by Lori Dwyer on March 5, 2012 · 73 comments

Holy long read, Batman. I didn’t intend to write a post this long when I began. I just wanted to speak about something that is mostly unspoken about. This is my experience and mine alone– I’m in no way indicative of how ’most’ people feel or react, now in the After or at anytime before that. (So please don’t use my words to fuel nor flame any self–righteous arguments).

I considered turning this one into a freelance article, given its length, and still may rewrite it as one. But I wanted to publish it here, on RRSAHM. On my blog. Where my universal truth is.

As I said, long read. It will be up here as top post for a few days, to give y’all a chance to catch up.
Get a cuppa, get comfy. And, as always– judge me, if you dare.

There are some things that we just don’t talk about. Some things that are topics so taboo that even I haven’t discussed them here… and I speak about everything here, taking a truth that is mine and speaking it to the world.

But some topics, we don’t discuss them. Even amongst friends with who we can talk openly about children and sex and money and relationships and life. Even with those people with whom we can discuss politics or religion or mental health or general philosophy.

Suicide is one of them, but that no longer applies here, not in this little corner of the Internet.

Abortion is another.

I read a post on MamaMia a while back that dealt with the amazingly silent taboo of abortion. Why it’s something we talk around– my standard line used to be “I don’t disagree with it. I can see how some women do it. But I couldn’t do it myself.”

And that continued to be my line. Even after I did have an abortion– a pregnancy terminated at nine weeks gestation– seven years ago, when I was twenty three years old, before I met Tony. Before I had the children I have now.

It’s not something I’m proud of. But that stems not from the the act itself, but because I allowed my decision to be influenced unfairly. While I was prepared to keep this baby, my boyfriend at the time was not. When I told him to just walk away, to leave me to have this child on my own, he said he could not. At one stage he threatened suicide– probably an idle threat, but terrifying none the less, even way Before the sky fell down.

Obviously, my body is my own– I could have, at any time, told him that I had made up my mind, that I was keeping my baby. But his insecurities, the million good reasons he had not to want this baby, the stress and tears and pressure… All of those things just exasperated my own insecurities, my own fears, my own weaknesses. I was financially living week to week, my boyfriend and I weren’t even living together– he was still living with his parents. I would have had little support, I wouldn’t have been able to continue as a performer heavily pregnant or for weeks after birth, and that was, at the time, my main source of income. Underpinning all that was the simple, gut wrenching fear that I would not know what the hell I was doing. No babies had been born in my family for years, and none of my friends at that time had kids. I had never even held a newborn baby before. And all I could picture was struggling as a single mum with a tiny baby, in a tiny flat, completely cut off from the life I’d once known.

That crippling fear became the major factor in my decision to terminate the pregnancy (a girl… just as I knew the gender of the children who own my heart now from the moment their hearts were beating, I know that the child I aborted would have been a girl). Making the decision; enduring a humiliating appointment with a GP I’d never met before who suggested it would be best to have the procedure done with simply a local atheistic; booking an appointment for two weeks time at a clinic in the city… The relief was palpable, tangible, enough to make me sob with the knowledge that, as difficult as this was going to be, I could soon go back to my life as I knew it– relatively easy and without a dependent mouth to feed.

I’m not going to make excuses here… There are none to be made. I’m not going to try and justify my decision. I am grateful that I live in a society where abortions are available, a culture where my right to my body is my own.


It wasn’t a decision I was OK with at the time. I cried the whole day of the procedure. At the time, it felt like the longest day of my life.


Taking a seat in an abortion clinic is a strange thing. It’s sterile and medical, gentled by carpets and potted plants and a lack of children’s toys and books- sometimes the absence of objects can speak more than their presence.

I think the process takes longer than I imagine it would– but maybe not, because I had no idea what to expect. The next few hours were a game of tag with the nondescript, stagnant waiting room, where time whirls and eddies around itself but goes nowhere.

Basic assessment– name, age, Medicare card. Tag back into the waiting room for twenty long, slow minutes, attempting to read a magazine which features happy people with lives a million times removed from this warm but efficient place.

Tag again, and next it’s a sociological assessment– am I homeless, a drug addict, under the care of the mental health system? No, no, no. Just another silly girl dating a man who’s really just a boy, another careless female who missed her Pill once too often.

Tag, back to the waiting room.

While the warmth of this place belies its purpose, the churning effect does not. Patients play duck and weave with clerical staff, nurses, social workers and doctors; one patient in one examining room while another woman, her appointment scheduled half an hour earlier, sees the next health professional in the chain of ‘Are You Sure?’. The links of that chain seemed so endless that day, one atop another atop another… How many times did I have to ask myself that question, that eternal Are You Sure? when I’d already made the decision, time and time again? And when I would never be sure, not even after it was all said and done, not even now, seven years later, with two babies I can feel and smell and touch growing in the space of my arms every day?

Within the duck and weave, there are women who become short comrades on the chain, other patients who’s game of tag syncs somewhat with yours. Appointments are staggered and some women are filtered off for extra tes
ting, additional barricaded links in the chain, but it is the same few women who were filling in their basic information forms while I was doing the same that ended up in the recovery room with me, thick sanitary pads between their legs, a packet of Family Assorted biscuits and a cup of instant coffee on their meal trays.

I am one of those filtered off, extra time in the game of waiting room tag, because I have suffered depression in the past, and been honest enough to tell the receptionist that. The social worker is worried about me, worried that having an abortion– the guilty grief combined with an unnatural push and surge of hormones– will be enough to spiral me into blackness once again. I stare at her, dumbfounded. In my naivety, my childless ignorance, I assured her that even if I do become depressed, there is medication for that. I can recover from this… A year at the most and I will have forgotten all about it, this heartache reduced in my conscious to the equivalent of a tonsillectomy– an uncomfortable, inconvenient and slightly painful medical procedure one endure for one’s own good.

The alternative was something there was no medication for. A child, for the next forever of my life. A baby born to a father who didn’t want her and a mother who was terrified, living alone in a tiny flat, her only real skills working a checkout or bending balloon animals.

I never thought that when it came right down to it, I’d be the one to back out. I had a tableaux in my head of what would happen if, heaven help us all, I fell pregnant when I was young, or alone, or eating two minute noodles and garlic bread for dinner every night because that’s what I could afford; I had an image of the stoically beautiful pregnant woman I would be. I had a script written as a single mum of a five year old, eating meals that were cheap but healthy, cuddling in front of a crackly TV set every night, being tough and proud and teaching my child the roughest life lessons in the gentlest way. “I have no issue with abortions,” I would say, in all my naive glory, “but I couldn’t get one myself.”

I found out exactly how much bullshit that was on the night my boyfriend– the baby’s father– threatened to drive his car into a tree if I didn’t get a termination.

I won’t say I was bullied into the decision…. I don’t believe he would have hurt himself, and don’t think I believed it then (but let’s not trust me to judge things like that, God knows). But in the face of his fear, any fantasy I may have reserved about being brave and selfless and strong evaporated. And what was left was a paralyzing fear of my own.

I cried the entire day my first pregnancy was terminated. I sobbed with fear on the drive into the city. I sobbed with relief when I read a pamphlet in the waiting room– we had been lucky that day. This three fold piece of green paper instructed patients on the what to do’s and what not to do’s if the semi–regular trickle of protesters– that some days became a violent flood– were in evidence.

