Women’s Stories

17 years, a grandchild remembered

My story is nearly 17 years old but is as fresh today as it was then.
My 18 yr old son and his 17 yr old girl in their pledge to be together forever, decided naively to try for a baby. They quickly achieved a pregnancy and were planning for this child.
I myself was also pregnant, and when my son came to me and told me this my instinct was to share my prenatal vitamins etc. Just a few weeks later his girlfriend after telling her parents about the baby, began to behave differently. It quickly came to light that they had persuaded her that by having this child she would wreck her plans for her career and become just another teenage mum.
I tried my hardest to talk to her and told her I would support and help her as much as she needed, to no avail. I held her hand as I begged her for the life of my grandchild, but the limp clammy hand signalled it was falling on deaf ears.
I got home from work one Sunday evening to find my 18 year old son sobbing uncontrollably as he told me the abortion was scheduled for the next day. I held him in my arms and sobbed with him. He wrote the most beautiful poem to his unborn child ( he believed God had shown him it was a daughter) which I may share at some point, but it was written in love and a broken heart, and to this day, tears my heart out. I pleaded with God the whole night for the life of this child, my own baby kicking in my belly. Somehow, quietly and gently He told me He would not violate the girls will, it was her choice. Over the next 12 hours peace came and grew in my heart; I knew there was nothing I could do, as my son wrote in his poem, she was on her way to be with the Lord.
Every November I remember that day, and every beginning of June I think of how old she would be now, just 2 months younger than my own daughter. I know I will see her one day, and I know my son and I did all we could, but the loss is still palpable. Love you Leah x


Oh beautiful one. Your story resonates with me. I too have 3 children and I had my 8 week 5 day old aborted on Tuesday. The most horrible day of my life and I am filled with such deep regret and sorrow and just want my baby back. I too had Hyperememis Gravidarum and was in hospital for 3 days. I too wish I had ran as soon as I was hesitant. I had booked in for counselling but couldn’t get in until next year. Our decision was because we would have gone bankrupt if we proceeded and the whole family would have suffered. I wish I had of been strong enough to find a way. I miss my baby every day. Sending you love, light and healing.

This is choice? K

I have three kids.  I just had a surgical termination on friday 16th.

I was 8 weeks pregnant.   I suffered Hypermemis Gravidarum and was already hospitalized 3 times for four days due to vomiting.

I regret every single moment of it and wish i just walked away out of their when i started to feel hesitant.  I do have a partner but unsupportive.

But the hospital advised me and then the pressure of speaking to a social worker in regards to being sick and how I feel etc I didn’t know if I could do it so close to Christmas and possibly be spending Christmas in hospital away from my babies I already have.  K


My name is Jesse  and this is a short story I wrote when thinking about the abortion I had 9 months ago.

The mother wakes up to a cold dreary day.  She looks at her still sleepy face in her bedroom mirror that has been passed down from her grandmother to her mother and now to her.  Thoughts run through her head of what she should name her child.  If baby is a girl, perhaps Ruth or Lilly.

Ruth was her grandmother’s name on her mother’s side.  She remembered those cold nights spent in the upstairs of that home nestled in the corners of the mountains.  Nights spent listening to the talk between adults with the constant noise of Wheel of Fortune followed by Jeopardy on the old television.  Moments spent hiding in the closet that was once used for the same purpose as her young mother.  Afternoons daring to slowly approach the haunted rooms up the long staircase.  She remembers the red glow of sun striking through the orange curtains and falling to the floor creating a rouge pathway to the room that must surely contain hidden ghouls amongst the remains of witchcraft.  As she was an only child these moments were spent alone, but never lonely.

Lilly was the name of one of her great grandmother’s sisters.  This side of the family was from Germany.  The family had been in Berlin for some time, at least until war struck sending her grandmother overseas with an American soldier as a husband.  When visiting Germany at the age of nine she was taken away with the fairy tale land around her.  Time spent chasing sheep in fields of small red flowers with mountains too big for man and yet close enough to touch.  A morning at the market wandering amongst venders that shout for your attention to their wares.  Seemingly endless taste tests of meat, bread, cheese and bountiful amounts of chocolate.  The feelings of that world were hers alone to remember, but never gave a feeling of loneliness.

