who claim to be “pro-life” find it necessary to say horribly hurtful cruel things to other people.

    I don’t see why one would be so hell-bent on “protecting life” if they insist on writing such hate-filled comments. Aren’t the feelings and hearts of people important too?

    I don’t think someone’s choice gives you the right to make nasty comments or send…wait for it…death threats.

    Pro-lifers making death threats. Hmmm.

  • Cherry

    Refreshing to read an honest article about this.

    But you really got the Rhesus factor thing all wrong. Being Rh negative does not mean your child will just die, in fact, it’s usually only a problem for following pregnancies.

    here’s some info on that (or just google “rhesus negative pregnancy”)
    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/rhesus-negative-pregnancy

  • Ruth

    I could never choose to end a pregnancy. I thought I would, when I younger and was more certain about how the world worked. When I was 10weeks into a planned pregnancy and found that the child may have a serious deformity and I had abortion presented to me as one of three options. I sat down with myself and seriously rethought everything I had believed to be true. At the time I was a nurse in a Children’s Hospital and took care of some of the most heartbreaking children that had been born with this deformity, the one they told me my child could have. I say I sat with myself, because even though I was married I considered it my decision. I choose to under go more invasive testing and carried my healthy daughter to term. She is almost 19years old now and one of my favourite people in the world.

    Here’s the rub. I CHOSE to continue my pregnancy, I considered the options presented and made an educated decision based on the medical knowledge given to me and my own values. I still don’t think I could ever abort my child, BUT if one of my daughters (or a girlfriend of my son) became pregnant I would expect they be offered the right to make the CHOICE that is best for them. I can not choose what is best for another woman. Everyone deserves the chance I was given, to CHOOSE for themselves. For my own life and my own body, I am pro-life, I am because I CHOOSE to be. I’ve sat with two friends who had abortions and supported them 100%.

    Amanda I commend you for telling your story, knowing what kind of unkind and even cruel feedback you would receive. Women who choose to terminate a pregnancy should not be made to feel there is anything wrong or shameful about their choice.

    Also, Hubbell is adorable.

    • Lindsey

      Hi!

      I think your story is really, really powerful. I think the young and childless are among the most vocal in the pro-choice camp. Having a mother out there teaching her children about their choices and (hopefully) safe sex gives me hope!

      And some people seem to think abortions are only used by party girls who are barebacking around town and who would be WONDERFUL mothers if they brought a child into the world, but are actually horrible tramps should they terminate a pregnancy. But married monogamous women have abortions. Planned pregnancies get aborted. There are so many reasons people get abortions, and many aren’t just the result of irresponsibility.

      Not that anyone needs a justification for making a ‘private family decision’. But yeah, tl:dr : I love you for being a pro-choice mom.

  • Katy from Europe

    People in USA are so brainwashed by religious propaganda that they always think they must feel guilty if they chose abortion. Abortion is just a medical procedure done while cells are still developing. We kill tons of cells during our lifetime so why should those cells killed during abortions bring us special emotions?

    • Tobi

      Oh, there you go being all logical and stuff…!

  • dani

    This is a great piece, thank you really for sharing this experience with the rest of the people who get the chance to read it…
    I also believe that it is every woman´s choice to decide what to do with an unexpected pregnancy, because in the end you are the most likely to get to care for that child and human being, and if you are not prepared to do it is waaayy better to terminate the pregnancy than to just have a child for the sake of it (feeling guilty, religious reason, etc)…

  • A

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    • Kristina

      HAHAHAHA this is clearly the winning comment. Hands down. No judgement, no snark, just FACTS. Bravo.

  • liadorbs

    That was a fantastic essay. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  • Ellymoemoe

    I found out, while I was going through infertility and was about to start IVF, that one of my friends had an abortion. Another friend asked me if this had upset me, given my situation at the time. While I wished I could have fallen pregnant without IVF myself, I certainly didn’t envy her position – pregnant to someone she was no longer with after a very bitter break-up – and I totally understood why she did it. It’s easy to judge others when we are not in their shoes.

  • Diana

    It was incredibly brave for you to write this article, especially knowing everything people would likely say in response to it. I consider myself pro-life while also being pro-choice… which almost seems contradictory (or impossible the way people polarize things so much). My personal beliefs are pro-life, but politically I will always be an absolutely firm believer in pro-choice. It’s disgusting the amount of venom people who are anti-choice (because that is indeed what they are) will fling at others… usually in the name of being Christian. Which is certainly not the version of Christianity I believe in from reading the Bible, but if people want to spend their lives being filled with hate and loathing of anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their beliefs, then I suppose that is their right.

  • Besty

    Your facts regarding the RH factor are incorrect. With a first pregnancy you can carry the baby to term, it is the second pregnancy that runs the risk of a miscarriage, but only if you did not have a Rogham shot during the first pregnancy. This is very misleading, not everyone with RH Negative blood will miscarry a first pregnancy. I also find it interesting that you have a dog the same age as your child would have been to prove that you “can love something more than yourself,” sounds like you may have had a harder time with your choice than you want to admit.

    • eE

      Whoa, Betsey. Way to defect your own insecurities onto Amanda!

    • Sam

      We all prove things to ourselves all the time, whether it’s proving that you can actually run a marathon or get a better job or be healthier or ask out somebody. Proving things to yourself has little to do with insecurity and more to do with realizing your full self potential and proving that you can, indeed, achieve the things that you’re capable of.

  • Betsy

    Also, to say that your child would have been affected by your drinking, smoking, etc. is purely speculation. Yes, there is a good possibility, but you will never know that for sure.

    • Kristina

      Actually, doing ANY of those things in the first trimester is close to a guarantee of birth defects. Doing all of those things? There is such a small chance of her ending up with a child who does NOT have a birth defect that it’s dangerous for her to carry to term. Also if she could not have provided for a child at the moment, sending a child with severe birth defects into child welfare gives her child like a 10% chance of ever being loved right. But, sure, let’s do it FOR THE KIDS. UGH.

  • Miss C

    I’d like to add my concern to the comments about how being Rh Negative affects fetuses and babies – it is NOT at all the way you describe it, and I would really urge you to reconsider spreading such misinfo as though it were a medical fact.

    My mum was Rh negative, as am I, and so believe me I have done the research – there is a small risk to a second pregnancy which can be managed, and it by no means indicates that a baby with a Rh Pos father will terminate itself.

    I appreciate that your beliefs about the Rh factor may have helped you make the decision and I’m not trying to undermine that at all (your body, your choice) but spreading scarily inaccurate info like this isn’t helping other women to make good informed choices.

    • Amanda Chatel

      For the last *effing* time I was about to get an abortion when they told me this information. I remember it as if in a fog. I point out that I’m NOT a scientist and as one who does not plan on getting preggers anytime soon, I have never looked into the Rh negative factor.

      That being said, it had NOTHING to do with my choice to get an abortion. Nor am I trying to spread “scarily inaccurate info.” I wrote what the nurse told me that morning as I sat on a doctor’s table waiting for the procedure.

      So to all of you who keep bringing up this point, I’m sorry I’m not a registered nurse and that my facts on that particular part (hence the reason I link to a site that explains it in a way that I’m not qualified to.) But AGAIN, this isn’t about my blood type. It’s about me making a choice that had nothing to do with my blood…

      Can we all be clear on this finally? I feel like some people are missing the point of this essay completely.

      Sorry for the rant, but so many people on so many high horses just makes for seeing things as they’re not supposed to be seen.

      This isn’t about my blood!

    • Miss C

      Okay… you mentioned the Rh issue specifically as a possible terminator of first pregnancies when it simply isn’t: to be fair, when I commented I hadn’t seen there was another whole page of comments, so my bad there, but mentioning that doesn’t = hating on you, your choice, or abortion as an option.

      You made the right choice for you regardless of whether its blood was positive, negative, or green with pink spots, I’m just not sure your wording conveys that the info you were given, ie a 1st pregnancy might terminate itself, is totally inaccurate.

      I know people offline who’ve also had terminations and looked back totally sure it was the right decision, but I’m English and with the exception of a few fringe nutjobs, it’s FAR less of a hot potato – something I should probably also have considered before posting, the different levels of social pressure you may have faced, that probably make it less likely you have the time & energy to seperate ANY critical comment on your article from the spitefuly whiny pro-life wackos who think we should buy our tampons with full funerary rites…

    • Amanda Chatel

      I may have loss my temper on the Rh negative front… but there’s an awful lot of hate going on in these comments!

      But yes, as an English gal, you don’t have the crazies we have over here. That is why I shall move to Paris… forever.

  • Kristina

    FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD, STOP COMMENTING ABOUT THE RH NEGATIVE STUFF.

    If you had ANY READING COMPREHENSION, you would understand that Ashley is not “spreading misinformation”, just relaying what she had been told when she was given the information. She ALSO links to an article with very helpful information for anyone looking for an article about Rh negative blood types and not about her abortion and experiences. STOP BEATING A FUCKING DEAD HORSE.

    I’m sorry for all the caps, Ashley, as this is your article, but I can’t handle all the idiotic comments anymore. Nobody should be telling you you’re horrible (you’re not), nor that you’re wrong about the Rh negative information (you’re not a doctor and this is not the article to go into that), nor that you’re selfish (because if you were selfish, then it’s damn good you didn’t bring a child into this world because those little buggers are EVEN MORE SELFISH. No babies raising babies, please). I’m losing my hope in humanity from the responses on this thread.

    But then I remember that I still have the choice and none of the fools on this thread attacking you (and all women, for that matter), have ANY say in this. And I look at my birth control and my kitties (who are about as self-centered as I can stand and don’t require diaper changing) and I am GLAD. Because until I am ready, I do not have to have a child that will be unwanted.