I snuck a look at the turned screen one the sonographer and saw a tiny blob, and nondescript shape, with a perfectly discernible flutter of a heartbeat, and was inconsolable for the next round of tag, the sound of my chest heaving with a pain I couldn’t quite identify doubtlessly distressing to the other woman… But unable to be stopped. (It’s worth noting here that some pro–life groups advocate, among other things, a policy of ’informed decisions’, which involves abortion clinics being forced to give their patients a copy of their ultrasound photos and a fact sheet stating the age, weight and various developmental milestones of their fetus before the patient gives their consent to a termination. I don’t think I need to say I don’t agree with that. And not least because they’ve taken a term more commonly used in birth advocacy and bastardised it.)

I shook with tears as I filled out forms, as they drew blood, as I tried to read those pointless magazines in the waiting room every time I played tag. No wonder the social worker was concerned– she had every right to be. Unfortunately the best she could for me was to write down the names of a few blue sky hippy books about mindfulness and acceptance, and make me promise to see my GP if I couldn’t stop crying, retreated into myself and stopped taking showers.

There were other members of my medically induced relay team that cried, on and off, throughout the six hours we were there. But none that sat and sobbed as I did. At one point, in what I know is my final period in the waiting room before I go under, a woman walks in, here to collect her friend.

She is pushing a pram.

In that pram is a tiny baby.

The receptionist suggests, polite but forceful, that the woman and her baby might wait in the coffee shop a few doors down. Leave your number, says the receptionist, I’ll call you as soon as your friend is in recovery.

No, no; replies woman–with–baby, obtuse and ignorant, as she takes a seat in the waiting room. I stare at her, wanting her to look at me so I can burn my red, sore eyes into her, so she might see what she is doing. She looks everywhere but me, shushes the baby and rocks it’s pram, absorbed but not really looking at a glossy gossip magazine.

My boyfriend squeezes my hand. I want to hit him. Another woman, another member of the tag team, she looks at me and gives me a wan smile, shaking her head just slightly. She is, I see by her eyes, just as upset as I am, but her maturity brings her not to show it.

This woman– let’s call her Jane, because if I found out her name I don’t remember it, and she looked like a Jane– and her sad brown eyes lurked in my head for months after the day I met her. She had children already– three, I think, although my mind could be making that up– and she was no older than thirty five. Her husband was there with her, holding her hand all the while, and they had that married vibe, that soul grip on each other that I miss so much now my own husband is gone. There was a sense of sad understanding between Jane and her man. Something about them said that they were resigned to this, that they knew exactly what they were doing– how could they not, having felt the weight of a baby in their arms, having smelt sweet milky breath as proof of life?– but they had discussed this, talked it round and round, whispered conversations as their kids were playing and deliberations late into the night, beneath the doona of a double bed– the most fertile place for conversation, for declaration and matrimonial empathy.

And it had come to the stark eventuality of the truth, one of those stupid truths (how can he die if I love him so…?) that ignore the fundamental, childish belief that good people should be rewarded by life. Jane and her husband couldn’t afford another baby, not with three children to care for already, a mortgage, both of them working.

It’s a bitch, but it’s truth. It’s money, not love, that makes the world go around. A termination in 2003 cost $260 (“I’ll pay for that, of course” said my boyfriend and, again, I wanted to hit him. A ridiculous social norm– the man brings the condoms. And he pays for the abortion if they happen to break. That’s the gentlemanly thing to do). Raising a child for a lifetime costs a lot, lot more than that.

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Me… just to remind you there is areal person behind this story, behind every story.

After I’ve lived a lifetime and back in that small, warm waiting room, they finally call my name for the sixth time and I begin to cry again, so relieved that I will not have to return to this room, relieved to get away from the Woman and Her Baby. My boyfriend isn’t sure– is this just another game of tag, will I be back out one of the nondescript doors into the purgatory of the waiting room again in twenty minutes time? “Is this it?”. The nurse who has called me nods and says yes, this is it. My boyfriend kisses me, attempts to embrace me and we can play the script again– he’s so sorry, am I OK?- and I would justify him by saying yes, of course, this is what has to be done– but I can’t, won’t, I am so eager to get through the doors and get this over with. The anticipation is always worse than the event. The waiting, I cannot stand.

The nurse leads me into a tiny cubicle, the size of a public toilet; with only a bench, another pile of those glossy magazines that seem to breed in this clinic, and a hook on the wall where a hospital gown, complete with immodest openings, hangs. The nurse smiles kindly at me and asks if I am alright. Yes, I say, my words hitching through sobs, any remaining decorum erased like chalk in a storm when my boyfriend left to wait out the hour I would be unconscious. I am so very, very tired– I don’t recognize it then, but I know it now… pure emotional exhaustion, and the desperate need to shut yourself away before the hugeness of it all eats you whole.

“It’s a hard day isn’t it love?”, The nurse replies above the sound of my distress. “You’ll be OK, it’ll be over soon. Just think about curling up on the lounge tonight with a packet of Tim Tams and watching some trashy TV.”

I wonder if she’s the one responsible for the proliferation of brain rotting literature left to distract patients and their loved ones from the waiting, the uncertainty. But it’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day and I take it for what it is– kindness, mixed with the routine empathy that comes from doing this every day, from comforting dozens of crying women every week.

I am told to leave my clothes in the cubicle and someone will take them to recovery and that makes me anxious. I wait, and wait, for someone to come and get me. It might have been five minutes. It felt like years.

The last thing I remember from the first time I was pregnant was the abortion doctor, attractive and fierce for her age of maybe fifty, with a thick European accent. I find myself flashing to one of my favorite books, A Mother’s Ordeal, recalling how one of the author’s colleagues compared a grueling day of terminating babies, one after the other after the other, to a veterinarian on a farm spaying cows. I wondered how many abortions this doctor– bless her for her strength– did a day, how many women were rolled into her theater every hour. How many of them were crying. If there was even the tiniest truth in that book I loved when it spoke of hundreds of tiny hands clawing at the ankles of the doctors who, by suction, removed them from the safest place they’ve ever been.

This doctor, beautiful in strange, dignified way, is hesitant and worried as she looks me over. The nurses are having trouble inserting a catheter into my arm, and tell me kindly to shush, just relax… I am still crying and my body is tense, in flight mode, my instinctual core prepared to run.

“Are you sure you want an abortion, Lori?”, the doctor asks through her thick accent, “No one is forcing or coercing you into it?”

No, no, I reply again, I am just scared. Just scared, just scared…

A twilight anesthetic is not as deep as a general– while there is a chance the patient will be awake during the procedure, they will feel no pain and remember nothing when they ‘wake’.

I remember nothing. All there is, is black.


I wake in the recovery room, still in the hospital gown but with my own underwear back on, a thick sanitary pad attached to them. The nurses bring me tea and biscuits, water and two Panadol. The recovery ward has that distinct, warm feel of a women’s place. All the staff of the clinic are female, there are no men working here; and support people– husbands, boyfriends and female friends, a ration of fifty-fifty each way for gender– have to wait in the next room, the second recovery area, where you went after you’d finished your food and liquid and medication and had proved you could stand up without your head spinning.

Jane is in the bed next to mine and she looks so relieved, the dark lines of worry around her eyes have crawled away to wherever worries go. She makes small talk chatter with the nurse, and mentions her own mother is picking her children up from school today.

I see just a flicker of that shadow return as she mentions her children. I wonder if it will be there in my smile too. I wonder why that’s not on the yellow three fold brochure they give you that warns, solemnly, of the potential after effects of having a pregnancy terminated.

But really, what could that deceptively cheerfully hued piece of paper say about it…? Side effects– may cause pain–filled tinge just behind your smile. Duration of effect: unknown.


Physical recovery was quick and relatively simple– two days off work, period pain that was more than the usual pressure but felt as if someone were shelling out the hollow of my womb, that aching fullness in my breasts disappearing before I noticed it was gone.

The emotional recovery took much, much longer; it turned out that having an abortion fucked me up much more than I thought were possible.