She stretches and thoughtfully runs her hand across her small tummy that shows no sign of baby.  She glances at the time and realizes that her appointment is not that far off.  She undresses and steps into a warm shower.  The smell of lavender engulfs her and her thoughts drift to the colors she should choose for her baby’s room.  Lavender would be a delightful color.  Her baby girl would find peace and relaxation in tones of soft purples with white accents.  She could give her the white angel that was once her own mother’s to be placed up high to look over her.  The shower stops and the mother silently wraps a towel around her wet body.

She chooses a loose pink shirt today.  Pink for a girl.  Her daughter would always wear pink.  The mother has curly hair and hopes that her daughter has curls like her as well.  She imagines detangling a mess of hair on her daughter when she is five and her hair is long.  Then her little girl will begin to want to straighten it because all her friends will have straight hair.  Nights will be spent with a blowdryer and a hot iron as they gossip in a small bathroom.  The boys will chase her surely.  Arguments will ensue about when and with who she can go out with while she is busy doing her hair in front of an old mirror.

Once dressed she walks to her car and begins her drive to the office.  Her daughter will be what the mother never could be, an artist.  She will grow up with a paintbrush in her hand.  She will always be painting the walls and floors, beautiful messes that will go down in history as her first masterpieces.  Her clothes, her hands, her face and hair will catch the colors as she sits back to admire her work.  The mother arrives at the building on time.

As she waits for the nurse to call her name she Imagines her daughter’s wedding.  She will wear a soft tone on her wedding dress because she is not your average bride and has never fit inside a box.   She will be nervous to walk down the aisle not because she isn’t sure of her husband to be or because she is scared.  She will be nervous because of the happiness that has been built up within her since she was a child.  She will seem to be delicate on that day but really she will be the strongest one there.  She does not need a man but she has chosen her love to be a part of her.  The mother’s name is called.

She enters a white room and is told to undress and lie down a table under a white sheet.  The mother obeys wordlessly.  She closes her eyes but she finds dreaming to be too difficult now.  This silent day is now filled with noise.  The sharp sounds of medical professionals.  The course sound of her breathing getting faster and increasingly shallow.  The jumbled sounds of someone telling her it’s over and now she can leave.

The mother makes it to her car and drives home.  Not imagining or dreaming of anything.  No sobs wrack her body, no tears stain her face.  A lifetime of memories that once had purpose now feel meaningless.  Her life as an only child always seemed so full but this is the first time she feels truly alone.  She had been filled with her ideas and sentiments for her future.  But what is the point now?  She sees her eyes in the car mirror.  How many people died today?  Her eyes fill her with an unquenchable thirst for love.  Who really died today?

My heart is broken and I ask you to tell me, will I ever feel alive again?




At the time I was 18, my boyfriend 19.  I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3 years and we had sex for the very first time on our 2 year anniversary… After months and months of sex I realized I missed my period from a period tracker app I have on my phone. So we talked and talked.  He really wanted the baby so he took extra hours at work and he saved a TON of money.  Me being pregnant I was upset that he couldn’t talk to me as much or he couldn’t be around as much because he was literally always working for the baby and I.

I lived at home with my mum.  I was supposed to be leaving for school  but I missed it because I was focused on the baby and my health my mum didn’t know and at this point I was 2-3 months.  I didn’t tell her because I knew that she would say to get an abortion but I wanted my baby so I said nothing.

Eventually she started to notice (of course) and she took me to a clinic and I heard his/her heart beat they took measurements etc and I even have pictures so as soon as we left and my mum found out I was 20 weeks she said find a nearby abortion clinic that do late term abortions.   My heart sank.  Weeks later she cursed me out and she threatened to kick me out as I cried hysterically till my eyes were swollen shut.  She walked by and called me horrible names and saying that my boyfriend would leave me and that he won’t take care of the kid and I told her I would just do it…

I did it because I wanted to make someone else happy and I had to convince myself that I disliked my boyfriend even though in my heart I knew he would be there. My mum had an abortion around my age and she told me when I was 15 that she regretted it and she got pregnant soon after that and had a boy and he’s a mislead and rebellious and that scares me I don’t want that to happen to me but me and my boyfriend are still together.