    BY THE WAY, I work with foster children. Many of them are unwanted. Many of them are in homes that are out for the monthly check the kid brings them. More of these kids than any other kids will end up in jail right after being released from care. Now tell me how it’s better to bring more kids that could end up in that horrible life into this world? I think these kids are great, yes, but it would be greater if every child had unconditionally loving parents because they had the option to say no to an unwanted pregnancy.

    I will say again: Ashley, I commend your courage in speaking about this difficult topic. I’m sorry you’re receiving so much negative feedback for it (as I was worried you would the other day when I posted), but I’m glad you posted it because it gives others more hope. I hope you’re still glad, too. :)

    And, seriously, your puppy is ADORABLE. I get sad from the comments then I look at the HAPPY PUPPY PICTURE.

    • P.

      THANK YOU!
      IT’S LIKE SHUT UP ALREADY ABOUT THE FUCKING BLOOD!
      People really have zero reading comprehension.

      PS. Ashley didn’t write this one – Amanda did.

    • Kristina

      DAMMIT.

      I’m sorry, Amanda. It’s Monday morning, and I wrote this in a fit of caffeine-deprived, detox-induced, stupid-comment-fueled rage. Cannot even believe I called you Ashley. It’s gonna be a long week…

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I was so confused!

  • Sunshine

    Damn skippy. Very brave of you to put it out there, because, as you’ve already gotten a few responses, some people will attack the hell out of you. I don’t readily offer up that information about myself, but I am to the point in my life where if somebody asked, I’m pretty sure I would answer honestly.

    I remember a co-worker who was extremely moody due to hormone treatments or whatever she was trying (which never worked, and she & her husband are now the wonderful parents of an adopted brother & sister), and she said loudly how horrible it is that some people get abortions while others who want kids can’t have them. I cringed inside, but certainly did not want to bear the brunt of her anger by pointing out any facts, such as how shitty my life would be, and in turn how shitty my offspring’s life would be, had I been unable to get an abortion.

  • rowdygirl

    I don’t understand the hostility towards those who would NOT make this choice. Not everyone who believes otherwise is some backwoods, ignorant, religious fanatic.

    • Faye

      Oh wow. You didn’t even read the article fully, did you?

    • Achelle

      There was no hostility towards anti-choice people anywhere in this article. She snapped on people that made rude comments towards here but that’s about… I’m with rowdygirl…did you read???

  • Chris

    Thanks for sharing your story. I had an abortion and made the decision after I had my son who is now 13. It was the best decision at the time because my ex and I had a bad marriage and I didn’t want to bring another child into an unhappy situation. I initially struggled with the decision (how do I keep one child and not the other? was a recurring question) but I do think it was the best for me at the time. I haven’t been able to talk openly about it because people can be so judgmental and I don’t want to hear someone’s negative comments about a decision I made. But your honesty in your article was very refreshing. It really doesn’t matter what others think. You had to make the best decision for you at the time.

    • a

      Apparently that marriage wasn’t bad enough for you to stop having sex with him. Nasty.

  • denny

    Like so many others, I thank you for writing this. I know so many men and women who are vocally pro-choice, but I still find abortion is oddly a hush-hush topic, in that many people are unwilling to share their actual experiences. It’s almost taboo, but sharing so important, because attaching names, faces, and feelings humanizes the experience.

    Just to clarify, I’m pro-choice and I have never been pregnant (to my knowledge). I think one of the biggest misconceptions that pro-life people have is that everyone who gets an abortion is giddy with joy about it (that is, those who don’t experience long-term trauma from it, which I seem to remember was a big pro-life propaganda selling point a few years ago). Remember the Onion article, “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex”? A pro-life congressman posted this on his Facebook page as if it were a factual article: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/02/congressman-falls-months-old-onion-story-about-planned-parenthood-abortionplex/48344/

    People actually believe that getting an abortion is a fun experience. Your article re-enforces that, for most people, abortion sucks. You’re pro-choice, yet you felt disgusting and apologized to your embryo. I believe I would feel the same way, and if I were in a situation where I thought an abortion was necessary, I would be devastated — but that wouldn’t stop me from having one. People who judge women who’ve had abortions, and picket outside of abortion clinics, and try to get legislation passed to ban or limit abortions, need to know this. I believe the best way to do this is for women (and men) who’ve gone through this to share their experiences. So, again — thank you!!

  • sad society

    Can’t even get through this, abortion is real and I’m not hear to even get into how wrong it is, but I imagine a woman saying I’m so glad I gave up my child for adoption because I wouldn’t be able to do this particular thing that I’m doing. Now I’ll say I have no qualms at all with adoption but how selfish a comment to come out of the mouth of someone that chose to do this?!?!?

    People that choose to separate sex from baby making need to have their wombs removed period. Talk about choices, I’ve heard survival stories of would have been aborted babies and it’s heart breaking. Thankfully they survived but there is no true debate about rather abortion is right or wrong it’s all about can I live with the choice and have the freedom to do it, right or wrong. I don’t care what a person feels about it there should never be a moment of rejoicing for terminating a pregnancy.

    • Miss C

      Do you support masturbation as a healthy way for women to exercise their sexual energies, and if so would you be willing to spend your internet-commenting time advising and educating young women on masturbatory techniques, perhaps funding some kind of sex-toy scheme for disadvantaged teens? After all, the really good stuff doesn’t come cheap (no pun intended).

      Just askin’…

  • Marie

    Yet another “thanks” to you Amanda, from yet another woman who made an informed choice to have an abortion when birth control failed. I thought that I should have regrets if I were any sort of human being at all, but I never did. That was more than 15 years ago, and I’m still happily childless by choice — and relieved that I live in a country where I had the freedom to choose.

  • Miss C

    If all of you pro-life mouthpieces are so concerned about all life, why aren’t you busy:

    1. protesting every war, ever – especially the ones that result in rape and torture of women who are then so physically damaged they can’t raise the families they would have loved to have had (eg Democratic Republic of Congo)? And the ones that drop depleted uranium (eg Iraq) making sure that women give birth to genetically wounded babies who just can’t live for more than a few agonised months?

    2. protesting the world economic situation that means 20 children – actual children someone gave birth to, and loves – die every single day from water-borne illnesses that could be fixed by a small investment in infrastructure, and a large change of policy on commercial arms dealing?

    3. protesting the death penalty in your own backyards (I’m assuming most of the commenters are American) – it’s also a state-sanctioned taking of a human life, after all, so what’s the diff?

    4. protesting against ANY trade with China, over their one-child policy that has resulted in FORCED abortions, not to mention sex-selective abortions of girls…?

    No, it’s far easier to bash American women for having sex… why spoil your fun now with a bit of logic and anything that challenges a predominantly right-wing agenda?

  • Lily

    Good for her. Good for making the choice that was best for her. Good for not feeling guilty about it. Good for thinking about what she would be missing out on if she hadn’t had the abortion. Good for her in everything in life.

  • Noelani

    I just passed an anniversary the other day, a very sad one. It was the 40th anniversary of the day I was wheeled, sobbing, into an OR and the baby I was 12 weeks pregnant with was cut out of me and thrown in the garbage. I am not saying this to argue or upset anyone, but just to offer another possible side of this. I was only 17 at the time. My boyfriend was in the Army, stationed 5,000 miles away. Communication was much more difficult, then. We had letters and an occasional, expensive, phone call. It wasn’t hard for my parents to intercept the letters and throw them away, and hang up the phone on him. When my parents figured out that I was pregnant, I didn’t even know where he was. The last letter I had received had said he was being transferred, but didn’t know where, yet. My parents had me convinced that he had found another girl and that I was alone. My father was afraid it might make him look bad, for his daughter to be pregnant and unmarried. Abortion wasn’t legal except in two states. Unfortunately, we lived in one of them, and he said that was what I was going to do. I tried to fight them but they broke me down, asking me how I could be so selfish to want to embarrass and hurt my whole family, when I would be able to have all the babies I wanted, in the future. Finally, feeling totally selfish and unworthy of anything, I gave in and let them have their way. My mother took me to the hospital, early in the morning. I was stoic, trying not to feel anything. When they gave me some kind of medication to start the anesthesia, I couldn’t keep it up and started sobbing. The doctor asked if I was having “second thoughts”. I couldn’t speak, so I nodded my head. He motioned to the nurse, and the next thing I knew, it was over. The doctor knew that it wasn’t what I wanted, but what my parents wanted. He had taken part in breaking me down and getting me to give in. He should have refused to have anything to do with it. I was his patient, not my parents. That was my only pregnancy, ever. I’m through menopause, now.

    I later learned that my boyfriend hadn’t betrayed me, at all. Had my parents let me get married, I would have gone with him to his next duty station and had the baby there, and my parents wouldn’t have had to ever even see us again, if they hadn’t wanted to.

    I know that there are many women who have abortions, thinking it is the best thing, who later have some amount of regret, sometimes a lot of it. I think I have suffered much more than most, because it was not my choice and I was never able to get pregnant again. I think the fact that I was 12 weeks along probably made it worse, too. I would hope that women would try to do it much earlier than that.

    I don’t mean to judge anyone, just to pass on a warning that there is another side to this. Some women can never get pregnant again, and some grieve forever after. I’ve experienced both. Whatever you choose to do when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, you will have to live with the consequences every day for the rest of your life.

  • Childfree Woman

    Good article! Thanks for sharing! I never had to have one but I would have ASAP if the Pill had ever failed me.

    In my opinion, it is just wrong NOT to have an abortion if the fetus wasn’t planned as most people have been exposed to something that will damage its brain development. I think all these unplanned babies of recent years is why our population is getting dumber (and more Republicanized).

