If you care about maternal mental health, let us share our stories of abortion.
Big trigger warning for termnation / abortion
It’s a shame that in this day and age, there are still stigmas surrounding the topic of abortion and termination, especially when it comes to women sharing their stories. As someone who has been through the experience, I can attest to the fact that it is a deeply personal and difficult decision to make, but it is one that should be talked about openly and honestly.
Last year, I found myself in a situation where I had to terminate a very much wanted pregnancy due to a detrimental mental health situation. I was left feeling isolated and scared, with very little guidance from the NHS. When I turned to the internet for help, I found very few accounts from women who had been through similar experiences.
Feeling alone, I decided to share my story on social media. To my surprise, I was inundated with messages from women, most of whom were also mothers, who had been through similar situations to mine. It was a relief to know that I wasn’t alone in what I was going through, and it made me realise that there was a real need for more open and honest conversations about the topic.
I decided to approach a large online publication that I have previously written for, and had a good relationship with, with my story. After a period of deliberation, the publication came back to me and said that my story was too sensitive to be shared. I can’t say I was surprised, but I was saddened by the decision.
While I understand that the topic of abortion and termination is an incredibly sensitive subject, I don’t think that it should be any less important to talk about than other aspects of maternal mental health, and other sensitive topics relating to pregnancy and motherhood. It’s essential that women have the right to choose termination, and they should also have the right to share their stories if they so choose.
It’s frustrating to see that publications with the power to share stories and make women feel less alone in their situations are choosing not to do so. There are so many women out there who are struggling with the decision to terminate a pregnancy, and it’s vital that they have access to resources and support. By denying women the opportunity to share their stories, we are perpetuating the stigma around the topic and making it even harder for women to seek help and support.
It’s time for us to start having more open and honest conversations about abortion and termination. We need to break down the stigmas surrounding the topic and create a safe space for women to share their experiences. It’s only by doing this that we can start to provide the support and guidance that women need during this difficult time.