I have a job now and I am starting school again soon…and to this day me and him cry and struggle knowing we would’ve been able to take care of him/her.  On the 30th he/she would be 4 months old.   I know God forgives me but it’s hard for me to forgive myself I just wish I would’ve fought harder if only I knew then what I know now


I had a surgical abortion done on the 4th of may 2016. I was so scared when I found out I was pregnant, seeing those 2 lines on the pregnancy test shocked me. I didn’t know what to do.

Telling my partner was the hardest, we’d had a miscarriage the previous month. He took it pretty well. But he knew we both weren’t ready for this sort of thing.
I waited a week to go to the doctors, the doctor referred me to get a scan done. To find out how far along I was. So I booked the appointment and went in to get the scan done.
The second I saw it on the scan, my heart broke. It was just a small sack, with a little tiny heart beat. Barely there, so small, so innocent. I changed my mind for a split second.

More arguments were to come with my partner. We both just didn’t know what to do. We were both scared. So the only option we could come up with was abortion.
I waited another 4 weeks before calling the clinic to book a consultation appointment. I dreaded the appointment, deep down I didn’t want to do it.
I was close to 8 weeks pregnant by the time I went to the clinic, they did a scan to confirm how far along I was. I refused to look at the screen when the doctor did the scan.
Soon after I was taken in for the procedure. I was told to remove my pants and undies, and put on a gown. I laid down on a chair and from there on I cant remember the rest of it.

When I woke up I felt guilty, angry at myself. I couldn’t stop crying. My partner felt guilty too. He kept saying ‘sorry’ over and over again.
Deep down I don’t even know if I did the right thing, I keep thinking about the baby and if it had been a boy or girl.


I was 5 weeks when I found out I was pregnant. I’m 28 years old and I have a very wonderful fiancé (still engaged to him). We both talked about my pregnancy, as much as we wanted to very badly keep the baby we kept thinking of my parents. Because we both moved away to attend college, my parents are very concerned about mine and his education.

It was when I was 8 weeks pregnant  I took the abortion pill.  I came home that same day and experienced what was the worse thing I’ve ever done.  I couldn’t bare to see what I saw, even my fiance.  I started to hate myself and praying God for forgiveness.

I’m currently now going through medical problems after the abortion as I didn’t pass everything. I’m seeking medical help, but it makes me sick when I hear the doctor sat “termination of the pregnancy”.  No one knows about what is going on but my finace, not even my own parents.

My whole family, including distance relatives are against abortion and I just don’t have the heart to tell anyone as I’m afraid they’ll not forgive me. I’m putting it behind me and decided with my fiance to make a memoir and tell everyone when the time is right.

But still to this day I hate myself thinking what have I done, that could have been my child.


it all started 3 years ago .  I already had two kids and was a single mum.  I had this guy that I fell in love with.  He was amazing.  He treated my kids well and he has a son.  All the kids loved each other.

In 2013 we had a 2 month break up and he told me he had slept with someone else but he regretted it.  We wanted to give it another try.  We decided to move in together and I got pregnant and had his child which is my third.   2 days after my son was born he told me the girl he slept with called him and told him that he has a daughter (the only girl).    I fell into deep depression yet I loved him so I tried to ignore the situation got pregnant again.

He had no job and I was struggling  working and paying a babysitter while he slept all day.  I didn’t want to have an abortion.  I was scared of raising another child with no financial help or a helping hand.  I debated till I was 14 weeks and I did the biggest mistake I could of ever done.

Now after my abortion he left me.  I cant think straight or even work.  My mind is crazy right now.  I don’t know how to cope with the loss of my baby and now him.

I feel so alone and stupid now I’m a single mum of three and I’m only 26.   Please don’t be cruel to me.  I am hurting enough right now and I just need someone to hear me out.

K’s story

October 12th, 2014.
I will always remember this date, every cold detail.

I had been in a loving relationship for about one year, we are still happily together now. When I found out I was pregnant I went numb, I walked into the kitchen and started buttering a piece of toast and then just sunk to the floor and sobbed. He held me and without even talking we both knew what came next. We were young, had a million things we wanted to accomplish. The fact that we didn’t want a family then doesn’t mean we didn’t want one later on.