    The average person may not know how many meds erase the effects of the Pill, the doctors certainly do not tell you, and yet recently several Pill recalls have happened. Always keep up with FDA.gov for recalls of all kinds!

    • CaliMD82

      “In my opinion, it is just wrong NOT to have an abortion if the fetus wasn’t planned as most people have been exposed to something that will damage its brain development. I think all these unplanned babies of recent years is why our population is getting dumber (and more Republicanized).”

      You’ve got to be kidding me. Thank god you don’t have kids. You don’t deserve to be anyone’s mother.

  • Karen

    You’ve done your job….I know exactly where you’re coming from and I want to thank you for sharing your story. Good luck to you in your future endeavors!

  • Liz H

    Thank you Amanda for sharing your story. Like many others here, I am pro-choice. And like Amanda, I terminated a pregnancy after getting pregnant while on birth control. It was definitely the best decision I ever made and I do not regret it. I have never wanted to have children and my life situation at the time was not the best (I prefer not to go into details). Was it an easy decision? Hardly. Best does not always mean easy; I considered all of my options carefully (as I’m sure others do when faced with the decision). I’m not saying abortion should be the choice for everyone, but it was the right choice for me.

    What some people don’t realize is that not everyone wants to reproduce, some people simply do not have that desire. And the majority that don’t want to have reproduce take precautions (such as birth control) to prevent it from happening. However, those methods fail sometimes due to human error or factors out of your control (I don’t have to worry about birth control anymore, but I feel for those who do especially after the recent recalls of some Pills). Just because you are capable of reproducing doesn’t mean you want to or should have to. I don’t view pregnancy or children as a “disease” as some nonsense propoganda would have you believe. I totally support friends or other people I know in their desire to have kids. I would never berate another woman for her choice to have kids. And I love kids, I just don’t want to have my own. To me, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, abortion is simply another choice that is right for some people and not for others. I’m glad to live in a country where the procedure is thankfully available and safe.

  • MARIA

    Just random science comment: If both your babies are Rh+, (this can happen by a combination of chance and only if the father was Rh+ ), then the second baby will usually be attacked the mothers antibodies that were generated towards the first baby – resulting in “blue baby syndrome” when the baby is born with health problems, but the first baby is usually fine.

    Thank you for writing this article! I hope to never be in this situation but its great to hear peoples voices about what they went through and how they made their decisions. Take care.

  • B

    I hope you know you made the biggest mistake of your life. God Bless you little one. Your better off away from this witch

    • Amanda Chatel

      Hey B!

      Actually I didn’t make the biggest mistake of my life, but thanks for the judgement. Fuck… I may just throw a party over it right now! What do you think of that?

      “God bless” shit… why? Because it was a bunch of cells and “god” doesn’t exist.

      Also, I’m far worse than a witch… quit curbing your Christian tongue and say what you really want… there’s no god to hear you anyway.

      Have a good night, praying or whatever, you ignorant fool. Don’t worry, I’m sure “god” will wake you up mid-sleep to tell you what a great person you are… you know, following in his footsteps and accepting others and their imperfections.

      PS. Learn how to spell or you won’t be able to find “Santorum” on the ballot, sweetie.

      I’m done playing nice with you pro-lifers.

    • John

      Amanda,

      You can’t be upset for receiving “judgment” when you just published a 5 page essay on how an abortion was the best decision of your life. Did you think everyone was just going to fall in love with this piece and forget all their core values?

      Also, it doesn’t help when you respond by saying the fetus was just “a bunch of cells.” It sounds nihilist. Every human could be called “just a bunch of cells.” Nihilism won’t ever give any real comfort to a woman or couple facing this decision, and it will only distract conservatives from the fact that there actually are valid reasons for aborting a pregnancy.

      It sounds like you never responsibly came to terms with any of this. I’m only saying this as someone who is pro-choice. I’m afraid you’ve just fanned the fire with this one.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Responding to you twits is exhausting, so this is my last response and the last time I’m reading comments (although I said that 24 hours ago) because my stomach hurts from laughing so hard at all the pro-lifers.

      @”John” – whom I’m assuming is a man…

      #1. It’s not a 5 page essay – learn to count.
      #2. “Core values” should include allowing people to choose what’s right for themselves and their body.
      #3. It was just a bunch of cells, so get over it… just like you’re just a bunch of cells so apparently, you’re worthless, too.
      #4. I’ve SO come to terms with this decision that I’m actually considering throwing myself a “I Don’t Have a Baby Party.” There will be cupcakes and vodka. You will not be invited because I imagine you live in a Red State.
      #5. You are obviously not pro-choice as you missed the point of this essay. You also seem like a real drag.
      #6. Grow some ovaries, then we can talk about this topic.
      #7. Rush Limbaugh?! Are you there? Do you have anything to add!?!?

      And now that you haters have completely pissed me off to no end and have made me laugh hysterically at your “reasons,” I’m off to bed.

      PS. It was the best decision of my life. My second best? Writing this essay so all the other women out there wouldn’t feel alone… it was worth it despite the death threats and ignorance that mostly came from MEN… and people who can’t spell… which is really saying a lot about *those* people.

      I’m not apologizing for any misspellings in this response, because I’m fucking over it and need a stiff drink.

    • Stork Activist

      You sound like a very classy lady Amanda. Pro-lifers, on the other hand, are pretty terrible. They like human life and other gross, not-glittery stuff like prayer and stable families. Ewww, am I right?

    • John

      Amanda,

      I didn’t mean to get you stirred up. In any case, you shouldn’t let random people on the internet cause you to lose sleep. Especially if it’s about your own body.

    • Sam

      lol, because every single pro-lifer ever likes to pray and has a stable family. Right-o.

  • Angela

    Just wondering why you didn’t put the baby up for adoption?? Why was terminating or mothering the only two choices??

    • Amanda Chatel

      Because that was my choice… I wanted to terminate it, I wanted to rid myself of it and I wanted to move on and eventually provide solace for those in the same situation.

      And in case you missed it — I led a wild life back then and no baby was going to make it to full term in any healthy state.

      Do you want to adopt a baby with severe health and mental issues? If so, send me your email and I’ll forward it to others so you can adopt their “mistakes.”

    • Sam

      @ Amanda- I feel terrible you had to go through this, but your responses to these comments are disturbing. You are obviously not thinking rationally. Implying that a baby with severe health and mental issues is not wanted is… I don’t even know. Wrong?

      You did make the right choice, though. You knew you would be a terrible mother and you have definitely made that point crystal clear. I’m pro choice btw- before you start calling me a pro life fool from a red state with no respect for women’s rights.

  • Krista

    Amanda- this story touched me like nothing I have read recently. Being ‘right of center’ politically, I am constantly bombarded by this side of the aisle’s guilt about my abortion (10 years ago this April). I knew from the start I was making the right decision since my life was way off track, the father was not someone I would want associated in my or my child’s life, etc. and when I cried upon learning I was pregnant, I cried with a heavy heart knowing this child was either destined to be born with severe disabilities/challenges due to my poor life choices or into a life of dysfunction and neither of those paths should be bestowed upon any child who’s parent has a choice.
    10 years later, I still think of the choice I made on the yearly anniversary and I have no regrets. Sitting in that waiting room, I saw women who were proud of what they were doing; discussing with one another how abortions were ‘convenient and inexpensive birth control’ since none were there for their first time, and I was not among them. I was distraught and absolutely beside myself because of the choice I was making but always knew deep down it was for the best. And I was right. 10 years later, I am long past that completely destructive, dysfunctional relationship (who has been jailed at least 2x since then, according to the papers) and am a successful woman married to a successful man with two dogs, planning for our future– with children included.
    Do not judge women who select to terminate their pregnancies– most do it for reasons that those who judge them will never understand. and yes, some of us are Christian and GOP supporters… like me.

    • NB

      Krista,

      That is exactly what happened when I went into the clinic! Many of the women were saying/acting like nothing was wrong with having multiple abortions.

      Amanda,
      Thank you for this article! I came across it, and it is exactly what I needed to hear. I recently had to have this done, as I am in no way ready to be a mom. Also, with medication I’m on, the baby could’ve been born with severe defects.
      People are so quick to judge, but it’s only up to the woman in that situation to make the best decision for herself and for the baby. It was a very difficult choice to make, but one I don’t regret either.

  • Sylvia

    I’ve never been in your situation- never been pregnant (I don’t think I have), so I have no idea what I might have done if I had accidentally become pregnant. It wouldn’t have been an easy decision one way or another.

    I say “accident” because I have never wanted to be a mother- I don’t think of motherhood as some kind of higher calling- its a choice you make-and I don’t believe it’s always an unselfish choice.

    I’ve known from an early age that I was not meant to be a mom. Even now that I’m forty, I still have never had baby fever or look at babies with any maternal instict or desire. I am a dog person, a cat person, not a baby person.

    I’m glad you aren’t plagued with regret, it was the right choice for you.

    Ps – Your Hubbell is adorable.

  • amanda chantelI

    cool story ho

  • Annoyed

    Good for you. You got caught in this situation, you looked at the information you got, and you made your choice and stuck to it. So much for the “oh, but if only more women KNEW what they were doing, they’d all choose life!!!” angle. Heartbeat bills, T.V. ultrasounds, it’s all bull, all meant to make you feel dirty and evil. I’m pretty sure every woman who sits in that office knows exactly what she’s doing, ultrasound or not. It’s kind of hard not to know. I went and had an IUD placed in the hopes that I’d never have to answer that question – but I’ll be damned if I’ll ever tell another woman what to do if the day comes for her.