I suppose it’s no surprise to know that the relationship I was in lasted no more than a few months after that point– we had broken up before the baby we aborted would have even been due. I know that because I calculated obsessively my due date. I occasionally checked pregnancy books to see what, exactly, would have been happening to a fetus at this stage or that. I thought of my aborted child as a ‘her’ and, when the monotony of calling her ‘the baby’ in my mind became boring, I gave her the name Caroline… not because I particularly liked it but because I had some point of identity for it– in the Stephen King novel Rose Madder, the lead character mourns a child lost under means that where not the fault of the mother, as was the case with my baby; but embodied the same ugliness it the world.

I know how very mentally unhealthy I was, how borderline psychotic some of that behavior seemed. I never told my mother, and told only two of my friends, as a matter of fact and course– they had known I was pregnant, had received panicked, tearful phone calls to confirm it; so they needed to know the outcome.

I hated myself and what I’d done. I was disgusted in my own simple lack of balls– I could have stood up and said no, I’m keeping this baby and you can fuck off– but I didn’t. My mind tortured me– sometimes still does– over the pain felt by infertile couples, who would give anything to hear the kind of news I didn’t want to, who would trade souls for the child I so selfishly got rid of. Something inside me that spoke for a gothic quasi–religious voice whispered that I was doomed, that the pr
ice for the sin of murder would be a life infertile, a womb forever weeping to be filled again.

Months after we broke up, my now ex–boyfriend told me, in an emotionally manipulative plea to fix the fracture we had between us, that we should have kept that baby, should have stuck it out. I remember screaming in frustration and an unnameable grief that I couldn’t justify for myself– how dare he, how dare he?

For many months afterward, I craved that sweet powdery baby smell. My breasts ached to be as full and hot as they had been. While somewhere in my gut the overly sensible, very scared part of me was telling me I had done the right thing, my biology spoke to argue otherwise. My body was desperate for the baby it had forcefully opened it’s cervix to and given up.

Tony and I had been together only a matter of months before I fell pregnant. I was on the Pill at the time and took it religiously… while my body may have ached for a baby, my strength to standing up to a man– any man– who didn’t was questionable; and I didn’t want to put myself in that situation again.

Maybe it was just that something in my subconscious really was that desperate and didn’t care what I thought; maybe deep down I knew Tony would be OK with a baby, our baby. The Chop was born eight months later; and the ache in my breasts, my arms, the part of my soul that couldn’t forgive myself, it was absorbed into this tiny, curly newborn who was still slightly too small for his sweet smelling skin.


I don’t think much about the abortion I had anymore. I think that might mean I’ve forgiven myself for it. It’s one of those things that spiderweb faulty logic across the divide between the rational and the emotional. Emotionally, terminating a pregnancy kicked my arse all over the existential room and my id (copyright Freud, 1903) tortured my conscious self with it for a long time after. But even then, maybe not as long as some people would say served as penance.

Rationally, I’m a staunch believer in abortions, for so many reasons. If you’ve read all of this post, you know I can see what I think radical pro–lifers see– a tiny baby, a beating heart, a tiny life. And in that fair, good–begest–good world, that would be reason enough, reason that screamed from the rooftops with it’s benevolent logic.

But this is the real world. And it’s a bitch.

In the real world, abortions are a necessary evil. In the real world, a women’s right to her body is essential. In the real world children do get neglected, not even through lack of love but through all manner of unintentional incompetence. In the real world, sometimes love is not enough. And that last one is harsh, and I hate it… but it’s true.

I’m not even going to say “I’m pro–choice but…”. Late term abortions are indescribably awful to think about. A women’s right to her body is her own. There has to be line drawn somewhere between the two, and that’s another one of the unfortunate facts of real life. But I’m very glad I’m not the one who has to decide where it’s drawn, nor the person who draws it.

I don’t regret the choice I made, and I don’t blame my boyfriend at the time for it. There’s no way of knowing what life would have bought had I made different choices, which makes comparison impossible, and I think that makes regretting the choice null and void.

I didn’t begin writing this post as therapy, but blogging seems to turn out that way a lot for me. Writing it out, bleeding it onto the screen, it washes away some pain that was still stuck to my insides like weathered barnacles, guilt and grief I didn’t even know was there.

This isn’t a pro or anti abortion post. It just is. It’s one woman’s story of what happened and how it came to be and how it melted into her life afterwards. As usual, judge me if you dare– I have my big girl panties on.

In saying that, I need to acknowledge the pain that reading this may have caused some people, some of them who I love dearly. I am lucky enough that I cannot truly fathom the disparate grief and suffering that couples who are infertile go through; and I can’t imagine the blistering kick it must be when someone speaks blithely of abortion. The injustice of it eats at me, and caused me the most guilt as I made the choice and followed through with– how could I, blessed easily with a healthy pregnancy, just give it away when so many women feel the hurt of infertility and baby loss? I couldn’t justify it then, and I can’t now. But please know that I acknowledge it, I recognize it… I am so sorry.

This may be no consolation at all… but every day I shower the two children I do have with love. Every day I appreciate them. Every day I am grateful that whatever higher being there is granted what little faith I had; and gave me two happy, blessed little lives to call mine.

Comments are on and all opinions are welcome. But play nice, please.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Neve September 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm
Anonymous August 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm

*hugs* I discovered I was pregnant after I broke up with my fiance. I didn't want to keep the baby; I didn't want to get rid of it. I wanted the whole thing to have never happened, that was the only thing I truly wanted.

We decided to abort; I went and had a preliminary scan and found out I was 16wks 5days pregnant – I felt unbelievably stupid, but I still had my period during those months, still had a dead flat belly. Just one of those flukes.

So I kept him. My partner and I gave it another try, he broke up with me for good and said I'd be fine. He said I was strong.

Here's the truth. I have Aspergers. Not so strongly I have to tell people about it, I can get by as normal, just a little weird. But it's there, I had to learn how to smile and make other facial expressions by practicing muscle control in a mirror when I was 12 years old.

I was a single mum for two years. I am now with another man who loves me desperately and I don't love in return, but I stay with him because I can't cope with my son on my own.

My boy is beautiful. He is a wonderful, sweet natured, astonishingly attractive child.

I wish I hadn't had him. I am not meant to be a mother. I have completely lost my self-identity, am on antidepressants and can still barely get through a day.

I can cope. It gets easier the older he gets. I know if I had had the abortion I would always feel regrets. But I made the wrong decision keeping him, even though I was old enough to have kids, even though I have family willing to support my decision.

But like I said – Aspergers. I don't notice people. I don't like people. I want to be studying quantum physics and forgetting to eat for days at a time.

I love him. I will keep him, and cherish him, and raise him as best I can. But I regret it, and yes, I made the wrong decision keeping my baby.


Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Thank you Lori for your beautiful, honest writing. I am so glad you have your two children. I cried as I read your story, it brought my own experience right back to me. I too, have two children now, and I do not regret my decision made in sorrow 16 years ago.


