A person on tumblr said the other day that womyn should not get abortions, because it could mess with their mental health, since an abortion to the body is the same thing as a miscarriage.  Another person then responded that they had never known any womyn that regretted having an abortion or having mental health problems because of it.  I would like to address both comments here.

It is true that to the body, an abortion that is carried out by a doctor is the same thing as a miscarriage.  Because the elevated hormones are still present in the body for a while after the abortion, some people even think that a womyn who has had an abortion may still go through postpartum depression.  I am one of those people.  I am very sensitive to hormonal changes and when I got my abortion, my life spiraled out of control-hormones plus a huge amount of stress at work and in my relationships plus not being on the right medication and I was definitely due to another breakdown.  So to the person who does not know any womyn who have had mental health issues due to an abortion-here am I.

To the pro-lifer, though, I must say that despite my hormones and hospitalizations and stress, I never once regretted my decision to have an abortion.  Despite all that happened, I still credit it with saving my life.  You see, as one of my old doctors liked to say, I have “severe” mental illness and I am convinced that I would have gone through a postpartum depression much more severe than the one I experienced.  There have been a few times when I have felt flashes of guilt, because I am adopted.  Surely someone that is adopted is supposed to give their own child up for adoption if they follow in their birth mother’s footsteps by getting pregnant, right?  Wrong.  Every person has the right to make their own decisions about their own body, regardless of what anyone else decides to do with theirs.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or feels or believes about abortion-the choice is yours and yours alone, because your body is yours and yours alone.

So yes, I had mental illness issues partly due to my abortion a year and a half ago, but no, I never regretted it and never will.  In fact, the ability to have an abortion has made me even more firm in my beliefs about female autonomy.  About two months ago, I took a lobbying for reproductive justice workshop and I plan to start lobbying with the Women’s Feminist Health Center in Atlanta soon.  Having an abortion did not make me regretful, but it did add a fierceness for reproductive justice that is unparalleled.  I feel blessed that I was able to have my abortion and I want all womyn to have the unfettered ability to make their own choices.

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