  • KA

    Thank you for sharing your story. Also, thank you for being stong enough to stick with the choice you made. I am pro-choice 100%. You did what was best for you and look where you are now. People are going to hate just to hate. Stay strong (and I know you will just from this one article). Good luck with whatever the future holds for you!

  • Julie

    Amanda, Thank you for your honesty. I can relate to everything you felt and to anyone who wants to judge you can piss off. I don’t think anyone is Pro Abortion, I’m certainly not..but I am Pro Choice. Most of the things you wrote were the same for me 15 yrs ago, luckily I found out rather quickly and made up my made instantly. I don’t see it as a bad experience just unfortunate that I had to make it for myself. I was raised Catholic and told no one in my family except for my Aunt, I was not ashamed but just didn’t want to drag it out either..it was my choice. I am still with the same person I was with 15 yrs ago and we still have no children, we like it that way. I wish I could say I was shocked by reading some of the negative comments but it’s to be expected. Take care and good luck in your career!

  • Susan Mansfield

    What do you mean, Julie, that nobody is “pro-abortion”? By definition, if you have an abortion, you are pro-abortion. If you were against abortion, you would not have an abortion.

    Imagine if I said, “I am pro choice on slavery, and I choose to have a slave.” Would you not call me pro-slavery?

    Good grief, stop beating around the bush and tell the truth – YOU ARE PRO ABORTION and, in your view, there are circumstances in which it is acceptable for a mother to kill her own child!

    I can hear you now, “But, it’s not a child!” Oh, yeah? Well, why don’t you (or one of the other pro-aborts here) tell me what it IS, not what it is NOT? Bet you can’t do that.

    This story sickens me. Sick, sick, sick.

  • Cindy

    I just saw this on lifesitenews. Is this story real? If the writer is not not a baby person, why is she having sex? That is the whole point of having sex – to create babies. Is this a joke?

    • Annoyed

      No, the whole point of sex is to have sex. I don’t want babies, but I’m in a committed monogamous relationship and I happen to like my partner and having sex with my partner. I don’t like or want babies. I’m on BC too. According to your logic, barren and menopausal women shouldn’t bother ever having sex. Are *you* a joke?

    • NotThumper

      Oh honey it’s called Evolution…

      Yes, biologically speaking humans are wired to have sex in order to procreate but somewhere along the lines (perhaps it was when our brains developed higher intelligence??) we EVOLVED and realized that sex felt DAMN GOOD!

      If the only reason you have sex is to “make babies” then you’re doing it wrong.

    • Kristina

      Is THIS a joke?! The point of sex is IT FUCKING FEELS GOOD.

      I’m in a committed, monogamous relationship as well, and I enjoy it all the time! Because I DON’T want babies, I’m on birth control. And if by some chance a bunch of cells implanted themselves in my uterine lining, I’d get rid of them, too.

      Because the point of being young and independent is to enjoy it. I can have babies when I’m older, less selfish, and more financially stable!

    • pelle

      This is totally a joke, right?! It’s called an orgasm and feels fucking amazing!

      Whether you’re having sex or grinding up against a vibrator… ah! So good! Are you one of those people who has sex between the sheets just to “make babies?” I’d cry for you if it wasn’t so funny.

    • pelle

      PS. “Life Site News” is an anti-choice, Christian, fanatical site aimed at shaming woman about their abortion and taking away their reproductive rights. (http://ht.ly/9CaBb) – check it out, but be prepared to be angry. They do like to wish death on people.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      Even if we got this pageview from a fringe-y anti-choice site, I must say that “That is the whole point of having sex – to create babies” is some excellent trolling.

  • Sabrina

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have been fortunate enough that I have not had to make that choice, but I know if it happened, I’d likely choose the same. I’m in no position to raise a child, nor do I want to.

    Also thank you to the women who spoke up in support! It’s a relief to know there are women out there who feel the same way I do. Not just about abortion, but about sex, birth control, and having children.

  • B

    Thank you for your candor. You’ve made me feel less alone in my experience.

  • Sorry I’m Not Sorry

    I had an abortion when I was 17, my child would also have been 7 this year. I’ve never regretted my decision and when I do think about it I never feel guilty for doing it. I was prepared to kill myself before having that child. I never told the Father, I knew it was his way of trapping my into a life and family that I never wanted to be a part of. I knew my life would never be mine and all my aspirations would never be thought of again. It is not the right choice for every one but for some it is the right choice. You will never understand until it happens to you and never will be able to judge someone for their decision.

  • Kat

    amanda i love this article. i was wondering…is there any way we could communicate through email or something?
    i would very much like to talk to you about how much your article has helped me.
    If not that’s okay..i just really wanted to ask.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Well considering the death threats I’m getting – even against my dog! There’s no way I’m posting it on here. You email associated with your comment pops up in my email account… if you want, I can email you tomorrow. But if you’re just going to tell me I’m shit and need to burn in hell, please don’t… I don’t think that’s was Jesus wants you do…

    • Amanda Chatel

      Hi Kat -

      In the wake of the fallout last night, I accidentally deleted your email, but you can get my address from Jennifer, who has her work email at the bottom of all her posts, if you still want to talk.

  • Emilee

    Hi.

    Thanks for writing this. I’m glad you had people to talk to and people who supported you. When I had my abortion, I told only my boyfriend and the friend that drove me to the clinic. It’s still really hard to deal with. I found that writing helps a lot. Thank you for having the guts to post yours. I respect you so much.

    I still get sad thinking about it, but I don’t regret my decision.

  • Nora

    Wow. I cannot believe the narrow-minded, hateful, ugly things people are writing on here.

    I’m a 30-year-old, successful woman and never in a million years did I think would make the decision that I made last year, but here I am, about a month past what would have been my due date.

    Having an abortion is the most personal, emotional decision a woman can be faced with, and for me it was absolutely heart-breaking (I cried during the procedure and teared up when I read that you did too) BUT I do not regret my decision. It was the best choice for everyone involved.

    I cannot tell you how brave you are and I commend you for sharing your story.

    • Baby Killers Make Me Sick

      Good for you! Stay strong sister. Everyone should have the right to kill their child if they are an inconvenience. Science tells us that a fertilized human egg is not indeed a human child developing but just a, “clump of cells” right? Therefore you also just a clump of cells and maybe your parents should be given the choice to abort you post-birth? After all how could they be proud of turning out an immoral piece of shit, slut, trash like yourself. Ever think of making the choice not to fuck around and be a whore? DUH! Being proud of murdering a child is sick and disgusting. You people should be locked up in mental hospitals. You are sick in the mind. That much is obvious. Your ignorance and justification of doing something truly horrible is mind-boggling. Is it possible that there are people who are so stupid that they brag about killing their unborn child? Well, I guess the world is a better place for bat-shit crazy lunatics like yourself not having children.

    • Cori

      People have brains, until their brains function they are not people.

  • Deichl

    I shudder to think what it would have been like to have a baby when I got pregnant unintentionally – what a nightmare it would have been. I never regretted my decision to have an abortion at all. Of course I had strong feelings about it – I was mad at myself, I felt irresponsible for getting pregnant and disappointed that I should have been more careful. And I think people who don’t want a baby or can’t be a good stable parent for it should be encouraged not to have it – we’re not rats breeding indiscriminately, we’re humans. And for the record – Jewish law specifically does not assign human life to an embryo up to 40 days (it’s referred to as essentially “water”), and REQUIRES abortion if the mother’s life is at risk, right up until the head appears (!).

  • Diehl

    Another supporter here – I never regretted getting an abortion. I had feelings about it of course – I was mad at myself for being irresponsible and getting pregnant to begin with, and disappointed that I had not been more careful. But generally speaking, I think women who don’t want a baby or can’t provide a stable home life for a baby should be encouraged to have an abortion – I think it is often the more responsible choice. We are not rats breeding indiscriminately, we’re humans. A baby is more than the sum of its parts and needs devoted parents. Furthermore, the idea of a child being punishment for sex is gross.

  • Rae

    I used to be pro choice until I saw so many women being irresponsible and using abortions as birth control. I went in with a friend of mine right at the cut off date that she could have one, and when I saw the baby – an actual living baby on the monitor when they did the ultrasound – well, I fainted. Abortion should not even be a choice, unless in cases of medical, rape or incest situations. There are so many women out there who have been trying for years to get pregnant and are unable to do so. I consider myself the most liberal person I know, except on the Abortion issue. I know you can reflect and say, wow look at my life now, it would have never been like this had I had a child – but you never know the other side of the coin and all the wonderful experiences you could of had as a mother either.

    • Cori

      There will always be those people who abuse the system, but they are the minority. Your friend was horribly irrisponsible to wait as long as she did. I have two friends who have had abortions and they both did it before two months passed. I got pregnant at a very young age and faced this choice myself. I didn’t get an abortion, but knew it was something to be thought deeply about, but that I couldn’t wait long to decide because it would only be worse if I did. Your friend cowardly waited it out hoping nature would do it for her. Some people aren’t meant to be mothers and the damage this does to their children is profound. Recognising when or if you are one of those women is not easy.

  • Tay

    No woman wakes up in the morning saying “I want to purposly get an abortion” Its not an easy decision or a pleasant one. I’m pro-choice, but I’m happy its not a choice I ever had to make.

  • Cheri

    Very well written! Kudos to you!

  • Warren

    The author as well as several of those who commented spoke of how having an abortion was a very difficult decision. Some spoke of having feelings of guilt. Do you know why its a difficult decision and produces feelings of guilt? Because you are killing a person. But you expend so much energy rationalizing your decision so you can live with what you’ve done. And you launch horrible attacks against anyone who attempts to challenge you. But no amount of rationalization and hateful attacks can cover up what you’ve done… and you know it.

