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Published: February 28, 2013 7:38 am to Opinion Column

An open letter to post-abortive women

You're not alone.

You’re not alone.

So, most of the time I put a little humor into my blogs, but today I’m gonna be what the kids call “super cereal.” For the most part, anyway.

Here’s the deal: I get a lot of e-mail from a lot of people. Some of them just want to tell me I suck, but many of them have a story. Well, I guess everybody has a story. But most of the women who write me with a story have abortion somewhere in their tales.

Not one of them has ever said, “I was eager to get an abortion.” Or “I felt great after my abortion.” Or “I’ve never questioned my decision.” I’m waiting for someone to write me and say, “I had an abortion and it was fantastic and I’m so glad I did it!” (I probably wouldn’t believe her for a second, anyway.)

Mostly I hear words like “pressure,” “no choice,” “alone,” and “terrified.” I hear words like “regret,” and “torture,” and “depression” and “denial.”

My experience in talking to women, both before and after I became pro-life, has me convinced that, eventually, virtually all women regret their abortions. I strongly believe that. I’ve never met a mother who regretted having her children, and I’ve never met a woman who didn’t regret having an abortion.

If you had an abortion, odds are that deep down, you regret it.

You may feel openly sorry, or you may feel very angry at anyone who suggests that you should be sorry. Either way, I think deep down, you are hurting. And I want you to get help.

You see, I know this one lovely lady in particular to whom I have long wanted to reach out, but she is very prickly about the subject of abortion. When I mention abortion on Facebook – it happens from time to time – she often pops up and makes a pro-choice comment.

But I happen to know she had an abortion. I also know she didn’t want to have it. But I don’t know if she knows I know. It’s awkward, to say the least.

I don’t know her very well, but I often want to write her and say, “I know about your abortion. I know it hurts you.”

I don’t know if that’s appropriate, though. I don’t want her to think I am just trying to win an argument. So it got me thinking. I know a lot of women who have had abortions, and I want to say basically the same thing to all of them.

So I’m writing to all of you right now, through this blog, to those of you I know personally and those I don’t know. If you’ve had an abortion, this is my message to you. I have not had it reviewed by a psychologist. I am not a licensed counselor. I don’t know if I’m saying “the right thing.” I’m just speaking from my heart, and this is what it says:

I have no anger or ill will towards you. I have nothing to say to you about whether or not you should have had the right to do what you did. I have nothing to say to you about the law or women’s rights or fetal development. I am not interested in having or winning an argument.

I know you feel like you’re not supposed to feel anything for your baby. I want you to know it is okay. What you are feeling is normal. What you are feeling is the loss of your child.

There is nothing but forgiveness and healing waiting for you.

It is okay to mourn. It is okay to feel conflicted. It is okay to have regrets. It is okay to be angry. You might be angry at me right now. Trust me, I can take it.

If you want to talk to me, I can help you get in touch with people who know exactly what you’re going through. Because, honestly, I don’t. But I’m human, so I know what pain feels like, and I know you want it to stop.

There are people you can talk to. There are things you can read and do and learn and discover that will help you heal. There are some links down at the bottom that will get you started. Or you can e-mail me if you want.

I speak for virtually every pro-life person I’ve ever met when I say this: I want to help you. I actually do. That is not just a ploy to get you to open up to me so I can judge you. I don’t give an s-word about judging you. I don’t think you somehow “deserve” to suffer or be punished. If you do, then so do I. So does everyone.

You deserve better. You deserve acceptance and healing.

No matter who you are, there are so many people you don’t even know waiting to help you. I am one of them.

These people want to help you, too: Rachel’s Vineyard

And so do these people: Silent No More

You can also e-mail me. You can count on me to keep anything you tell me in complete confidence.

Whoever you are, I sincerely pray for your healing and happiness.

About Kristen Hatten

Kristen is a writer and comedian who makes people mad on the Internet. She is Vice President of New Wave Feminists and enjoys taxidermy, yachting, and 19th century French poetry. Stalk her relentlessly for fun and profit.
View all posts by Kristen Hatten

  • Rebecca Downs

    I just shared this link while answering a post-abortive girl on Yahoo! answers btw.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MarlaKristen Kristen Walker

      Yay! :-)

  • Cinnamon Girl

    Thank you Kristen! It is “spot-on” and I reposted it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657336658 Jenifer Ramirez

    Sharing this now. You are right on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachel.bonzolam Rachel Bonzo-Lam

    Beautifully stated, resonates my thoughts and feelings as well.

  • Leslie D

    Deeper Still is another organization that seeks to help restore women as well as men who have participated in abortion.

  • Deege

    What a relief after reading comments in the other thread “Mother Sues Planned Parenthood for Forced, Botched Abortion” calling the victim a whore and saying she deserves pain and misery.

    • Timmehh

      I could not agree more. The comments on that article were awful.

  • Pamela Carney

    Thank you Kristin. I agree with everything that you wrote. I am post abortive and received healing from Rachel’s Vineyard and I am also part of the Silent No More group. We DO want to help women and men heal. We really, really, really do. We don’t judge or condemn – we offer support, love, and hope.

  • Detroiter327

    I have never once, not even for a second, regretted my decision to have an abortion. I have never felt depression due to it. I’ve never felt shame or guilt.

    There ya go. First time for everything.

    • Calvin Freiburger

      Kristen was writing about the ones with consciences. Which, clearly, doesn’t describe all post-abortive women.

  • irish

    wow. there’s about a sea of post-abortive women haters on this site. fantastic. well i have recently had an abortion, and i can give you a few facts just so you have some new understanding. yes, i regret it and it does hurt.however, why? why is this the case? of course we could go all doctor phil with this and bring up old problems stemming to this current one. however, the reason for this pain. very simple. “animal instinct” we were put on this earth to populate it and have babies. thats what we’re here for. but by aborting the very true purpose we women were here for, it totally screws with your head (typically). however, if i ever needed help with my problem, it would not be help from someone who is religeous, i have my pride, and own beliefs. also, why does feminism and jesus always get brought up whenever abortion is? why cant you people keep it seprate? and we should have people on here writing about what they KNOW. not people who write about what they SPECULATE from others. also; im pretty sure everyone knows a girl who’s “had an abortion” but they dont think you know. this does not make you an expert on abortions. but thank you for the words of encouragement, and all that jazz. but just a word of advice, leave your beliefs out of it. when someone mentions praying or the bible it makes me want to cut my eyes out. have a pleasant day.

  • Iona

    As a post-abortive mother I can’t tell you how beautiful and powerful it is for someone to say “it is okay”. It’s ok to acknowledge that you lost a baby and it’s ok to mourn for them, because if is only by going through this painful process that we can truly become free.

    Thank you for your beautiful words to those who hurt after abortion.