Anonymous June 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Hi RRSAHM, I read your blogs every now and then, raising 3 kids not a lot of time! This one, wow! I had one when I was 26 and then another 3 months later (stupid!!!) I was married at the time and was just having a break from the pill as I did every few years. In the heat of the moment/s we thought it won't happen to us! Anyway the decision was pretty much totally based on finances, there was no way that I was going to end up like my mother, living at the mercy of the Government! I have to say that I don't regret my decision, however I remember being on the table, awake and the nurse asking me if I was 'sure' – OF COURSE I WASN'T!!! All I could do was cry and repeat what I had already said through all the counselling and I mumbled 'Yes'. The second one, I told my husband to forget about cost, I could in no way be awake again… These were in no way decisions that were taken lightly, it was agonizing for me as all my life I have only ever wanted to be a Wife and Mum. I do believe (no religion involved!) that our kids choose us, and when we had finally bought a house and were financially ready for kids that 'he' waited for me (twice) I was 31 when he was born and due to an abnormality in my body he couldn't grow, therefore was born with many medical problems. It was a really hard introduction to motherhood, but luckily for us we waited so we could afford for me to stay at home and look after him and for the medical costs involved. Had we not I have no idea where we would be today, we now have (after many surgeries and much stress) 3 healthy kids and a wonderful home and life…we have our own little family and I am home being what my husband and I have always wanted: a wife and mother. I absolutely without a doubt know that our son waited for us to be ready – and he gives us a hard time (now a teenager!) to prove it! As heartbreaking as it was, my baby waited for us to be ready (twice!) So take heart, your baby IS with you, one way or another. KK xo


Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Babe, I know it's all about the story and I feel you. It's difficult what you and your boyfriend went through. However, I couldn't help but notice your misdirected anger over and over again. Show your therapist your blog. Perhaps s/he can help you work through this.


Minnie April 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Beautifully written. I'm so glad I read it.


Baggage March 12, 2012 at 5:56 am

Beautiful writing Lori. I was sexually abused for most of my childhood by my grandfather. If I had gotten pregnant, I would want that option of terminating that pregnancy. If I could see an reason for me to have an abortion, then I have to imagine that a lot of women have their own reasons. So I've always been pro-choice. Very brave writing, as always.


Shellye March 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm

This was a difficult read. I cried and cried.

I am pro-life for a number of reasons, the two biggest reasons being my religious beliefs, and that I am also infertile. Doug and I have tried for years, and now it may be too late for reasons beyond anyone's control, but we're giving it another go. I'll be thirty something next month. I've told after reaching that age, it's not recommended to become pregnant. There are also health issues that may make this one last go null and void.

I know several people who have undergone an abortion. One lady is now in her fifties, and she's STILL experiencing mental and emotional trauma. She did end up having and raising three sons, which helped her attempt to move on, but every now and then, the emotional pain will rear its ugly head.

Another woman I know had a horrifying experience where her ultrasound showed that her baby had no arms or legs at 4 months into the pregnancy, so she had to undergo a D&C;, which is commonly used after a miscarriage. She was upset, but felt like her decision was better for the baby rather than carry it to term and it end up being still born anyway. That was one of those messed up, unfair decisions where emotional trauma couldn't be avoided from any stand point, and I felt sad for her.

Even though I am pro-life, I don't judge any woman who has undergone an abortion. I can't imagine their reasons. I've never taken a walk in their shoes. I also can't imagine the emotional trauma they endured.

I'm sorry that you had to experience something like this, and I love you.


Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I've been in "Jane's" position before, with 3 children…and have since gone on to have two more children. Double the guilt :(


Brooke Farmer March 8, 2012 at 4:39 am

There was a time when I was young when I felt the militant pro-lifers- you know, the ones who will attack abortion doctors and harass the patients- there was a time when I thought they had it right.

Much later, there was a time in my life when I walked through the doors of that clinic. There was a time when I sobbed the way you sobbed. Here in the U.S, there was no one trying to talk me out of the abortion. There was no one asking "Are you sure?" There was a doctor and a nurse both assuring me that I'd forget all about it in no time. Telling me over and over it was "nothing," and there was "no baby yet."

I can't say I've forgiven myself, exactly. I shut down to thoughts of that day. I refused to feel the pain and the remorse. Even now, as I read this and respond, I cannot fully access those emotions.

But I know they are there,beneath the surface. And I believe they are the root of a number of things that have occurred since that day. Someday, someday I will have to face them if I am ever to get my life fully on track.


Janet NZ March 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Just when I think… Lori is … ok… I can leave her to her friends now… this.
And, you're still ok.]
Better thank ok.
You're one of the bravest people I know… in the whole world.
No judgement here.
I've never been pregnant. Never been able.
I don't know what I would have done had it been me in that position…
Thank God!


Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Lori, I shed some tears reading this. So many similarities to my own situation. It made me feel almost compelled to share my story in an honest way, which I never before – despite it happening around 16 years ago.
I thought for many years that I was destined never to be loved enough by a man for them to want to have a child with me & that it was my punishment. Even though I did think I was comfortable with my decision, I also thought I would be punished for it.
Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, I hope one day I can be too.


Sarah March 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

You know my back story & how difficult it is for me to fall pregnant. I have to say that the way you have written this just makes me feel sad for you & the situation you found yourself in.

Someone else said already, how does your termination have anything to do with my fertility (or lack there of). There's nothing. No way to link & therefore no way that I should make you feel bad because of what happened to you vs what happened to me. I don't like when people say "well I would've taken the baby", as if it's that easy.


lisa March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

As a Mum who lost her first much loved and wanted baby boy full term at only a few hours old I understand the weight of taboo and applaud you for breaking it.

We got to hold and bath our son, without those who came before who were willing to go against the norm accepted by society I would have been one of those Mums who never new what happened to her child.

I embrace all women with love and what they decide in relation to their own body is personal and I hope made of their own free will with understanding of the emotional concequences that come with it.
much love


Modern Military Mother March 8, 2012 at 12:56 am

How many eggs do women have? Every time we have a period we miscarry. Do we grieve every egg? I don't want as many children as I have eggs. Women need choices. You had a choice – it wasn't an easy one. But you had it, you made it and by the sounds of it – you made the right one for you then. We need the choice otherwise, we are enslaved even further. It's not for others to judge you so don't listen to them.


Cath March 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Big Hugs to you Lori … thank you for your honesty


Denwise aka Denyse Whelan March 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm

No judgment here. Just love, respect and appreciation for honesty. Love Denyse


Ames March 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Dude, your honesty is so damn refreshing as are the many commenters here.

I've never had an abortion and hope I'll never have to face the choice. Key word: CHOICE. No one should take away a woman's choice. Sometimes I do feel terrible for the guys who want to keep the baby, actually my heart breaks for them. If only they could have the choice as well.

Abortion should be a personal choice and one that should not be judged. We all have stories, we all have journeys and no one should judge without walking in their shoes.

You deserve a medal for opening up so much about taboo topics. Fuck taboo, fuck stigma and fuck judging.


Katerina March 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

Firstly let me just say so many of these comments need to be applauded for their bravery and honesty.
Thank God we're finally talking about this! I'm so glad.

For me, after reading about your hauntingly similar experience to mine and those of your readers I came to a sudden realisation; We all share the exact same feelings no matter what our particular reasons were.
So when are we ever going to forgive ourselves?
HOW do we ever forgive ourselves?
We made the best decision that we could within the circumstances and knowledge that we had. Isn't that justification enough?
But sadly I see here that it isn't.

I've always thought that forgiveness for me will only ever come in the form of a second chance, soft and warm, smelling of powder and breast milk, born from the womb I so soul wretchedly had to turn my back on more than 6 years ago.
As every month upon year of my now infertility ticks by i wonder if I'm getting what I deserve when it seems my retribution will never come…

Then I read these accounts from women who, despite having more children, STILL feel this overwhelming emptiness or guilt and I wonder; Why did nobody tell me this torture would never end?

Naively so many of us believed that abortion would be the end of our troubles.
We were fed the promise that we could put this episode of our lives behind us and be free to move on. Just like that!
(Well, that's the pitch I got at least along with; Don't worry, it'll all be in the past and you can forget it ever happened. One day you'll have more kids at a time when you're ready…)

But abortion is an act we must live with for the rest of our lives and anyone who dares to suggest this as "the easy way out" is a fool worthy of being pitied.