    I’m sick over this article and all the comments telling similar stories.

    You could have had your baby and given the child up for adoption. There are many couples who are unable to have children and would love to adopt.

    • NotThumper

      There are plenty of unwanted children in this world already so those who want to adopt have plenty to choose from.

      Warren, I’m going to assume you are a man and as such will never have any idea what it’s like to carry a child. It’s not exactly easy!
      Pregnancy is not something you or anyone else can demand a woman endure just so another unwanted child can be brought into the world. There’s also no guarantee that this child would even be adopted.

      I do not fall into your category of women rationalizing their actions. I have never had an abortion and yet I support these women.

      You want to be pro-life? Fine, when you can carry a child and birth it you will be but until then your just another asshole with an (unwanted) opinion on someone else’s body.

    • Rad

      So Warren, YOU are going to adopt her child? I assume you’re also going to adopt the millions of other children sitting in the system that people will NOT adopt? Because, after all, there are sooooo many parents wanting these kids, right?

      Get a grip on reality, kid.

    • Liz H

      Well said, Thumper!

      And I’d like to add @Warren: “But you expend so much energy rationalizing your decision so you can live with what you’ve done. And you launch horrible attacks against anyone who attempts to challenge you.” Actually, the only ones I see expending so much energy and launching horrible attacks are the people who want to tell others what to do with their lives and their bodies (i.e. “oh, just have the baby!”). Sorry, but you do not get to choose what is right for someone else and their life. Disagree with it all you like, but it isn’t your decision.

    • Warren

      Wow, you folks are absolutely viscous. And you complain about the people attacking the author. How are you any different? And so just because I’m a man, I have no say in this matter. So you are hateful and sexist too. My wife carried two babies and she feels the same way I do. In fact, there are millions of pro-life women, so what would you say to them? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

      Look, all the rage here coming from women who have had abortions is simply a cover-up. Deep down inside, you know you have murdered, but you refuse to admit it, so you make up all these ridiculous rationalizations and curse out anyone who disagrees with you so you can make yourself look smarter than them. But the fact that you’ve killed a person remains and always will.

    • Rad

      Whatever helps you sleep at night, Warren…

    • Kristina

      You see, now I’m confused… I was unaware that we have thick consistencies between solid and liquid…

      It’s vicious, dumbass. And, yes, when someone without a uterus talks about wanting to control mine, I get vicious. Just as I’d expect you to be if I were to, say, encourage the idea that you get a mandatory vasectomy. But maybe…

    • Warren

      @Rad – whatever helps me??? I’ll sleep fine. I haven’t murdered anyone or said horrible things to anyone on this thread.

    • Mol

      Oh Warren, don’t tell me that you’re one of those radicals that believes masturbation is murder because it deliberately rids the body of a potential for life…
      I mean, really…?

    • Jay

      Well, comparing abortion to murder is simply incorrect.

      Murder is illegal and it is when you deliberately take the life of a SENTIENT [human] being.

      Abortion is legal and it does NOT involve a SENTIENT being.

      I’m sure a lot of people can’t wrap their brains around that, but there’s a big difference.

      And for the record, there are people who believe that aborting a fetus is bad because it stops the potential for life, but then again, male masturbation also stop the potential for life, as does allowing menstruation to evacuate an egg.
      Some people are just nuts.

    • Aunt Acid

      Warren, you HAVE said horrible things about people on this thread, namely calling women who have had abortions are murderers. I had an abortion and I wasn’t put in jail for it, therefore I’m definitely not a murderer.

      Oh, and in response to this: “Deep down inside, you know you have murdered, but you refuse to admit it, so you make up all these ridiculous rationalizations and curse out anyone who disagrees with you so you can make yourself look smarter than them. But the fact that you’ve killed a person remains and always will.”

      I’m happy I had an abortion. I haven’t regretted it for a second and rarely think about it. I often forget it happened until someone brings abortion up.

    • Cori

      Then why are there so many kids still waiting to be adopted? Why does Amanda’s baby deserve to go to those families before the thousands of kids already waiting for someone to finally choose them?

  • Fabel

    Holy shit, I read this when it was first posted and thought “How lovely that there are so many supportive comments!” & now looks at this clusterfuck of insanity. I can only imagine what your e-mail looks like (also, let me point out the obvious hypocrisy of “pro-life”rs sending you death threats)

    So yeah, just letting you know– one more person supporting you! (p.s. your dog is adorable)

  • pkatz

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a cat person, not a baby person. I was in a similar situation and I had to make the same decision. I don’t regret my choice either. Sure I beat myself up over it because I was raised in a religious home, but it was the right decision for me. I wish you all the best and that these crazy hateful people go away and leave you alone.

  • mm

    Commiting murder is NEVER a good decision. Why does no one ever think of adoption? Why kill a helpless baby simply because you aren’t ready when there are plenty who are? It is a HUMAN BEING with the same right to life as any one else. It’s time we stop viewing children as throwaway trash. This is selfishness, plain and simple, and one day she’ll have to answer for why she killed her child, she has its blood on her hands. What this really is, is denial. If she was telling the truth, the regrets would be there.

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/LifesitenewscomLatestHeadlines/~3/RCLXkETGn4w/my-abortion-was-the-best-decision-of-my-life-id-rather-have-a-dog-than-a-ba

  • mm

    PS as for the post about the baby with defects-not being normal isn’t a reason to kill. Disabled children are no less human than anyone else and deserve to live just as much as anyone else. That’s the problem today, anyone with defects isn’t seen as worth it.

  • Emily

    Abortion is basically legalized murder. You don’t have to be religious to think abortion is wrong either. Well, good for you for coming out and saying that murdering your child was the best decision you ever made. I am pro choice as in the right to chose birth control, the right to chose abstinence, the right to sterilize, and the right to chose carrying the baby to tern and “gasp!”, put it up for adoption.

    http://secularprolife.org/

    • Amanda Chatel

      You are absolutely not pro-choice. Pro-choice means allowing others to choose for themselves. Just because you let your friend choose to use birth control or choose to have pancakes instead of eggs at breakfast, doesn’t make you pro-choice. It makes you ill-informed on the definition of pro-choice.

      If you were truly pro-choice, you’d allow me and every other woman out there to choose between termination or adoption or keeping it. But if it helps you sleep at night to convince yourself that you’re “pro-choice,” then go for it. However, you are clearly ANTI-choice.

    • l

      wow, did you read the article before you jumped to your bland conclusion? she was on birth control, guess what sometimes it fails?

    • Emily

      Well, I have this person I really, really hate. I can chose to ignore him, I can chose to insult him, I can chose to play a terrible prank on him…I can also chose to murder him. They are all choices, but does it make them right? I don’t think I am anti-choice as I am anti-abortion. Well, I guess that makes me anti-the choice you made?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFfNUBypo2k

    • Amanda Chatel

      Et voila! Someone give Emily a medal!

    • Emily

      Thanks for you medal, I guess. Still doesn’t change the fact you chose to murder a child, though.

    • Meg

      Emily —

      You’re a third rate idiot. Not even a first rate, but a third rate. She didn’t murder a child, she aborted a fetus that was not yet a baby. I really hope you don’t have kids. It would suck to know that someone as dumb and as clueless about biology would bring another idiot into the world.

      To agree with the author, you are not NOT pro-choice. You’re anti-choice and just as hateful as the rest of them. Why someone like you would read such a liberal website doesn’t make any sense when there are so many other sites dedicated to your conservative, narrow-minded and hateful way of thinking.

      People like you give pro-lifers who actually have a brain and heart a horrible name.

    • Emily

      @Meg. I wasn’t being hateful. You kind of resorted to insults. All I stated was facts. I happen to believe that human life begins at conception. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Hence aborting a fetus, is murdering a human being.

      “really hope you don’t have kids. It would suck to know that someone as dumb and as clueless about biology would bring another idiot into the world.”

      I do have a kid. I do not appreciate you calling her an idiot. If anyone is being hateful you are. And you give pro-abortionist a terrible name.

    • Emily

      @ Amanda, I do not hate you or wish you dead. It’s just that if you are going to write an article so controversial, it expected that people are going to state their opinion whether you agree with it or not. I do not believe I was trying to be hateful, but if you, like Meg felt I was, I apologize. That being said, I still believe that abortion is murder.

    • Michelle

      You didn’t state an opinion. You attacked her with your opinion. There is a difference.

      And you really need to learn the defintion of fact. Nothing you spewed is a fact. Everything was your opinion. You could have stated your opinion, in a non-aggressive manner, but you choose not to do that. You instead choose to be aggressive and call her a murder, even though the fact is, the state (as in US government, not a particular state, you seem to need to have nauiances like that explained) does not deem it murder.

    • Meg

      You are an idiot if you think you’re pro-choice and obviously that’s how you’re raising your kid – to be an idiot, too. Just because something is “your opinion,” it doesn’t make it a fact – any doctor will tell you that.

      I am pro-abortionist, but more importantly, I’m pro-choice UNLIKE YOU. You need a dictionary, but you probably don’t know what that is. It’s like this big book that has like words in it and like definitions and stuff. Heard of one?

      Let’s hope your kid is never put in the position of the author — or… karma, maybe?

    • Amanda Chatel

      You are calling me a murderer, if that isn’t hateful, then I don’t know what is.

      And this topic is only controversial to those who make it so. If we could all live and let live, personal issues like this wouldn’t make their way into the world of politics and religion.

      I don’t want your apology. I want you understand you’re not pro-choice.

    • Emily

      @Meg at least I won’t stoop so low to a point of insulting someone’s kid. You believe in Karma…really?