We arrived at the clinic very early in the morning, before the sun came up and everything was grey and dew covered. I had been listening to the song A Postcard to Henry Purcell from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack on repeat for the entire drive, and then one final time through while we sat parked. Their was one single protester, he stood alone with a sign on the pathway that lead up to the clinic’s front door. It was terrifying, I was just going through the motions.

I was early enough in my pregnancy to have a medical abortion. The doctor took one final ultrasound, I still have the image tucked inside and envelope. I can’t bring myself to throw it away, that would mean erasing all evidence that it every existed. I realize it was only a small seed of cells, this was the reassurance I gave myself to follow through with the abortion. What hurts me now to this day is the potential of what that little seed of cells would have become.

Every year on October 12th we remember. I know this hasn’t taken the same toll on my boyfriend as it has on myself, he was hurt seeing me suffer but my pain came from somewhere else. I hurt because I consciously decided to end the life growing inside of my before it started. That life would have been a part of me and him, but was never given the chance. Two years ago on the first anniversary we spent the day walking around these beautiful public gardens taking pictures of the changing trees, this year we did the same thing and next year we’ll probably do just that. I have to be outside looking at beautiful things, because if I don’t i’ll spend all day locked away thinking about the ugliest thing I’d ever done.

I have coped with what has happened, and I can say I mostly live day to day in peace. The dark spots come in the doubt and the wondering what might have been. When I do decide that I’m ready to have a family I will always be affected by the choice I made. I will always think each year how old that person would be, how different my life would have been. I chose this path, and I did it out of a selfish love for myself and my future, but that doesn’t mean it won’t feel like an open wound for all of time.

Lyn… ‘too young, too incompetent’

The first time I fell pregnant I was 14 years old. I had a stable boyfriend at the time, my first love. After reading some bad advice in a girly magazine, I took a risk with unprotected sex. Abortion didn’t cross my mind at first, I didn’t even know what it was at the time. My mother had once entered a bathroom with a coat hanger when heavily pregnant, and I knew somehow that she was trying to kill her baby, but I had never grasped the concept of “abortion”.

My main concern with the pregnancy was telling my mother, and hoping to get to a point where I was large enough that she wouldn’t hit me. So I hid my pregnancy for several weeks before the rumour got out at highschool and eventually reached my mother’s ears.
She immediately demanded I get an abortion. When I asked what that was, she told me, and I broke down in tears and screamed, “How could I kill my baby!?”
“Its not a baby! Its just a clump of cells” My mother had spat back angrily.
It was a line I would hear frequently over the coming days, months and years.

My mother told me I was too young and incompetent to have a child, even though I had been helping her take care of her own children, my siblings, since I was 8 years old. She told me she wouldn’t help me. I couldn’t live with her, she had her own children to worry about, which must not have included me.

She dragged me to a Dr to get a referral for abortion. I hoped the Dr would help me out, but even after seeing me in tears and hearing me say I wanted to keep the baby, the Dr told me that abortion was the best option. She gave the referral to my mother, and my mother called up the clinic to make an appointment, all the while I cried and pleaded with her not to make me.

Back at school I sought out the counsel of my favourite teacher, hoping she could help me, maybe talk to my mother. She too told me I was too young and incompetent to care for a baby. She told me it would ruin my life, my education, and that abortion was the only solution for someone in my situation.

I clung to my boyfriend who was supportive at the time. He was raised Catholic and I told him I couldn’t kill my baby, and he agreed with me. He said he would do everything he could to make sure I could keep my baby, and his mother, also a devout Catholic, said she would assist any way she could.

I went back to my mother with this new information, which she immediately refuted. “You want to be like his mother, stuck at home with 6 children!?” She had yelled. “You know he’ll leave you once you have a baby and get fat and have a stretched vagina. He’ll want someone fresh and unburdened.”

I tried to ignore her. I believed my boyfriend would stick by me. I believed his mother would help me, and I clung to that hope, until that too was taken away. After a few weeks of arguing, of being told I was incompetent, of being told I was ruining my life, of being weakened, my boyfriend came to me.