Anyway I could wax on lyrical about this topic for days but all I really wanted to share was this link: http://afterabortion.org/2004/forbidden-grief/

I hope it will help some of us on some level to face our pain and finally heal as well as give those blessed not to know any better some insight on a topic rarely spoken about.

To the millions of courageous women who are continuing to hurt and suffer in silence in a culture that pitches free choice but then condemns us for making it I send you strength and pure unconditional love.

I pray for a time when this heartbreaking crisis in a woman's life is viewed with as much compassion as that which is given to those who suffer infertility or miscarriage.


Melissa March 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Brave, brave Lori.
As one who struggled with infertility and had two miscarriages before finally having my son – I can relate to the pain of infertility.
I think that sometimes women who struggle with infertility take their frustration and anger out on women who had to make the choice to terminate a pregnancy. And that isn't fair. The two life situations have nothing to do with each other.
The infertile woman (and I was one) says she would give "anything" for the pregnancy that another woman terminated – but I think in reality, she wouldn't step into that woman's shoes, into her life situation.
We've got to be careful not to take our anger out on each other – understanding, support and love – that's the only thing that can heal us, whatever our losses may have been.


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Good on you for sticking to your guns & not letting him or anyone guilt trip you into a decision that would haunt you for the rest of your life!! It made my heart happy to hear you have a gorgeous little boy. :)


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Geez my heart breaks for all those women who have had to even contemplate this decision. Not an easy one. No judgement here. My tubes are tied after 4 kids. l am grateful I didn't experience infertility or miscarriage or have an unhealthy child. I remember that fear many moons ago at about 18 when I had a pregnancy scare. Cant imagine how awful it would've been to have had to consider making this decision. What is that saying? Let (s)he who is faultless cast the first stone? Something like that. Honestly even if you believe that abortion is wrong, how perfectly do you conduct your life in order to give you the right to judge others?


Squiggly Rainbow March 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I find it interesting to read anything written by one who has actually had an abortion. There seems to be a validation and acceptance in our society to accept, have compassion upon and even listen to the stories of those who have had an abortion. The voice of those against abortion seem to be mocked and their stories and accounts of their beliefs not valued or justified. I really liked the comment about being against abortion – but not against the person who had it. I wonder how different things would be if the world was not shit and there was real support for pregnant women. For all children. Rach x


Wanda98 March 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Wow… Isn't it weird, most of us spend our younger years trying not to get pregnant, then when you want to, we don't actually get the choice??? I have never been in the position to have to make that kind of decision. I have never been either pro or ante. I believe we have the right, in our awesome country, to make our own decisions (and lucky enough to be able to follow through with them legally….)

I find your story absolutely… mmmm…. amazingly honest. Your ability to describe yourself is awesomely refreshing.

My spectacular older most amazing siter "LaynesMum" (bless her and dam her at the same time) recommended your blog as a great inspiration. Through many many many tears and laughs, I've somehow received some of the strength that radiates from your blog. I look forward to my daily dose now :)

I have (am) suffering PND with a 5 n a 3 yr old. Your amazing resiliance has smacked me in the face a couple of times… Thanks for the reality check Lori!!!!

Leah xxxx


Danimezza March 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm



Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I had written an essay in response to this and stupidly i accidentally closed the tab!

Maybe it wasn't the time or the space for my story to be shared, either way I feel slightly cleansed and purged for having gotten it off my chest (maybe no one actually needed to see it after all).

The most important thing I wanted to get across though is this;
To those who think they have a right to judge on this topic all i want to say is – Don't be so sure you'd stand by whatever opinions/convictions you think you have. Until you've had to walk a mile in these shoes you'll never really know what you would do.


Jennifer13 March 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I am grateful I live where women are free to make such an incredibly difficult decision.

I am even more grateful that I have never been in the situation where I would be faced with this decision. I wish you hadn't been either, Lori.


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I terminated my 4th pregnancy just 8 weeks ago…its still more raw than I thought it was reading your story. We were in "Janes" position. 3 beautifull healthy children already, the baby was only 10 months old when this all happened to me. Number 3 was unplanned and we continued and its hard looking at him knowing we didn't want him but now have him and love him unconditionally and I couldn't do that again, nor could we afford to do that again. I feel selfish, I feel stupid for another unplanned pregnancy. Thankyou for sharing your story, I don't think I will ever be able to tell anyone mine


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I do pregnancy terribly. Major complications. I have 3 children and after the last pregnancy(and worst!!) I decided that if I was ever faced with an 'accident' I would terminate, no second thoughts.

I know for sure that I would never have had the courage to follow through and the risk of major complications again scared the crap out of me. For me, MY choice was having my tubes tied. It was the best thing for ME as I have had close friends terminate pregnancies and as I said, I know I wouldn't have had the courage to follow through with termination. I just didnt want to be in that position and I feel for anyone who is.

Anyway, to all of the brave and courageous woman that made YOUR choice, whatever that may be, no need to justify or explain to anyone. We each travel our own path. As long as you are well informed of all options and consequences, whatever choice YOU make is the correct one for YOU.

Haven't the protesters out the front of abortion clinics got something better to do? Perhaps the time would be better spent educating teenagers (or adults?!?) on contraception and be in the market of pregnancy and STD prevention rather than harassment and bullying. Do they honestly believe that cure (removing womans choice) is better than prevention? Hmmm…..


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I do pregnancy terribly. Major complications. I have 3 children and after the last pregnancy(and worst!!) I decided that if I was ever faced with an 'accident' I would terminate, no second thoughts.

I know for sure that I would never have had the courage to follow through and the risk of major complications again scared the crap out of me. For me, MY choice was having my tubes tied. It was the best thing for ME as I have had close friends terminate pregnancies and as I said, I know I wouldn't have had the courage to follow through with termination. I just didnt want to be in that position and I feel for anyone who is.

Anyway, to all of the brave and courageous woman that made YOUR choice, whatever that may be, no need to justify or explain to anyone. We each travel our own path. As long as you are well informed of all options and consequences, whatever choice YOU make is the correct one for YOU.

Haven't the protesters out the front of abortion clinics got something better to do? Perhaps the time would be better spent educating teenagers (or adults?!?) on contraception and be in the market of pregnancy and STD prevention rather than harassment and bullying. Do they honestly believe that cure (removing womans choice) is better than prevention? Hmmm…..


Sophie March 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

No judgement from me. Pro choice for me too. I firmly believe that some choices to abort are made with love not only for the adults concerned but also for the baby. It is clear that you loved her and wherever she is, she knows that. You did the best you could do in a difficult situation. xx


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I've been there and done it twice. I wish I could turn back time. My heart aches each time the month of March comes along, ironically I had both abortions in March, years apart with my birthday slap bang in between. I guess I deserve it, how dare I celebrate my birthday without remembering the anniversary of my abortions.And I don't forget, I never have. I never will.

My first abortion, I can now come to terms with that. I was 21, working as a waitress earning just enough for me to survive. I guess I could have kept the baby, gone on welfare, except I was from a catholic family, my dad was in the middle of being diagnosed with cancer, and I didn't want to be shunned by my family. I didn't want to be the one of my sisters who came home pregnant.

My second abortion… I was married by this time, had two children. We were living in the north of WA, having moved from Bristol. I had had a miscarriage after my first , had my second child , suffering from depression, homesick, suicidal tendencies, was in no fit state to look after the two that I had in a place I did not want to be, in a life that I did not want to be a part of. So we (I) made the decision to have an abortion. I still don't know if I made the right decision. This one haunts me more. My heart hurts so much know as March 17th rolls around again.Ffs I was married , you would have thought I'd got my shit together by then. My birthday is four days after and I ache so much. ….but I deserve it, the pain, the hurt, the anger, the what if's, I deserve it all.
And on the 17th March I will punish myself as usual by reliving it. Because I made a mistake , even though I don't say it out loud, in my head and heart, I believe I did.