    • Emily

      I don’t think stating a fact is hateful. The truth hurts, I guess. Sorry about that.

      “I am pro choice as in the right to chose birth control, the right to chose abstinence, the right to sterilize, and the right to chose carrying the baby to tern and “gasp!”, put it up for adoption.”

      I never claimed to be Pro-Choice by the liberal definition. Of course I know what the liberal definition of Pro-Choice is. I merely defined what I think the definition Pro-Choice should be, and I believe in the freedom to choose. But killing an unborn child where I draw the line.

    • Emily

      is* where I draw the line

    • Rad

      Emily, it is not a “fact” just because you believe it to be so. You should never say you’re stating facts when you end up following up with your own opinion.

      Also, “pro-abortion?” If that’s really what you think this is about, the entire article went over your head. Don’t be so literal.

  • Katrina

    This is almost exactly what happened to me. (Minus the psychic bit.) I also consider it one of the better decisions I’ve ever made. I hadn’t had a period in almost a year, so it was the morning sickness that alerted my doctor – I thought I had a weird stomach flu!
    I was 5 weeks along, but I had long ago decided that I’d never have children. My closest childhood friend was always in and out of my life because she was in and out of foster homes. She was beaten and molested by a revolving door of men and women and when my parents (happy, wealthy, suburban, two parents, private schools, the works!) tried to adopt we were turned down repeatedly and finally told by a social worker to stop because they’d never place a black child with a white family. Obviously, this was many years ago, but it still happens more than you’d like to believe. My friend eventually killed herself.
    I would rather see a ‘child’ (but really, let’s face the fact that it’s just a bundle of cells that early on.) dead than let him or her suffer that sort of prolonged abuse.
    For the ‘loving option’ crowd out there, head on down to your local family services office and actually show some of that love you talk so much about. There are children out there waiting for you to practice what you preach. If you really want to be a kid’s guardian angel, adopt their sibling(s) too. That’s what my fiance and I plan to do in a year!

    • Anna

      Katrina,
      I am so sad to hear about your experience with your friend, but you should certainly know that discriminating against adoptive or foster families based on ethnicity or race is now soundly illegal. Someone doing that now as a child protection worker would get fired and probably sued for damages.
      Thanks for being a voice for adopting kids who need it! There are sooo many…
      Also, FYI, black children are twice as likely to age out of foster care (and collect an astounding array of trauma related issues in the meantime) as white children.
      Best.

  • N

    Amanda, I read this story yesterday and I have been following the (somewhat horrifying!) comment section ever since. I just wanted to throw in my support for you as well. I personally have never had to make that decision, nor have I been in that situation, so I have no idea what I would decide for myself. But that’s the point, isn’t it? If and when that time comes, I will be able to DECIDE. I will be the only one that knows if it is the right thing for ME to do. We can all have our opinions about what is “right,” but it’s all subjective, and we tend to project our own life history and feelings on someone else’s decision. But no one else can truly understand what another person is going through and what is right for them.

    I know you are dealing with a lot of backlash from this article, but keep reading the positive comments and remember how strong you are to have posted this, and how much it seems to be helping a lot of your readers. Lots of internet hugs and love to you!!

  • Brandon

    Sorry to hear about your abortion. Abortion is never easy and the guilt that goes with it is tough.

    I came here because of the “Precious Feet” tag. Those pins were made because of an image my grandma saw of a baby’s feet taken by Dr. Sacco. The little feet and little toes in the pictures (at just 10 weeks) really made an impact on my grandma and now many others. The speak the truth – that it is a little person.

    Again, I am sorry for what you had to go through. I don’t agree that you need attacked, but there is still reason to look and see if abortion is the killing of an unborn baby; and if it is, to decide if anyone has the right to choose to take the life of another.

  • Clarissa

    Thank you, Amanda.

  • B

    Thank you for writing this. I, too, made the decision to have an abortion. I have always been pro-choice, but never thought I would actually have to make that choice. But, like you, I knew that was the decision I would make long before I had to make it, and felt guilty for not feeling guilty. It’s still not something that I talk about or will share willingly, only because it’s private, NOT because I’m ashamed.

  • Kristin

    Thanks for telling this story. No I’ve never been through it, quite the opposite, but I do support a woman’s decision to make the choice for herself. I’m thankful you gave this honest and telling portrayal of your circumstances and what led you to this decision.

    Sometimes it is refreshing in this world for someone to be open and honest, especially when it concerns something so intimate, personal, and sensitive. Thank you for sharing.

  • Baby Killers are Murderers

    Wow, a lot of pro-death baby-killing sickos on here. It’s a shame your parents never aborted y’all. The world would have been a better place for it. Nothing more sickening and disgusting than some freak bitch bragging about how she feels good abort killing a baby. Pretty sick.

    • Faye

      Pot calling the kettle black, I see…

    • Pen

      You have got to be kidding me:
      “It’s a shame your parents never aborted y’all.”

      I feel like pro-lifers just don’t understand the concept of hypocrisy AT ALL.

  • Janelle

    Oh for fucks sake all of you people saying that her having an abortion is murder it’s not the same thing not even slightly.

    Yeah she could of had it and put it up for adoption but do you know many kids there are out there that need adopting but never get adopted cause most people want baby or younger kids.

    What if she didn’t have the money to raise it would you be able to give her and all the otherpossible mum’s the money to raise a kid from childhood to 18 because for one kid in an MEDC that’s about £250,000 and that’s for your average heathly kid.

    Also I know how much no-one will care about this (No-one ever fucking does)
    How many of you eat Meat or Fish because you are aware that animals are killed for you to have your Bacon or your Steak. You probably eat one living breathing, feeling animal in one day if not more yet you complain about something that can’t even breathe or eat for itself get killed rather the being born and ending up unwanted. YOUR FUCKING HYPROCRITES.

    • Susan

      How exactly is it ‘not the same at all as murder’?
      Murder is premeditated, and results in the stopping of another human being’s heart… and so is abortion.
      Your point about people wanting to adopt babies seems like a pretty good argument for a woman to carry her unborn child to term and allow her child a chance at life. 9 months out of your life is not the end of the world. Trust me, I’ve been pregnant and have given birth… while not the best time in my life, I would rather suffer a small amout to prevent a tremdous injustice.

    • Tobi

      Susan, do you know what the difference is between a sentient being and a non-sentient being?

  • Rich

    Typical selfish, self-absorbed hipster bitch…

    • Faye

      Trolling again, I see.

    • Caitlin

      @ Rich This is the “ME” generation. Get used to it.

  • Jessica

    You know, she did the responsible thing… she knew she couldn’t take care of the child, she was on birth control, she did what a logical, rational human being would have done. You can knock her all you want and it’s great that you think you’d do differently, but how do you really know? Especially if you’re a guy… you guys really don’t have a say because it isn’t something you could possibly understand. As for this adoption thing, how many children are you willing to adopt, because there are already plenty of unwanted and unloved kids in the system who will grow up and be emotionally and mentally screwed when they’re dumped off on the world at 18. There is nothing selfish about potentially screwing up two lives when all you are doing is getting rid of a bunch of cells. Unless you consider masturbating into a sock to be murder, too.

  • Nicki

    Amanda,

    THANK YOU so much for writing this. I came across this on The Frisky, and it’s EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I had to make the same decision a couple of weeks ago. It was hard, but I know it’s the best one I could’ve made.

  • Amanda

    Amanda– I think you are fucking awesome… and super brave for telling your story so bluntly. I had the same decision to make 5 years ago when I was 21… 3 months into a relationship with what is now my soon to be husband. I could not have made a better decision, and do not regret one single second of it. Not even when I was walking into the clinic with the assholes with their “baby feet” signs did it dawn on me that I was making the wrong decision for ME. That is what the argument between “pro life” and “pro choice” boils down to… its decision for the individual in the situation and if you are NOT in that situation YOU DON’T GET A DAMN SAY…

    Way to go girl… and I have two very large dogs… my sons in every way… I’m definitely am a “dog person” as apposed to a “baby person”!

  • Kay

    I have never been faced with this decision but I do know that it is a very difficult choice to make. I am pro choice because I believe that the worst thing for a child is to grow up feeling like their parents never wanted them. Yes, adoption is ALWAYS an option, but look at the system… Can you be sure that EVERY child that would have been aborted will be adopted to a great family? Or even adopted at all?! The system isn’t really an amazing way to live! And then there is the argument that “You coulda killed the next great scientist or life saving Doctor! OR coulda been the next Jack Ripper!” Which is true on both counts!

    But anyone who has never had to face the decision, you don’t truly know the difficulty in it! I have known so many people who have had to face that choice. Seeing the pain they feel while trying to make that decision is absolutely heart breaking! There is nothing easy about it! There is no “Taking the easy way out” because no matter what choice you make it will be with you for the rest of your life!

    Personal opinion: Anyone who thinks they have the right to tell this young lady that what she did was selfish and wrong, you haven’t seen (Or felt) anything until you’ve had to force yourself to decide. Abortion is just as difficult of a choice as carrying a child to term and giving them up for adoption or raising a child you knew you weren’t ready to have. There is NOTHING easy about choosing the fate of your life and the life of your unborn child! Especially when your birth control fails.

    If you think you have the right to judge, you’re wrong.

    I am pro choice because I believe that what a woman does with her body is none of your damn business!

