Atlanta, Georgia — There are different reasons for which women have abortions, and they are all personal. Some of them choose that because they were raped or victims of incest. Others have conceived with abusive partners, and then there are some who were not prepared for motherhood.
Following the restrictive abortion legislation passed by more than one state, women have been sharing their experiences bravely, in hopes of destigmatizing the concept of abortion.
CNN gave their support to women telling their stories with the #YouKnowMe hashtag. Some of them are in the following lines.
The Child Would Have Been Stillborn
Erica Goldblatt Hyatt found out during her second trimester that her baby boy had been diagnosed with a rare condition that was likely to cause him to die by the end of her pregnancy. The baby would have been her first child.
According to her, his diagnosis was Congenital High Airway Obstruction Syndrome. The condition appeared due to the fact that his trachea had not been formed. Moreover, he had Trisomy 16, a chromosomal abnormality that often causes miscarriages.
Goldblatt Hyatt and her husband talked about their son’s condition to fetal surgeons, as there was a possibility of performing surgery on babies with the mentioned syndrome after they were born. However, the case of their child was too grave.
She said that the doctors had explained that the baby would have been born without any brain function, even if he had not died due to heart failure. The couple had a hard time dealing with that fact and finally decided to terminate the pregnancy.
She shared her story because many people misunderstand women who take the step she had made.
Goldblatt Hyatt said that she owed to his late son to tell their story and honor the memory of him. She added that she owed it to women who did not feel ready to address the subject.
Goldblatt Hyatt was pregnant for about 20 weeks when she ended her pregnancy in 2012. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of abortions that happen between 14 and 20 weeks is eight percent.
Seven years have passed since her abortion, and during that time, she has given birth to three healthy children. She works as a counselor, helping women who have ended their pregnancies, among other things.
She Was Not Prepared for More Children
A mother of two got pregnant and decided, together with her husband, that they were not ready for one more child. This mother asked to remain anonymous.
She said that their two daughters had been born very close, so it had taken her and her husband some time to get their breathing room to have another child. According to her story, they did not know if they could handle a third child.
Her husband panicked upon finding out about her pregnancy, and they agreed that the moment was not right. They had a son later on when they were prepared for another child. The mother calls him her light and love.
Women who have ended their pregnancy are often already mothers. 85% of those who went through with an abortion in 2012 were unmarried. However, as stated by the CDC, mothers of at least one child having an abortion represent a common case. 14% of those who ended their pregnancies in 2012 were already mothers of three children or more.
Her Birth Control Was Not Effective
Sometimes, unplanned things can happen even during safe sex. After all, there are times when birth control fails.
Casey Duran was 24 and earning $15 an hour when she learned she was six weeks into her pregnancy. According to her, she was using birth control and requested that her partner used protection too.
Duran, who is now 26 years old, said that she had been aware of not being ready, and therefore, had tried to protect herself the best way possible. Unfortunately, it happened nevertheless, as it can always happen.
While commenting on the abortion debate, Duran said that it was not only about women who had been raped.
She stated that she had had a job as a receptionist and had been hardly able to support herself.
She said that she still thought about the ways her life would have turned out if she had not had access to safe abortion. She would have supported herself and her child with a minimum wage salary, living on assistance, and using a public system from which women like herself are frequently denied due to the opinion of lawmakers who believe they are taking advantage of it.
She Feels That She Does Not Need to Explain Herself
The reasons for having an abortion are personal, and many women addressing the subject online want to keep them to themselves.
Kristin Mink ended her pregnancy many years ago and did not wish to disclose her reasons.
According to her Twitter post, she has two amazing children she is very grateful for. She also wrote that she had had an abortion years before and that it was none of anybody’s business to know why.
She said that she was the same person, but that her choices differed because of different circumstances.
She Grew up in an Abusive Home
The parents of Kait Payne were 18 and 17 years old when she was born. They got married following her birth and then divorced about two years later.
Payne said that her parents’ relationship had been unhealthy and toxic, as her father had been physically abusing her mother. She added that her grandmother, a single mother with an 8th-grade education, had raised her.
Payne stated that she had gotten pregnant at the age of 16. She was out and got drunk for the first time and then slept with her boyfriend with whom she had been dating for about a month.
The sexual encounter was consensual, but from the perspective of an adult, Payne believes that the influence of alcohol was too strong for her to be able to give consent. According to her, her boyfriend told her that the condom had broken.
Payne, who is now 26 years old, says that she knew, even then, that she did not want to live the way she did before and that she wanted a better childhood than hers for her children.
Her tweet with the #YouKnowMe hashtag was the first time she publicly spoke of her experience, 10 years after ending her pregnancy.
Payne said the reason she had remained quiet for so long was the stigma around abortion. However, once she saw the occurrences in Alabama, she could not stay quiet anymore, especially because she has a daughter now.