Melissa March 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Every child has the right to be loved with every fibre of their mother's being. If a mother isn't prepared to do that for whatever reason (and I mean WHATEVER reason), then maybe abortion is the right choice. Or adoption. Whichever the woman is comfortable with.

Shortly after I turned 18, I became pregnant. It was my boyfriend's child, but we had only been with one another for a few months (4…5?). I had just started university, and I was sick as I had ever been with morning sickness and worry. I lost 15 pounds in two weeks.

Initially I wanted the child. A boy, I imagined. My boyfriend was on board. We were excited. Then I told my mother and she condemned me and told me I was throwing my life away. And instantly I knew it wouldn't work. She hadn't coerced me or fought me, she just let me know that she could not support this life decision – would not. And I couldn't do it without my mum. My child deserved a family who loved and accepted them; a WHOLE family. Grandparents included. At that moment I knew I couldn't dedicate myself fully to this child, to the life I was looking forward to.

I had an abortion 3 weeks later. I was strong on the day, I was sure of my decision. But that night, I caved in emotionally. I had nightmares constantly for weeks, and still occasionally do 4 1/2 years later. Do I regret being in that situation? Yes. But that child is in a much better place than I could have ever provided for them. For the religious people out there: I may go to hell for what I have done, but my innocent child is in heaven and that's a better place than here with me.

One day I'm going to be a mother and I'm so excited for that day to come. I'm going to shower my baby with all the love I have to give because that is what each child deserves to grow up with. Nothing less.

That boyfriend (now ex) hates me for the decision I made and he has every right to. It wasn't just my child. I still receive hate mail from him and I cry with each insult he slings. If asked what was best for my baby I would still give the same answer.


Tat March 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I used to believe in “I don't disagree with it. I can see how some women do it. But I couldn't do it myself.” Until I had my own abortion and the story was very similar to yours.

Now I'd say I'm pro-life. I just feel the situation we were in was not a good place to make decisions. Fear. No idea what follows. Regret for years and years (it took me more than 10 years to stop crying every time I think about it, and now I'm crying again). No woman should have to go through that. For my own selfish reasons I just wish that choice had been taken away from me. Maybe that's just me trying to escape responsibility…

Thank you for sharing your story. It seems like it makes quite a few of us feel less alone.


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

Quite frankly, I was born to be a mother…and Im good at it (one of the few things I can truly boast about). We have raised three gorgeous kids now in their late teens and early twenties, all wonderful human beings that make us so proud….BUT when I was 48 I fell pregnant with a"change of life baby" and a f#$%ing broken condom!I hadnt had a period for 12 months so I just assumed I was coming down with a bug.My god I nearly, died my youngest was 16! We decided to terminate the pregnancy and on the days leading up to this I was a complete basket case.Being from rural NSW we were referred to a clinic in western Sydney where I was completely distraught. I was told by another patient "dont worry youll be fine I do this all the time". My god! some people use this method as a form of birth control! I was relieved but disgusted with myself and to this day I also do the milestones that seems to afflict us all. If I could turn back the clock would I do it again? I truly do not know. It haunts me everyday. Did it have the same impact on my husband? I dont know we never talk about it, but if I had to guess, I would say no. Its like it happened to someone else.
Lori, I have followed your blog since well in the Before but felt disconnected to you…you were the lady in my computer who made me laugh so much a little bit of wee came out, and who made me cry so hard my heart was breaking…now I feel a small kinship. Thankyou for enabling me to "talk".


Anonymous March 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

Lori, I've never commented here before, but have to say that is one of the bravest, most beautiful pieces I have read in a long time.

I too fell pregnant completely unexpectedly, to a man who was not ready to be a father. I came so very close to having a termination. I spent hours, days, and weeks struggling with the decision. I read as widely as I could, the stories of women who were brave enough to share, the articles from the 'experts', the clearly biased articles from both sides of the fence. One of the best pieces of advice I read was to pretend to myself that I'd made the decision. Then live with that decision for a week.

It was then that I astonished myself by deciding to become a single mother at the age of 26, a decision that shocked myself, and the people in my life, but was, for me, the right one. My little girl is now almost 3.

I remain staunchly pro-choice, and am so grateful that I live in a country where I was free to make that decision.

There are a lot of "sliding doors" moments though. Things could have easily gone the other way. I later found out that my daughter's father was manifestly dishonest about almost everything, including his status as a single man.. it was a massive blessing in disguise that I found that out at over 20 weeks pregnant, because i think had I know earlier I would have had to make a decision to terminate that probably would have haunted me for the rest of my life, not because I think it's "wrong", but because it would have been wrong for me, and something that was forced on me by circumstance.

It has been a rollercoaster of a ride as a single parent, but one I wouldn't change for the world. I am so grateful to women like you, and another close friend of mine, who have been generous enough to share their stories of termination. It is a deeply personal choice that resonates for a lifetime for some. It truly is one of the last taboos, and for scared women like I was 3 1/2 years ago, this silence can be oppressive and a source of such horrible shame and fear.

Thanks so much for helping to break it. Beautiful article.


Jen D March 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

Thank you for sharing this.


sunburstdrums March 6, 2012 at 3:29 am

Thank you for sharing this. I was 18 when I had my son, and as awful as it is for me admitting this, I wanted an abortion. I was 18 for pete's sake. But I was in the Army and they did not allow it. Here I am 4.5 years later with a kid who stinks and eats everything in sight. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

We all choose paths that shape and mold us, and sometimes those paths aren't socially acceptable. For you it was the abortion. For me it was motherhood at 18. But it is what it is, and it is a part of us. Who knows what our lives would be like if we had chosen otherwise, but at this point, many years later, does it really matter?


Krista March 6, 2012 at 2:15 am

Thank you, Lori.

That was a beautiful journey you took me on with your words.

I felt your emotions as if they were mine. The anxiety, uncertainty, desire to keep peace of the beginning.

I felt the torture of the endless tags and waiting. The last minute terror.

And in the end, as my heart aches for you and so many other mom's who have been and will be in that same place, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see that there can be some relief, some healing, some recovery.

Thank you for being brave and honest and sharing this tender journey with us. You have opened at least my eyes to the raw emotions behind such a difficult moment in some women's lives.


Emma. March 6, 2012 at 1:10 am

I am pro-choice…and I am also someone who could never have an abortion herself.

My mother caught German measles whilst pregnant with me. The doctors strongly advised that my parents terminate the pregnancy, because I could be born blind, deaf, dumb, missing limbs…all the horror. And yet, even having lost my older sister at a month old due to her having an enlarged heart, then two subsequent miscarriages, they decided, no…whatever was meant to happen would happen – and they would take it on.

I was born without a single thing wrong with me.

Not a day passes when I don't feel so incredibly grateful to my parents for making that choice. Had they taken the other road…well, I'd not be here, simple as that.

So my own feelings on it stem very much from that…but that's me. I feel strongly that it is an option that absolutely MUST be available to all women. But the story of the beginning of my life means it would not be one for me. (That said, I'm not falling pregnant any time soon, unless it's the immaculate bloody conception. ;-))

As ever, thanks so much for this insight into your experiences, Lori. Your honesty is just incredible.




Emma. March 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

I am pro-choice…and I am also someone who could never have an abortion herself.

My mother caught German measles whilst pregnant with me. The doctors strongly advised that my parents terminate the pregnancy, because I could be born blind, deaf, dumb, missing limbs…all the horror. And yet, even having lost my older sister at a month old due to her having an enlarged heart, then two subsequent miscarriages, they decided, no…whatever was meant to happen would happen – and they would take it on.

