Emily Letts’ Decision to Film Her Abortion is Brave, Informative, Important

When Emily Letts found out she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, she had a unique idea: she decided to film her abortion procedure. As an abortion doula and abortion counselor at Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, Letts realized just how scared, uninformed and guilty many women feel prior to undergoing abortion procedures.

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.

Instead of buying into all this shame and guilt, Letts decided to create a video about her decision, hoping to make a lasting impact on the lives of other women. While she knew of one Youtube video of a woman undergoing a nonsurgical medical abortion by taking the medication RU-486, she could not find a video of a women having a surgical abortion using local anesthetic.

First trimester surgical abortions last only a few minutes and occur by aspiration through the cervix. While they are extremely safe, involve no incisions and carry a risk of infertility of less than 1%, many women remain terrified of this type of abortion.  In the end, Letts decided to undergo a surgical abortion for this very reason: to dispel misconception about the procedure.

Yet women come into the clinic all the time terrified that they are going to be cut open, convinced that they won’t be able to have kids after the abortion. The misinformation is amazing, but think about it: They are still willing to sacrifice these things because they know that they can’t carry the child at this moment.

Letts’s procedure is shot from the waist up and allows the viewer the unique opportunity to see Letts as she breaths and hums her way through her procedure. While Letts video is time lapsed — it doesn’t show the entire three to five minutes Letts spent during the actual aspiration procedure — this is likely because there wouldn’t be much to see! Probably just more breathing and humming.

There over a million videos on Youtube of surgeries, many that are complicated and cary significant risk. When such videos of abortions don’t exists this sends a signal to women that abortion is so horrific an experience it is not suitable for viewing. Even in a culture where we feel okay watching an awake man have brain surgery.

With Letts’s video she lets women know the reality of early abortion. You might be uncomfortable, you might be sad, or emotional or want outside distraction. But you won’t die or hemorrhage blood everywhere. Someone will hold your hand and tell you everything is going to be okay. And you will be okay.

In filming and releasing her abortion video Letts has taken a brave step both personally and politically. She’s opened herself up to protestors and potential ridicule and though safe and effective abortions aren’t accessible to everyone, hopefully Letts’s video will help to change the way in which we perceive abortion and help women to have positive and caring experiences. As Letts says so powerfully during her procedure, “Everyone deserves it.”

EMILY’S ABORTION VIDEO from Emily Letts on Vimeo.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 274 articles for us.

49 Comments

  1. Thumb up 6

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    I definitely wasn’t convinced by the article that this was a video I wanted to watch. But I felt like I should watch it, like it was something I ought to do, and I’m really glad I did! I’m amazed by how not dramatic it was, by how calm she was and how quickly it was over. Thank you for the article!

  2. Thumb up 3

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    It is very brave of Emily Letts to film her abortion, and very much needed. Whenever I see anti-choice propaganda, they usually show gore pictures to scare people into avoiding abortion. It is bittersweet that Emily can show a safe, calm procedure debunking the scare tactics the anti-choice movement uses but at the same time receiving backlash because they’re upset/angry that someone showed that abortion can be safe if all the necessary resources are given.

  3. Thumb up 2

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    While I’ve never personally had an abortion, I was there when my sister did (via RU 486), and am always so surprised when anti-choice make abortions out to be this horrific experience. Maybe super late-term abortions are, but certainly not first trimester ones. My sister’s was pretty much exactly like an early miscarriage: basically just a period with bad cramps. There were no body parts, no visible embryo/fetus, nothin’. Incredibly anti-climatic.
    Anyway, I think this is important because women need to see some factual, first hand representation. Go Emily.

  4. Thumb up 3

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    Judging the article title, I was not planning on watching the video. But I’m glad I did. What an amazing, brave thing to do!! Thank you so much, Emily. Perhaps the greatest fear when contemplating an abortion is not knowing if you are going to be ok. Knowledge is power.

  5. Thumb up 2

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    Abortion in my opinion is like mercy killing. Giving birth to an unwanted child is more cruel. Having a child is not always a blessing, It’s not a blessing when you are financially incapable to buy milk. It’s not a blessing when you are emotionally unprepared. It’s not a blessing when you haven’t even planned anything for your own life.

    Criminals like serial rapists and torturers are mainly from broken homes and was neglected entirely by their parents. Their parents was not ready to have them but chose to have them anyway and they eventually suffered mentally.

    Don’t feel guilty because it’s your body and you make the choice. Those people criticizing you will not be there when you’re down with your last penny so their opinion shouldn’t matter. God gave us our brains to use it and not be manipulated by the socially acceptable camouflage.

    • Thumb up 7

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      Um, if it’s a woman’s choice to keep her child then I think she should be able to do so, and to live decently! The “welfare” (I hate the word welfare, public aid should be considered a salary : being a parent is a helluva job and it’s also really useful to society – is there a better word ?) system should provide sufficient aid so that ALL parents can raise their kids in decent conditions.