He had been talking to one of the teachers at school. She had told him how risky pregnancy was, how I could die because I was so young. He told me his dad was pressuring him to leave school so he could support me and the baby, but that he wasn’t ready to leave school. He told me “We can always have another baby, later, when we are ready”. Now he too wanted me to have an abortion.

Feeling as though I had lost my last support, I gave in and allowed my mother to book the appointment.

At 13 weeks pregnant (it was illegal to terminate past 12 weeks in 1998 in WA), I took a day off school to attend the clinic, and went with my mother and my boyfriend. We went into a mostly empty waiting room, and my mother filled in some paper work before I was pulled into a room alone for “counselling”.

The counselling consisted of telling me about the anaesthesia they would use, “twilight sleep”, and how to use the contraceptive pills they were giving me. They discussed nothing of the procedure, and nothing of what would happen to my “clump of cells”.  Maybe they thought too much discussion would scare me.  It would have.  Then they asked me if the abortion was what I wanted.  I told them no, it was what my mother wanted.

“We can’t do the procedure if it’s not what you want.”  The counsellor had told me.  She leaned in close, and said to me in a very practiced way, something along the lines of,  “You will have to go back out there and tell your mother it’s not happening, and it was a waste of time and money coming all the way out here.”
I was terrified of what my mother would say or do if I was sent back to her, still pregnant. “It’s what I want too.” I lied.

They dressed me in a gown and took me into the surgery. They told me they had to do an ultrasound, but I didn’t have to look if I didn’t want to.  They helped me on to the table, and then gave me an injection to sedate me.  A nurse held my hand and I counted backwards from 10, until I blacked out.  They never did an ultrasound.
When I woke up I felt giddy and happy.  I commented on how I liked the colour of the walls. They sent me away with antibiotics and birth control pills, and an empty uterus.

At first I felt fine, relieved that it was all over and I could go on with my life, without my teachers and mother hounding me.  Then I started noticing the babies. Everywhere I looked there were babies. Even at school, girls were having babies. I didn’t understand why they were capable of having children but I wasn’t. I started to break down and fell into a deep depression. I cried constantly, and when I wasn’t crying I was sleeping. I stopped seeing my friends, I stopped doing my school work. All I wanted was my baby back.

My mother told me I was making a big deal over nothing, and that I should “get over it”.  My teachers told me to “get over it” and get back to my schoolwork.  Even my friends couldn’t understand why I was so upset.  My boyfriend, who was supportive at the start, began to get frustrated with me. He was sick of looking after his miserable girlfriend while his friends were off and having fun. He wanted me to “get over it”.  Then the worst thing happened. My boyfriend, and only support, broke up with me. We would never have that replacement baby he promised.

Now I was completely alone. I started drinking and sleeping around. I fought with my friends, my ex, and all his friends. I became the crazy girl who had an abortion, and eventually I was driven out of the school and the area.

In my new school I tried to settle down. I tried to forget my past. I tried to “get over it”, after all it was just a clump of cells, and I couldn’t let a clump of cells ruin my life. I had to be a normal person, and normal people didn’t grieve abortion. I buried my pain, moved on and made new friends, but I was constantly on the search for something to fill a void. A huge hole in my heart. I ended up with the first guy who came along and showed an interest in me past just having sex. He was a drug addict and an alcoholic. But I didn’t care, because he loved me, and the hole filled in just enough to continue on.

I moved in with him when I was 17 years old, and after a year of living together I became careless with my pills, knowing I could get pregnant, but not really caring. I cried when the test came back positive, more because I was scared of telling my mum than anything else. Scared that she might be able to talk me into an abortion again. She was angry of course, but she could do little now. I didn’t live in her house of under her rules anymore.

At the 12 weeks scan I saw my baby up on the screen. He was rolling around and doing somersaults, and looked just like a human being. A little miniature person. He was a week younger than the baby I had killed, but he was still just a clump of cells, right? But this was a wanted clump of cells, and therefore he was worthy of life.

I loved my son with all my heart, enough for me to realise that my boyfriend was bad news. I tried to make things work at first, begging him to seek drug and alcohol counselling, but he refused. I moved out on my own when my son was a few months old, but he tried to follow me. He would come to my house unannounced and then wouldn’t leave. He would demand sex from me, and get angry and aggressive towards me and my son when I refused.