I was born without a single thing wrong with me.

Not a day passes when I don't feel so incredibly grateful to my parents for making that choice. Had they taken the other road…well, I'd not be here, simple as that.

So my own feelings on it stem very much from that…but that's me. I feel strongly that it is an option that absolutely MUST be available to all women. But the story of the beginning of my life means it would not be one for me. (That said, I'm not falling pregnant any time soon, unless it's the immaculate bloody conception. ;-))

As ever, thanks so much for this insight into your experiences, Lori. Your honesty is just incredible.




Nellie March 6, 2012 at 12:24 am

No one should judge. Thanks again for sharing this. You are a beautiful and strong woman. Made stronger sadly by circumstance. You are amazing.


Nellie March 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

I hate the terms pro life and pro choice. Both are so misleading and filled with so much stigma.

Pro life at the expense of whom? In my country right now, they are trying to pass laws which say basically every sperm is sacred and shouldn't be wasted. Have children till your uterus rots and your masses of children turn feral. I know what I am talking about here. My grandmother had 19 children. It sounds like a joke but it isn't.

Pro choice is used to mean abortion loving, and abortion pushing. Which isn't fair or true. Every pro choice woman I know would be devastated to find themselves in circumstances where an abortion is an option, or maybe the only option. It's a horrible decision that no one wants to be faced with.

I think the whole dialogue needs so much more compassion.

And Lori/


Kylie March 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I want a like button for so many of these comments.
I've never had to make the choice and hope I never will. I am pro choice – choice being the operative word. What angers me most about many (not all) people who are anti choice are the assumption that women make this decision easily and lightly. Anyone who has read this and other posts of women who have made their choice could not believe it to be an easy one. Once again Lori, a fantastic, thought-provoking read.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm

My experience is from the other side of the same coin. I was pregnant with my second child only 16 months after giving birth to my first. I already knew the marriage was in trouble and that another baby would prolong the agony. I also knew my first child, because of her personality, was not ready to be a sister. I did not want another baby but in 1971 it was difficult for me to find out how to get a safe abortion. I don't live with many huge regrets but this is one I do regret. I still castigate myself for not trying harder to have a termination at that time. I adore the son I gave birth to and we've managed as a single parent family, but all our lives would have been better if I could have had a bigger space between pregnancies or only had one child.

I'm glad women in Australia have access to safe abortion – I just wish I'd had it too – and will go on supporting pro-choice until I die.

Thank you for your moving story. You are one of my blogging heroes because of your honesty and compassion.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I'm sorry Lori. I'm not as brave as you. Your post brought up all the memories of my own A day. Although, it's a termination. Much more medically non-threatening hey.

I wasn't as lucky as you. The clinic I chose had lots of protesters. I knew a lot of people in the news industry back then. I could see some of them there with their news hats on, trying for the images of women scurrying from the clinic. Sure, their faces would be pixelated – but they'd know it was me. So my b/f of the time and I climbed over a hedge to escape after the procedure.

I rarely think of that termination. It happened. It was logical. I am Vulcan. Logic gets me through. But then, when trying to have a wanted pregnancy, all the bargaining with God begins. Begging for forgiveness, if this time the two lines appear forgiveness is granted.

Thankyou for sharing your story. For allowing me to share mine.


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow March 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I am pro choice and it annoys me that a lot of people seem to think that pro choice is pro abortion. Like you, I support a woman's right to her own body and would staunchly defend it.

What would I do in the same situation? I honestly don't know… I used to believe that it was "just a bunch of cells" and not a baby. I was caught out on my thinking though when I had an ectopic that needed to be removed. An otherwise viable baby that just landed in the wrong spot. Mother nature is a cruel bitch.



Kelloggsville March 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm

"I am lucky enough that I cannot truly fathom the disparate grief and suffering that couples who are infertile go through" – Indeed. It is a pain, a constant gnaw, a grief, sometimes debilitating yearn that makes me scream, cray and sometimes want to die – would it have been so hard to have let it be adopted? *shrug* I'm not pro or anti abortion, I just am. Life's shit sometimes isn't it.


AngelaM March 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Ironically, it wasn't until I had kids of my own that I understood abortion.

I think I'm lucky to have not had a termination, to go through all that you exquisitly describe Lori.

As a girl who assumed she was infertile, told she was, to have my own was extraordinary, but I often thought of those women who terminated: why couldn't I have theirs that they aborted?

But what it comes back to: a woman's body. And heaven help any man who tells a woman what to do with theirs. Labour? Prolapse? All night breat feeding? Diminished capacity to earn an income? Negligible super?

Get cunted.


Kate March 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Oh Lori, I know the words to this story too. It hurts my heart.

I was 18. I was given my 'due date'. Half my lifetime ago, but every year that day stops me in my tracks.

She would be turning 17 this year. I knew she was a girl too.

Not a week goes by that I don't think about it. All these years, four children, it haunts me.

I do not regret the decision we made. I regret that we ever needed to.


Eccentricess March 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am pro-choice.
There is no but.

I am also a mother of one, who has had 6 miscarriages and 2 ectopics and desperately would love baby no. 2.

And I am completely pro-choice.


karin arnold March 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

My worst days were the two long weeks I was forced to wait to have a DNC (I can't even use the a word, it traumatised me so) due to our little one being "incompatible with life". I dealt with the same "I could have said no" kind of thoughts, even though it was totally different reasons. I didn't want to know anything about this bub, I didn't want to hear why she was "incompatible" I just wante d to know one thing "Could she be ok" and the answer was no. So shaking incontrollably from sobbing (even with 2 weeks to prepare, I was not happy with the choice) I was wheeled in and wheeled out with relief that I didn't have to agonise over this anymore, it was done and I couldn't look back. 12 months later I opened the report which I had asked to be sealed when they had to give it to me. I cried reding she was a girl.
As for late term.. that is where start to cringe and I guess I don't understand what the reasons are women/ families would be faced with that option. I had my second baby at 24 weeks gestation and couldn't believe when I read later that some terminations are later than this.


Caroline March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

You, amazing woman, always surprise me with your wonderful writing. Thank you for sharing a topic that more people should talk about. We should not judge those who decide to take any path without knowing the whole story :) *hugs*
and I LOVE that you named her Caroline ;) it's an awesome name… but then I'm biased lol


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I've read your blog for a long time, and do not recall commenting until this point.

I'm against abortion, and could not imagine having one, but reading this has made me realise I would rather a child be aborted than raised without being 100% wanted.

You continue to amaze me, with your strength and honesty.



Donna March 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

My God Lori you have lived a thousand lives… Yet again you weave a beautiful and powerful tale that will no doubt help so many. Thank you for always being so brave to share your world with us.


Miss Pink March 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I am exactly as you say in the start of your story "I am prochoice but it's not for me"
And I am. There is no point in bringing a life into this world if it's not wanted. Plain and simple. It's how children are abused or neglected. I see it first hand, sadly.

I guess I will have to share my story with you in person. Too much to type out here, but I have written before about it on my blog. I actually have something coming up about it.

My heart aches for all the babies never born, by choice or not, but my heart aches for those mothers too, having to make that decision or have it forced upon you. Either way is not easy.


Webdance March 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

This is such a powerful post. The world is a better place with your voice in it, Lori, and your courage to speak the truth as you know it. Thank you.


tearinguphouses March 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

i'm currently pregnant for the first time with a supportive husband and fortunate circumstances, and it's still been quite a challenge. we're thrilled to be having our first child, but i can't imagine going through this ten years ago with an unsupportive partner. that's not to say that i would ever consider abortion, but rather i would never judge another person for their personal decision.

i think you're very brave for writing this.


