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Abortion stories: your feedback

This week, Stylist ran a cover piece on abortion after the issue was thrown into the political spotlight once again.

Amid the media storm that greeted health secretary Jeremy Hunt's comments on a 12-week abortion limit in the UK, we ran unheard stories of abortion from the people whom it affects the most - women.

We then opened up the subject to you, our readers, and were overwhelmed by your response.

Many of you shared your own experiences of abortion, and the reasons why you felt it was the right or only choice for you. Others argued that a 12-week limit would never be feasible and expressed their anger over Jeremy Hunt's opinion. Some also pointed to medical developments and how these could affect the way women approach abortion.

Your reaction highlighted the complexity of abortion - but wherever you stand on it, the feedback we received is heartening in the way it brings the debate away from politicians and back to real women.

Take a look at some of the comments made (all anonymous) below, and add your own thoughts on abortion by reading the original article here.

Abortion: your experiences and feedback

"When I found out I was pregnant, I knew what I wanted straight away... I stand by the decision I made. I wasn't ready or able to be a mother, it's one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world to get right."

"There is no question that the abortion made my life better. It was not a decision I made happily, but it was clear to me that it was my only choice; the only way to finally get rid of my abuser and to keep from psychologically damaging my daughters. It was the catalyst that allowed me to get out of a terribly damaging relationship and move forward with my life. I have never looked back and have no regrets."

"I believe that a mature society must allow abortion but surely improving contraception is the better solution . Of course this is a private issue but it should still be discussed at a public level to allow people to understand the complexities."

"Reading the pain that women have endured, especially when they thought they were so ready to go through with the abortion, will definitely make me think extremely hard should I ever be placed in this position."

"I fear that if the 12 week limit is introduced it will simply send desperate women to underground clinics where they will risk infection, infertility and potentially worse. Is this really the answer? It's hard enough to go through an abortion without adding this to the list."

"It was a liberating opportunity for me, a kick up the backside to do things differently. of course, I do regret my stupidity and contraception has been very important to me ever since. I'm 42 now, happily married with a fantastic life."

"It interested me how ok I found the whole procedure. Sure it hurt physically and emotionally I felt a little peculiar for a few weeks, but I never felt guilty or like I had made the wrong decision. Men should be involved in the discussion but, ultimately, it's not their body and not their choice."

"I've fortunately never been in a position to consider making such a life changing decision, but am grateful that I can consider it and pray for the day when women all over the world have the same choice and won't be judged either way."

"I thought I was pro life. And then I became pregnant and I understood what so many women go through every single day. I can only apologise for my naivety. I can't express how wrong I was, and how important it really is to have that lifeline - it is never one used with ease and flippancy."

"If men got pregnant, getting an abortion would be as easy as buying a burger."

"If I ever got pregnant as a result of consensual sex I know for myself I could never have an abortion. I have always felt this strongly since I was a teenager. However I would never expect other women to feel the same way about abortion as I do. I believe it is an individual's choice and am therefore pro choice."

"We must make a stand against the likes of Jeremy Hunt; it's our body, and it must remain our choice."

"I believe that it is the right of the woman to decide whether to continue with a pregnancy and that no matter what her reasons for termination are - lifestyle, health, financial, emotional - she should be given the time and support to make a decision that she's comfortable with."

"The thought of women and girls having that choice taken away from them horrifies me when creating and raising another human being is such an important thing to do."

"I'm a bit disappointed that Stylist Magazine has framed this topic as a 'debate', both in its article and on various social media channels. For most people in the UK there isn't really an abortion 'debate'. It is a non-issue that has been foisted on us by US politics, and I fear that continued use of this term may push us in that direction."

"Since the law came into play medical science has progressed so laws need to move forward with it. This doesn't mean women can't choose, but they need to be more aware that it's not just about them."

"Having a child alone at 23 would have left me in complete poverty, every aspect of my life would have been a struggle and there was no part of me that could justify bringing a child into that kind of situation. It was not a matter of making my life more 'comfortable' - it was the decision that gave me anything discernible as a life at all."

"No one chooses an abortion as "an easy way out" of a pregnancy, but it's up to us, as a developed country with freedom of speech and democratic ways of resolving situation, to provide the best care that we can for women that do wish to have an abortion."

"Had the legal limit for abortion been 12 weeks for me last year the additional stress and extreme circumstances that would have to be navigated as a result of such a limit would quite frankly be unthinkable. I had the right to choose, but also the medical situation and Dr's advice effectively made termination the only viable option for me. It was not a a decision taken lightly, but certainly not one I regret."

"Thinking about the life our child would have had with our toxic relationship as a backdrop, and then with me as a single, financially unstable mother after the inevitable break up, I do feel I made the right decision. The experience has taught me to never take sexual relationships for granted - they can lead to pregnancy even if contraception is being used."

"It's not a catch all for all cases but lowering the limit, depending on how much, is not necessarily anti pro choice. It just goes against what we've started to believe - that being selfish and having a 'take' attitude is fine."

"What really angers me is the sheer volume of middle-aged men who insist on making comments on a subject which they know nothing about. They, more often than not, will have had no personal experience of this issue and as men will never have to deal with the changes our bodies go through should we become pregnant."

"The choice should always be there but I think there should be more emphasis how it can affect you mentally and especially physically."

"There are arguments to be made in favour of abortion, but it bothers me when it is argued that all women should have the right to terminate their own child, because it’s their body."

"Although I am very sad about having had an abortion, I know that it was the right decision for me. I hope that every woman out there who is struggling to make a decision - and those who are sure about the decision they want to make - will access the services and support available and have positive outcomes and lives to follow."

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