  • N

    People talk about how simple adoption is to choose. First off, they might wonder if the child even went to a good home, or to any home at all. Also, if someone who was not financially ready to have a baby is forced to carry it to term so they can give it up for adoption, they might not have the money to get the prenatal care. Not to mention, these people would also be prime candidates for depression, (during and postpartum.) or even suicide! After all, with hormones raging while they are carrying something unwanted like that, there’s a good chance they may go off the rocker a bit. It’s unfair to suggest that someone should simply choose adoption. They might never be the same after that- and not for better.
    My God, if I had not had an abortion a few years or so back, I would probably be doing disgusting things for money just to barely scrape by! This world is not a favorable one to force upon a child. And to those who think abortion is selfish, it’s absolutely not. At least if it’s not done for the wrong reasons. Not only would the woman have the “burden” of the child, but the child would also have the burden of not having a great start to life. Do you know how hard it is to break the cycle of poverty? Until about 2 weeks ago, I was basically unemployed, and not for lack of trying! This economy sucks, and quite frankly I think it’s downright selfish for people to bring a child into it at all! And as the author stated, sometimes birth control just fails. There would be a HELL of a lot more dumpster babies if abortion were not legal!

    • Meg

      You poor uneducated fool. To think that the mother would rather choose an abortion because they would “worry” about their baby if she put it up for adoption is absurd. Abortion is typically for selfish reasons which is clearly illustrated in the above story. Amanda was only thinking about herself and the fact that she feels no regret shows that she has not matured a bit since then. Woman that get abortions and boast that it was “the best decision of their lives” are incapable of motherly feelings and make me question the goodness of humanity. Amanda I sure hope that you don’t always take the easy route in life.

      On a side note, you should never use profanity when conveying a point. Not only does it make you seem uneducated but people will not respect you or your viewpoint.

    • Cori

      Using insults takes away from what you’re trying to prove, profane or not. Insults are a crutch that weakens your arguement, name calling of any sort is not ever a good way to disagree.

    • P

      Fuck, Meg. You’re the uneducated one. That’s right: fuck.

      And Amanda was hardly boasting, but thanks for proving (YET AGAIN!) that the anti-choice group will always read something, take what they want from it and miss the point.

      PS. It should be “women WHO get abortions…” Just a little grammar lesson for you.

    • Meg

      P, how is anyone supposed to respect you or even consider your viewpoint with your unnecessary use of language. I am not against swearing altogether but when making an argument it only takes away from what you’re trying to prove.

  • misenhammer

    Whew, lotsa nutters on this thread! But I guess we could’ve all predicted that.

    Anyway, you’ve had plenty of support on here, Amanda, but I just want to add my comment to the pile: it was brave of you to write about such a personal thing that crazy people so freely attack on the internet. I am sorry that you have to deal with inarticulate idiots who don’t know the proper definitions of basic terms like “murder” and “pro-choice,” but I guess haters gonna hate, even if they’re terribly misinformed and simply parroting the same tired old illogical rhetoric that ensures everyone stays frustrated, disenfranchised, and oftentimes, annoyed/bored.

    Kudos to you for being able to reach out with your story!

  • Dezi

    I would also like to add a comment of support for you. Thank you for being a strong person, strong enough to talk about your experience despite the stigma attached to doing so. Thank you for reminding me that there are people out there who also think it is outrageous that women who have abortions are made to feel bad about their decision, as if women are somehow inherently unintelligent and unable to make such a decision. I also feel that people are either pro-choice or anti-choice. “Pro-life” is a facade, especially with all these anti-choicers saying they wish you dead. The hate these people spread is truly saddening. Stay strong, and thiank you for making me stronger through your words. Xo

  • L

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never been in the position of having to make that choice, but I 100% support every woman’s right to choose what’s best for herself. Some of the commenters just plain suck. It actually reminds me of a really interesting site I saw recently – http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html (totally worth the read – anecdotes relating to pro-lifers who found themselves in the position of choosing abortion)

  • Titi

    Thank you for sharing your story. My story is strangely similar. I also think having an abortion was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was younger (17) and involved in a very abusive relationship with an older man. He’d confiscated my birth control pills and sometimes used force to get what he wanted. I got pregnant for the second time (the first time resulted in a miscarriage). I knew I had to terminate. There was no way I was going to spend the rest of my life dealing with his sh*t, let alone put a child through it. I had also done a copious amount of drugs in the previous weeks. I could tell something inside me was very wrong. My entire abdomen ached.
    My mother came with me, but she was of little comfort as she was coming off a bender and slept the entire 6-7 hours we were at the clinic. I found out that I also have Rh negative blood. I was almost 14 weeks, but the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. He said it was very likely that I would have miscarried in the near future had I not chosen to abort.
    That was 14 years ago. I have never regretted it for a moment. Now my life is better than I could have ever imagined. I live 4,000 miles away from where I grew up. I’m engaged to marry an amazing man at the end of this year. I know the decision I made was the right one.

    • Anna

      Darling Titi,
      Your story made the hair on my arms stand straight up. I have been there, too. So glad we both made the right choice and are living better lives. Best of best wishes.

  • Lyn

    I’ve not been pregnant, but I did have a scare. Prior to even taking the test I knew that if it was positive, I would have an abortion. I do not want children, simple as that.

    As much as I disagree with women who have multiple abortions because they’re too lazy or careless to use birth control, the right to have an abortion is something I stand strongly for.

    When it comes down to it, the woman carrying the child, and her partner are the ones who make this choice. Screaming about baby murderers and jesus doesn’t change the fact that a woman owns her body. Not you, not jesus, not the state, not anyone else.

    Amanda, I really wanted to thank you for your piece also. I’m glad you wrote it, and I’m glad you shared it. I’m sorry you’re getting so much hate.

  • jen

    I made this same decision once. I even found out, like Amanda, that I was O Rh-, so my body may have rejected the baby anyway. Even now, when I look at my two beautiful children, I realize I made a mistake. If I hadn’t got the Rhogam shot and my first lovely daughter had been my first pregnancy, she wouldn’t be here; I should be thankful that I made the decision I did because she is here today due to the knowledge I gained. But having my girls now only reinforces my understanding of what life is. I am still pro-choice. I still believe in a woman’s right to choose, 100%. I feel that I made a mistake. But I also feel that Amanda should not in anyway be attacked here. It is her body, and she was taking precautions, which shows she understood the consequences. Her decision is her own. The fact that she chose to write about it only speaks of her resolve as a journalist, and she must respect the feedback she’s receiving: Just as she was able to make a decision, these people are able to have an opinion. And both sides are airing it out online.

    • AM123

      your understanding of the rhogham shot and the chance your first pregnancy would have been spontaneously aborted is not correct ~ i see your comment was from a year ago so not that you’ll see this but if anyone else runs across this, in order to prevent the furthering of misinformation, it is false. see my comment above. having RH- blood (as i do and i have gone through my first pregnancy) is NOT a possible threat to a baby of a first pregnancy. it becomes a threat to future children if the first child is RH+ and the blood mixes, then your body will attack future RH+ babies.

  • Laurie

    I agree with you, Meg. Amanda totally turns a lot of people off with her profanity and anger. The way she flys off the handle and strikes out with such venom, shows what kind of person she really is. I wouldn’t let her cat sit my kitty, let alone my dog! She may go get him euthanized in the night because he accidentally pee’d her floor! Whew! Don’t worry about the goodness of humanity, Meg… evolution will take care of women like this Amanda woman. Amanda clearly IS selfish, ugly, cruel and unkind. The way she remarks without grace, maturity, intelligence, respect, and integrity to anyone who disagrees with her even slightly is reprehensible. No matter where you stand on this debate, it is clear that this ‘writer’ does not have the ability to handle differences of opinion with decorum with professionalism. I think that the owner of “The Gloss”, needs be re thinking whether or not she is the type of person they want to be associated with. Maybe she should go home and write for her small town newspaper…. or better yet, become a tabloid journalist in London.

    • wray

      Yuck! those are some ugly words! way uglier than I have ever heard. You are the kind of person who should be a “non comment person”

  • Brenda

    I am pro-choice and I generally do not care that she got the abortion but I do agree with Laurie that her profanity and all out anger really does turn me off. I personally had an abortion and I’ve come to find the majority of people aren’t so selfish *SOUNDING* regarding their decision and are actually on the fence about their decision. I see so much hate in this for people who have children, like it is such a despicable thing to take care of someone else that you love very much. Like it is “lower” than her. I really hate that. It is either you are a dumb woman who fell in love with the fantasy of having children or you are an intelligent (yet bitter) woman who is goal oriented and cares nothing of children. The world isn’t so black and white. And I hate how THESE types of women who don’t give a rats ass about their “clumps of cells” are the poster children for abortions and pro-choice. This is what hurts us really having a choice! This is what the pro-lifers feed on and end up hurting those who have to make this choice to make sure her current kids have the care they need or who have had an abortion of a child with someone they really love and wanted children with. They say, Oh well look at how pro-choice people totally overlook the feelings that you get after an abortion and it’s true. Pro choice movement does have a goal but it is keeping women from getting the information they need, make them feel more alone when they feel completely conflicted about getting an abortion and getting the HELP they need after abortion or prior to abortion. If more people would realize that the ones getting abortions are not all like this woman here and are actually someone’s mother or someone’s wife then maybe we’d get a little more sympathy.

    • Kali

      I found her story refreshing and honest. I have heard all of the sob stories from women who have had abortions for tragic reasons and live to regret it. I feel for them and I hate that they were ever in the position to have to make the decision.
      I, like Amanda, was not one of those women. I found out I was pregnant while still a college student. I was very much in love with the father, but we were not in a good place. Further, as a student, I was unemployed and in debt with student loans. Further, I can never recall a time in my life, then or now, when I wanted children. It is just not my calling. The decision to have the abortion was never even really a decision in truth. I never truly embraced the idea of keeping it. Like Amanda, I was never able to see it as more than a group of cells. And, like Amanda, I never regretted the choice that I made. Had I actually had the baby, I do not believe that it would have been a good decision for me or the “child”.
      I do not like the pro-choice idea that abortion is okay, but only if your feel really guilty about it afterwards. Sometimes, it is just the right decision for the situation.