Rhonda March 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thank you for sharing this Lori. As a woman who has had an abortion and is now dealing with secondary infertility I agonize all the time over my past choices. I sometimes wonder if I am being punished. Through it all I am still pro-choice. I am not in the position to judge anyone else's decision.


Nellie March 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

It's always been safe for me to say I was pro life because I live in a county that has legalized, safe abortions. Now though, with so many attacks being made on womens health issues here, there is no longer than certainty.

I have been re-evaluating my stance for weeks. Reading this was so helpful.

I don't know where I stand yet on this issue. I know and feel it needs to be safely available. I just…. I understand and agree with so many points made by both sides. I am confused and torn.

I think your post was very brave Lori. Thank you so much for sharing.

I don't know what I would have done in your place having never been there. But I can't help but feel I would have done the same.

My sincerest and deepest sympathies to those women who are unable to conceive, who have miscarried or who made the toughest decision of their life and had an abortion.

Please don't judge eachother ladies. We need eachother in this world.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

I'm from the other end of the scale – the infertile end. Whilst I'm very blessed to have two children now, they came after many years of trying.

But, as I posted in the Mammamia thread – your abortion and my fertility are not intertwined. An unwanted pregnancy must be just as heartbreaking as the fertility issues that dogged our first years as a married couple.

I see those children, the so obviously unwanted ones, and THEY are the ones that cause me so much angst. I'd take them all if I could and raise them with clothes that are clean and food in their bellies.

But I would never judge you or anyone else for having the courage to admit that you are just not ready for raising a child. Raising kids is fucking hard. To push that onto someone who is emotionally not ready to do so is wrong. At least in my opinion.

Anyway. Thanks for posting your story.


bradgriffin March 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

I had a ten para comment, but figure I might not add anything to the discussion, so I'll summarize. NO-ONE has the right to decide for, or co-erce any woman on their decision in respect to abortion.
I do have some experience on this topic, but I'll probably blog about it myself one day, rather than fill your comment thread :)


pinktutu72 March 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

Peace to you Lori. What a tough decision. You never know what you'll do in a situation until you find yourself in it.


Ozzie Thriftmumma March 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

3 Years ago I fell pregnant. We already had 4 kids (that was how many we wanted) and finances were tough. I had said to my hubby, after we had our 2nd youngest that if somehow I ever fell pregnant again, I would terminate.
So low and behold here I was,at the crossroads,making the decision after I fell pregnant on the minipill.

After a few days of crying and not wanting to end my babies life, I told my hubby I was keeping the baby.
He was angry,it was going against our life plans and we couldn't afford it. We fought and fought and I told him I would raise the child alone. Family members stopped talking to me or just abused me. But I stuck to my guns.
We now have an amazing adventurous little 3 year old boy. We couldn't imagine life without him.

I am pro-choice and I made my choice.
Reading your story has opened my eyes. I am so thankful I chose what I did, and so very sorry to hear of your pain.


Jan Ross March 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

How sad that you had to experience this but how brave you are to write about it. Such a difficult decision, but it's a decision each woman must make when faced with that situation and I pray we never have that right taken away!


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

I am a male who paid for half an abortion. I was too scared to consider the alternative. 6 years later I attended a weekend with a dozen others to help the healing process. To grieve and be accepted by others in a similar situation & to feel loved again by myself, the world, and the creator was immensely powerful. I talk to my little princess many times.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

Having suffered at least 4 miscarriages and desperately wanting a baby, I cannot sympathize with any woman who falls pregnant accidentally and decides for whatever reason to terminate. I just think of all the people in the world who would give anything to be able to adopt these unwanted babies. And being an unwanted, adopted baby myself, it only makes me believe in adoption even more.

Having said that, I believe abortion DOES have its place in certain cases such as rape, incest, or severe foetal abnormalities.


alliecat March 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

I just wanted to say you write beautifully. That was an honest and heartbreaking account of a very personal trauma, and I applaud your sharing of it.

I used to say that too… 'I am pro choice but I don't think I could…'

I even said it when my bestie ended a pregnancy at 20 weeks for foetal abnormalities incompatible with life. I supported her thtough that in all the ways I knew how, and still I said it to myself. I understood it, but didn't know if I could do it.

Until. I was faced with it myself 4 years later. And I made the same decision. And I still say I don't know if I could do it again, because of how hard it all was. So I hear you. Nobody wants to be faced with such decisions, and in that office the decision has already been made, a thousand times over, questioned and questioned again.

So there is no judgment here, because until you have walked a mile in anyone's shoes how could you ever know what you would do in a similar situation? The best gift we can give one another is support, even in times whe you fundamentally disagree. This topic has fractured friendships in close circles of mine recently and it breaks my heart for everyone.

Termination is a necessary evil, and thank God it is available in a safe and accessible form in this country.


Rin March 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

You truely are an amazing lady Lori. I think it is great that you have shared your story so other women can either share theirs or know they are certainly not alone. I started 'dating' my now husband when I was 14. I am now 30 with 2 boys. I have helped close friends go through the pain and emotional turmoil of abortions and I regularly say to my husband how thankful I am to have never had to go through one. It changes people and is heartbreaking for them. I have had a miscarriage and think about that often. I am sure a lot of people still think about their own babies that couldn't be. I am all for abortions. Every one has the right to make a choice about this. Of course on the down side there are people that have had multiple abortions that I do not agree with, but that is a different story…………….


Lisa March 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

I've never been in a situation like you Lori so I don't know what decision I would make. I'm too old now for it ever to occurr but I have as a Registered Nurse looked after many women who have had to make the decision to terminate their pregnancy and I've always wondered what it must be like. Thank you for sharing this most private and painful story with us, it is very insightful and provacative.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

I cried the entire way through this. I had an abortion the same year, and my experience was identical. We could have even had it at the same place. It's something I've pushed down so, so hard- and I've never spoken about it to ANYONE, besides my boyfriend- who later became my husband, and we now have a gorgeous family, that I don't think will ever feel complete.

Unlike you, I'm not brave enough to put my name to this.

One tiny thing I disagree on is the ultrasound photo. I would give ANYTHING to have a copy of that sonogram. Some small reminder of a baby that I loved, but couldn't keep. Instead, they live in my mind, and I've got no special place to grieve…nothing to hold onto, to remember.


Anonymous March 5, 2012 at 8:51 am

I've had 6 miscarriages to date. I can't imagine making the CHOICE to miscarry.

In my youth, I cut a friend out of my life because she had an abortion. She was married. The baby wasn't her husbands. My husband and I were desperately trying to get and stay pregnant. It's not a proud moment in my history. But it's a moment.

I have a child now. I can't imagine my life without him. I often wonder what the children I'd lost would have turned out like.

However, I'm 43 now. I GET how someone can and does make that choice. I can distance myself enough from that choice not to shun or even judge them, no matter my personal situation.

Life changes you. Time changes you. It really does heal, and not always in the way you think it will. :)

This post made me really stop and examine how I think/feel about abortion now, as opposed to 25 years ago. Thanks for that.


Toni March 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

I've always been anti-abortion, but not anti-women who have them, if that makes sense.
Last year, I found out I was pregnant for the 9th time at 46, with a high risk of – well, you name it. And for my husband and I, there was no doubt that we would terminate.
During the first GPs visit, we discovered a problem with the pregnancy and after a couple of weeks of testing and ultrasounds, it turned out there was no baby. I still had to have a D&C; but the only emotions I felt were relief and fear of anaesthetic.
I always thought I could never go through with an abortion but I would have. I guess you have to be in a situation to really know what you would do.


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