‘There Is A Such Thing As A Positive Abortion Story:’ Women’s Clinic Counselor Films During Her Abortion Procedure
When 25-year-old Emily Letts found out that she was pregnant, she instantly knew that she was going to terminate her pregnancy. And then, she decided that she would film it. Letts works as an abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey and says she wished to show the world that “there is a such thing as a positive abortion story.”
The non-graphic video shows Letts performing breathing and humming exercises as a doctor holds her hand. She later discussed her reason for filming the procedure in an essay for Cosmo. An excerpt from her letter reads:
“I found out I was pregnant in November. I had been working at the clinic for about a year. It was my first pregnancy, and, full disclosure, I hadn’t been using any kind of birth control, which is crazy, I know. I’m a sex educator, and I love talking about birth control. Before this experience, hormonal birth control scared me because of complications I’d heard about from friends — gaining weight, depression, etc. So I tracked my ovulation cycle, and I didn’t have any long-term partners. I thought I was OK. But, you know, things happen. I wound up pregnant.
Working at an abortion clinic, you always think you’re pregnant. After hearing day in and day out stories from women not knowing they’re pregnant until 20 weeks or still getting their periods while pregnant, I take pregnancy tests all the time.
On a whim, I took a test, and it came up two pink lines. The moment when a woman looks down and sees those two pink lines and she’s not expecting to see them, it’s like time implodes and explodes simultaneously. You’re caught in this tornado that just sucks out all the breath in your lungs.
Once I caught my breath, I knew immediately I was going to have an abortion. I knew I wasn’t ready to take care of a child. The guy wasn’t involved in my decision. I called my supervisor and said, “Excuse me, I am going to need to schedule one abortion, please.” It was very early in the pregnancy, only two to three weeks.
Patients at the clinic always ask me if I can relate to them — have I had an abortion? Do I have kids? I was so used to saying, “I’ve never had an abortion but…” While I was pregnant and waiting for my procedure, I thought, “Wait a minute, I have to use this.”
Letts ended her essay by not only expressing that she did the video to show women that abortion isn’t scary, but that they shouldn’t allow anyone to make them feel guilty about exercising their right to choose.
“Our society breeds this guilt. We inhale it from all directions. Even women who come to the clinic completely solid in their decision to have an abortion say they feel guilty for not feeling guilty. Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.
I didn’t feel bad. I do feel a little irresponsible and embarrassed about not using birth control. I mean, Emily, wake up! What are you doing? I was going against the advice I give to patients all the time. So I had them put an IUD in after the abortion. I was able to learn and move forward. And I am grateful that I can share my story and inspire other women to stop the guilt.”
So far, Letts’ video has received mixed reviews. Many say that they are sickened by entire thing, others say they’re empowered and inspired.
You can watch the full video below. Let us know your thoughts.