  • Juliana

    Amanda,

    I must command you for your bravery. You have come forth with a story that is not so different from my own and I’ve not lived to regret my decision however difficult it was in the days leading up to the event, and the year it took to come to terms with my decision. I wouldn’t be where I am today, both professionally and privately, if I’d chosen motherhood at a time I lacked maturity and a partner to stand by my side.

    I found happiness with a wonderful man and he is the most important person in my life. With or without children, life is a bliss if he’s by my side. He knows my story and he never questioned my choice.

    Like so many of us, we tell the people closest to us but most people never know this “dirty” secret of ours. I am fortunate to live in a country where a woman’s right to choose is never questioned and I am increasingly grateful for my fortune as I watch from afar the growing animosity in regards to women’s right to contraception and the right to choose.

    To me contraception is the very tool that enables me to pursue motherhood only when the time is right for me and my husband.

    I hope women in America will continue to the have right to choose motherhood instead of motherhood being forced upon them.

  • Jason Fox

    I don’t understand how you can say this is the best decision of your life…. it seems like a very selfish decision… did you ever consider adoption? You do not mention that at all in your post.

    This child could have been special blessing to a couple that could not conceive…

    I just do not understand this… that was a baby, not a tumor.

    • Think

      Jason, unless you’re adopting all of these children that you suggest be born, then you’re just as guilty of selfishness. How dare you.

    • http://twitter.com/Humnzrstupd Phoenix Ares

      You are a MAN. When you can give birth then you can decide if it was the best decision for you. Clearly it was for HER.

  • Ash Barron

    Amanda, I have spent much of last 2 days in a state of procrastination, and stumbled across this website. I have read several of your articles, and enjoyed them all.
    I did admire your story of the choice that you absolutely had the right to make, however blunt it was, and agree with you on almost everything. I went through a similar situation myself at 20 years of age with a guy who would leave the country if I had the baby (mind you, I am still with him 3 years later so perhaps there is something wrong with me?)
    My only advice to you would be that there are people in this world who will always force their outdated and close-minded views onto others in the most insulting and devastating way. Don’t stoop to their level, and abuse them back. People like that get a thrill out of upsetting others, and when you lose yourself and attack them back, you are not only reversing your previously state of composure, but giving them the satisfaction that they got under your skin. Remain dignified and poised at all times, because you made the right choice, and no one can tell you differently.
    Power to you from Australia sweetheart.

    • Ash Barron

      By the way, this came from spending far too much time reading through the comments and watching your text/language become increasingly agitated and dishevelled.

    • Amanda Chatel

      Thanks, Ash!

      I admit I did get out of control with some of the comments… but while I was getting these comments, I was also getting death threats sent to my personal email, as well as tweets from zealots. I was really on edge.

      I realize I lashed out on more than one occasion… I also realize *those* close-minded people will always exist… trying to fight them is a waste of time. I’m still glad I shared my story.

      Thank you again!

  • D

    I think it’s unfair for anyone who has NEVER been in this situation to pass judgement. It most definitely is not an easy decision. My body did self terminate the pregnancy, and even though I had decided to have an abortion, it was the single worst experience of my life. Everyone tells you you have options- but that’s not always true. Had I had that baby, my parents would not have allowed me to consider adoption. There was no way I could do it- I was already suffering from a very serious depression. I feel like a horrible person to say that I lucked out, that I ultimately didn’t have to make the decision, but I did. People keep saying it’s a selfish decision, but I think it’s more selfish to force a child to endure an unhappy life. No one knows how you will react mentally- and not everyone can afford therapy, let alone a child. Is it really better to have an un-fit mother raise a child in a world already over populated and full of too many horror stories of abuse and neglect? I think it is better to regret than resent.

    • Michelle

      I think it’s unfair of anyone in a similar situation to pass judgement. Just because one person’s values deictate that they have the baby, doesn’t mean that other people’s values will align the same way. Not argueing againist you, but I hear too many people who say, well, I was in that situtation and I choose to keep it so I have a right to judge those who choose not to. Um, no you don’t.

  • Sarah

    I had two abortions over 6 years ago, almost back to back! At first, I didn’t regret my decision. I was in college and had so many distractions. However as the years have gone by, I feel more and more depressed about the selfish decisions I have made. I cannot forgive myself and being Catholic, I do not feel forgiven. How I wish I could have done things differently. How I wish I could go back and save my babies. I thought only of myself and how a baby would affect my life. I was supposed to protect them, to be their voice as they had none. I think about them – I know they are in Heaven. I used to cry at night, and I could almost hear my babies asking me why? Why I did this? Why they didn’t have the chance to life a life they could be proud of? I took that from them. There is no excuse. I respect any woman’s choice and I think they still need love and support. But my opinion is it is such a selfish choice. One that does not take into consideration a life that cannot choose on its own. I am 26 now and I know that when I do have children, it will be hard for me because I will always know I had two others… I pray that women think about the baby and only the baby. Not themselves.

    Thank you for sharing your story and God bless!

    • AM123

      i had a family member suffer the same extreme guilt that you are feeling and it lead to depression that was self medicated with drugs, unfortunately, and the person self medicated, became an addict and sadly passed away recently. god forgives and you have to forgive yourself. if you feel continued depression from this please get help… hug.
      that being said i am pro choice but i do think people often gloss over the possible psychological and ptsd type impact the decision to abort can have. not everyone has the opinion it was the best decision of their life. if you are on the fence please do some deep soul searching and consider options like adoption or keeping it. it’s not right for everyone but if you feel a tugging to do so, listen to it just as much as you listen to articles like these extolling how great of a decision it was.

  • Chris

    That’s a really positive way to think about it. I’ll keep those positive reinforcers in mind from kow on! Thanks for writing!

  • Andrea

    I am 22 and it’s been a two years since my abortion. I don’t talk about it much, even if I do remember since I was extremely young being pro-choice. Reading this for the first time I can relate tremendously to your story. Even if I make a lot of bad decisions, I’m glad I don’t have a child that could have been born with something because of me not knowing I was pregnant. I’m relieved I could continue my studies and I’ll graduate next year and that would have never happened if I stayed in a very unhealthy relationship with a child. This experience even if it was the hardest thing I had to go through, my life would be stuck, without a future to look forward too. It’s not something you want to go through but everyone has a choice depending on there situation and I made the best one for me.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Denise

    I have been in your situation and it’s the biggest regret of my life. Based on what I read, it’s the best decision you ever made because it would have interfered with your life and you wouldn’t be doing all the things you’re doing if you had a child. How selfish. You’d be a crappy parent….

    • Cori

      So she made the right decision then.

  • KMJ

    You have no idea how much you have helped me. I’m a 22 year old college student. My boyfriend and I have been together about 10 months now and are moving in together at the end of May. I found out I was pregnant two days ago and was a mess. I never actually thought I would get pregnant. I’m a full time student and full time server there is no way I’m ready for a child. I talked it over with my boyfriend and we decided to abort. We just aren’t ready for parenthood yet. He is the love of my life and best friend and eventually I will have beautiful babies with him but not until I am able to live my life a little. Ive been crying about this on and off because its extreamly hard. I have been busting my ass my entire life to accomplish something great, such as a career, good income, travel, date nights with friends, all the things that have been put on hold my entire life just waiting to graduate. I know its not going to be easy but your article made me feel at ease. All that is available is negative experiences, regret, and a sense of loss of oneself. Its uplifting to know that although this is one of the toughest decisions ill ever have to make, I’m putting myself and my best intererest first. I have the apointment Wednesday afternoon.

    • Anna

      Baby KMJ.
      It usually doesn’t hurt. And you will have beautiful babies when you are ready and can give them the life they deserve. <3

  • moxie2010

    It wasn’t hard for me to decide and I have NEVER for even one second regretted having an abortion. It’s a medical procedure, people. Everytime you have sex is potential missed opportunity for conception and childbirth. I just don’t get why this decision is deemed to be so “difficult”. It isn’t difficult. If you don’t want to be a mother, you have an abortion.

  • Bettie

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels the same way. I just got my abortion done (seriously, I’ve been home for two hours) and I don’t feel guilt or remorse or anything.

    So thank you for writing this and making me feel a little less odd about not feeling anything.

  • AM123

    THIS IS FALSE –> “if an Rh negative person conceives with an Rh positive person, the antibodies and all that (yes, I’m not being scientific at all, as it’s all a hazy memory) will collide and the baby could possibly abort itself resulting in a miscarriage if a shot isn’t given to even out these differences.”

    I have RH- (negative) blood and my partner is RH+ (positive). There is NO threat to the first baby you conceive due to this condition – so the statement the baby would have miscarried/aborted for this reason is not correct. After your first pregnancy ends, within a certain time period after either the birth or abortion/miscarriage (I think a few days) you have to have a Rhogam shot so that if your baby had RH+ blood and it mixed with yours (either during birth/csection/abortion/miscarriage) your body won’t produce antibodies. These antibodies could attack the blood of your NEXT baby. If you have a baby with negative blood you don’t need the shot (but if you have an abortion they don’t know what the baby’s blood was so they should give you the shot as a preventative in case).

    So ~ not a possible threat to a first pregnancy. To the author, hopefully after your procedure they gave you the shot otherwise you may have the antibodies and they could attack future children.

  • Days of Broken Arrows

    Which one’s the dog?

  • John Smith

    I’m guessing you fuck your own dog.