Around 6 months after we broke up he was at my house again, drunk and disorderly. He demanded sex, and not wanting to upset him I gave in. He didn’t want to use a condom, and I didn’t argue. The chances of me getting pregnant from one time was slim anyway…right?

Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I came to my decision rather quickly. I couldn’t have another baby with him and be trapped with him for any longer, and in this country you never have a baby if it’s going to cause you inconvenience. I knew it was the right thing to do, because every authority figure in my life had told me so, and I knew grieving a clump of cells was wrong, because every authority figure in my life had told me so.

I booked in for a termination without any more thought. I went in for the quick procedure, hurrying the doctor through the “counselling”, because I had been there before, and new what I was doing. I was completely emotionless. It was like having a tooth pulled.
Afterwards I felt relief. So much so that I went out nightclubbing that very night. I finally left my boyfriend a few months later and my life got back on track. I attended university, I met my husband. I got married and had a baby. And I new this had to be because I had an abortion. Abortion helps women. It helps them to leave their parents and get and education, because women are too incompetent to do those things AND take care of a baby. That’s what we are told anyway.

In 2007 I fell pregnant with my 5th child, 3rd I had planned on keeping. We were so excited. We were going to have a family of 3. We were going to be complete. Then at approximately 8 weeks pregnant I miscarried.
I was devastated when it happened. I locked myself in my room for nearly 2 weeks and ate and spoke little. I couldn’t help but think the universe was punishing me for my abortions. I killed two babies because they were inconvenient, and now I was losing a wanted and planned baby to make up for it.

I feel pregnant again almost immediately after, but this didn’t help my pain. I still felt guilt, and it affected my ability to care for myself and my children. My depression, which had always been lingering in the background, grew worse and worse. I began to be unable to cope with parenthood. I was put on medication after medication, and tried to medicate myself with drinking and partying, but nothing really helped. Finally in 2009, after years of feeling worthless and useless, I gave in and tried to end my life.

I was at home with my youngest son at the time, and scared he would be left alone when I died, I called the police thinking they would take at least 15-20 minutes to arrive. They arrived only a few minutes later, and luckily this saved my life.

They took me to the hospital, and they fed me charcoal to try to counteract the effect of the sleeping pills. I was in and out of consciousness, but I remember a nurse asking me my name, and the date and then how many children I had. I said 6, and he asked my husband if that was right. My husband gently reminded me we only had 3, and I broke down in hysterics, thrashing and calling out for my lost babies.

I was put into a mental hospital, for the fear I would try to kill myself again. I remember begging one of the orderlies to bring my babies back to life. She acted like I was crazy. I’m not sure if it was because I wanted my babies back, or because I wanted clumps of cells back.
After two days of being away from my family and my children, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I begged to be let out. They agreed and put me into my husband’s care. I attended intensive therapy for a few weeks, with a focus on self-care. I got help with caring for my children, and eventually I regained a sense of normalcy, yet the pain of my abortion was still there.

I wanted to support other women who had had abortions as a way of dealing with my pain. I wanted other women to be aware of the psychological effects so they could make the right choices. I volunteered for a pro-choice post abortion support group, thinking a pro-life group would only judge me for my abortions. However after a few weeks working in pro-choice groups, I discovered this talking about abortion grief was not welcome, and the main aim was to put all the focus on the woman, no focus on the child, and help her to “get over it”. Pro-choice did not want anyone to know about the negatives of abortion. They didn’t want people grieving over “clumps of cells”.

I was in limbo for a while. Caught between abortion being necessary, and abortion being awful. It was soon after that that I came in contact with the pro-life movement, I had never really been exposed to a rational argument, and was under the impression that all pro-lifers were crazy religious nuts who hated women.

I started to see that there were many in the pro-life movement that really cared about women, and they also cared about the “clump of cells” which they called a human, a person and a baby. They told me it was okay to grieve for my lost child. They understood the societal pressures that drove me to that choice. They didn’t judge me for my grief. They helped me to heal. And now I hope that I can help other women do the same..