On Wednesday, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act was signed, which outlaws all abortions in the state unless the woman’s life is seriously at risk.
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God. https://t.co/DwKJyAjSs8
09:56 PM – 15 May 2019
The bill won’t take effect for another six months, but when it does doctors may face up to 99 years in prison for performing the abortion. The bill does not include exceptions for victims of incest or rape.
Thousands of women have taken to Twitter using the hashtag #YouKnowMe to reveal their own personal experiences with abortion. Since everyone’s reasons and circumstances are different, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their own stories.
Trigger warning: Some submissions include stories about sexual assault.
I was 22 and was already raising a three-year-old by myself. I’d been using protection with a guy who wouldn’t commit and never wanted children, but I got pregnant anyway. I sold my washer and dryer so I could afford the procedure by myself. If I would have had that baby, I’d be financially crippled and unable to provide for two children who would’ve led tough, tough lives. I regret nothing.
I had the procedure done four days before my 19th birthday. I could barely take care of myself, so how could I take care of another human? My family is very Catholic and pro-life, so I never told them. Thankfully my close friends who I did tell were super supportive. I would’ve been a mess without them. Absolutely no regrets.
I was 24. My copper IUD slipped out of place. Strings still felt normal when I checked every month, so I had no idea. I made less than $20,000 at my job and hadn’t yet finished school. There was never any doubt. I couldn’t bring a child into this world who I wasn’t ready or able to support when there are already so many other children waiting to find homes.
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Almost six years ago I was in an abusive relationship, and my sanity was already slipping before I found out I was pregnant. Had I not gotten an abortion, I would still be tied to that man, and I don’t think I would have survived.
I was 18. The condom broke. He wanted me to keep it, but I broke down to my mum and she took me to the clinic. No regrets. Eternal gratitude to my mother for not letting me bow to his wishes when I knew I didn’t want to be a mother, especially before I was really an adult.
I was 20, insecure, unhappy, and in an abusive relationship. I was on the pill and the condom broke, but I still got pregnant. I had no question about going through with the abortion. My angel has since been the drive behind my getting a degree and striving for the best in every aspect of my life.
I had an abortion at 19. I simply wasn’t ready to be a mother. I feel no shame or regret in my decision. I know I made the correct one for both of our sakes. Now, at 27, I’m a kick-ass mom to an 18-month-old.
I was 30. I had been recently diagnosed with lupus, had a demanding career, and the father wasn’t dependable. Still, everyone told me I should keep it because “What if this is your only chance?” With no maternal instincts or yearning to have a child, I knew termination was the only option. I have no regrets.
I was 22 and about to graduate college. I was on the pill. It failed for unknown reasons. I had a job lined up, a college degree, and a stable relationship, but neither of us wanted a child (he was 21). We made the decision together. I cried from pure relief afterwards. I’m glad I had a choice to do what I wanted.
I was told by doctors that I was infertile as a byproduct of PID and PCOS. I had never been on birth control and never had a pregnancy scare, so finding out I was pregnant was a shock. After discussing all of my options, doing an absurd amount of research, and looking into the finances of raising a baby, the only real choice was having an abortion. I wasn’t financially, emotionally, or physically ready to bring a baby into this world. It was my choice, and I stand by it. I’m better off for it now.
I was 19 when my boyfriend came home drunk and raped me. I got an abortion and had no regrets. Then, when I was 24 and in a new, toxic relationship. I got pregnant again. I told the guy, and he left me. I thought about keeping it out of shame, because it would be my second abortion. I had a low-paying job, no car, and lived in a tiny room at my mom’s house. She’s disabled and living on disability. Between the two of us, we were struggling to make ends meet. I didn’t know how I would take care of a child, and to be honest I never wanted kids anyway. Still no regrets and or shame.
I had just started my BA and got pregnant (my IUD shifted). I was living with my parents, didn’t have a job, was in a tough financial situation, and my husband was 900 miles away. We decided it was best for me to have an abortion, as we couldn’t support a child at that moment. Four years later, I graduated law school. I know I wouldn’t have been able to finish school with a baby. I can’t say I’m happy to have had one, but it definitely gave me the chance to start my career. I’m now looking into having a child because I am financially stable. This is why I support abortion.
Young waitress. Still in school. Not ready to add another mouth to feed. Never regretted my decision.
I was 23 years old and about to graduate from college. I didn’t and still don’t want children. I didn’t and still don’t want to give birth. No regrets, no shame. I am in law school now, and I probably wouldn’t be here if I had an almost-6-year-old child here today. My body, my choice.
It wasn’t my choice to have sex at 16, so I didn’t have a choice in getting pregnant. I was scared and went to my mom with my positive pregnancy test. My parents told me all of my options and left it 100% up to me. Abortion was on the table, and I took it. I was supported all the way and was offered any counseling I may have needed. Years later, we are blessed with my wonderful boy, and they are the best grandparents in the world.
I was 13. My stepfather was abusive, so my mom and I escaped to my grandparents’. We first thought that my missing periods and nausea were from stress and maltreatment. Fortunately my grandmother was suspicious, and she got me to the doctor. We made the decision (she didn’t force or chose for me). She was very clear that there was no good or bad decision, just a complicated one. I was not ready to be pregnant – not physically, emotionally, and surely not mentally. I could never make this choice for another woman, and I can’t imagine why someone would want to make it for me.
I was a senior in high school. My ex-boyfriend could sense that I wanted to break up with him, so he purposely tried to get me pregnant without me realizing it. Well, I got pregnant. It still hurts me to this day, but I would not have been able to go to college if I didn’t make the choice to get an abortion.
I had just broken up with boyfriend of 10 years. I moved three states away, started a new job, and learned I was pregnant. I made the mistake of telling my ex and was suddenly subjected to an onslaught of verbal and emotional abuse. Getting an abortion was the best choice at the time for me. I couldn’t afford to take care of a kid then. I have since met my husband and now have two lovely daughters.
I had an abortion a few years ago. I already had three beautiful children, and I couldn’t afford to have another. I didn’t have enough space and couldn’t imagine being able to bring another life into the picture. I’m content with my choice. I don’t think anyone should be judged for a difficult decision. We all are doing the best we can.
I was 17 and just graduated high school. I was at a party and someone slipped something into my drink. He got me alone by pretending to take me home after I passed out. I was shoved and forced into his car where I was raped. I quickly told my parents and the police what happened, and he was arrested and pled guilty. I found out I was pregnant two months after the incident. I knew I had to get an abortion because I was pregnant against my own will and about to start college and was nowhere near ready for a baby. Having an abortion saved me from having to be reminded daily about my rape. It also gave me the chance to be the first person in my family to go to college.
I was a 22-year-old university student. I don’t have a heart-rending reason for getting an abortion, nor should I need one. I just was not ready to raise a child. It’s time I shed the shame. It’s my body.
You can find more resources and information on the American Civil Liberties Union website.