      Also, this is such a personal decision, and like most decisions when it comes to healthcare, there is no “right” or “wrong” choice. There are only choices that are right for one person in one environment at one moment in time.

      I see that you’re basically defending women who chose to have an abortion, and that’s important. But I think that’s it’s also important to stress that no one owes anyone an explanation about the medical decisions they make concerning their own body. And that women have abortions for an infinite number of reasons and we have to leave the discussion open to all narratives.

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      If a woman chooses to have an abortion, that doesn’t at all mean she’d make a terrible mother to the kid if she chose to carry to term and it doesn’t mean that kid would turn into a serial killer or something. It also doesn’t mean the kid is unwanted. There are a lot of reasons that women have abortions. It’s not one size fits all.
      Calling it a mercy killing is some fucked up logic, and you basically sound exactly like the people who sort of force women in tough positions to give their kids up for adoption both now and in the baby scoop era. You’re doing some serious shaming and making a lot of assumptions/judgments that you shouldn’t/can’t make. I think you need some serious education, especially if you’re ever going to come in contact with someone contemplating an abortion or who has had an abortion.

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        @woya OH MY GOD!!!! SHAMING??? NO!!! I AM PRO-ABORTION. I AM ALL FOR IT. IN MY OPINION, I CALL IT MERCY KILLING BECAUSE THAT THING HAS A LIFE. A FETUS OR FULL GROWN, IT IS STILL A HUMAN LIFE FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. (sorry for the all caps but i’m shocked you guys misinterpreted my comment as a fucked up logic)
        I just know what it’s like to have a responsibility you didn’t want at all but somehow the society gets you to think it is your choice and you should develop guilt.

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          Nobody is questioning whether or not you support a person’s choice to have an abortion, but a lot of what you said as to why abortions are excusable are pretty inflammatory. A person choosing to not carry a child doesn’t reflect her economic position, nor her ability to raise a child. Equating children that came out of unwanted pregnancies with serial killers and other criminals is incredibly offensive to people who have grown up perfectly normal, despite (potentially) difficult childhoods.

          Also, the fact that your comment is draped in the same language as most anti-abortion supporters (like the term “mercy killing”) is very off-putting. If I were to contemplate getting an abortion and you were trying to be supportive with that kind of comment, I’d be really uncomfortable and defensive. “I never asked for your justification as to what I do with my own body.”

          Just be aware of what you’re saying and how it draws parallels between things that are really inappropriate and unnecessary in a discussion about abortion.

    • Thumb up 2

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      I don’t know. I guess that I read Pinay’s comment as being pro-choice about abortion. I also see abortion as ok. I used to work with the team in operating theatre who perform it.

      I do see abortion as an eternally viable option. I didn’t even get offended when Pinay used the term Mercy Killing. How I interpreted that is having the services of abortion available is a mercy, it is a good service. I don’t see her as shaming women or women who use abortion, at all.

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        @annalou Thanks anna! :( The last thing i would do is to shame abortion. I’m not at all generalizing every woman but in my opinion like i said again MY OPINION, It is mercy killing. It felt that way.. In my opinion..

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      @paper “I never asked for your justification as to what I do with my own body.” My comment was from my perspective, A friend of mine had her own abortion. And besides if it’s not UNWANTED then why would the mother to be abort the baby? why take it out from your body if the reason is not because it is UNWANTED in the first place?
      And i’m not saying the baby will INSTANTLY BECOME A SERIAL RAPIST OR BE AN OUTLAW but from my experience and from my own country and from what i saw, there’s a room for that possibility. Couple years back, I constantly visit a local jail with my preacher uncle and we read the bible to the detainees. (ironic because now i don’t even want to hear a single verse from the bible) I talked to some of them and they usually have similar backgrounds. Their childhood was full of neglect and trauma caused by their own mother or father. My comment was a personal sensitive part from that experience.
      I’m unwanted myself. My father told me that when he was drunk and even when he was sober. I turned out okay but the journey was awful. I used and sold drugs and I did other awful things that i will keep to myself until death.
      Forgive my ignorance if you still think every comment i wrote was to shame abortion.

  6. Thumb up 1

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    Can we take a moment to notice the incredible empathy of the staff who reached out, literally, to Emily and hold her hands? Such love makes the difference between making a woman feel comfortable about her decision. This clearly wasn’t just ‘a job’ to these staff.

    Admittedly I didn’t want to watch the video. I’m pro-choice but even so I will say I found this video difficult to watch, mainly because I was so proud that Emily was comfortable with her decision. I guess we’re uncomfortable because we don’t see women in situations of empowerment/success often enough.

  7. Thumb up 3

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    I’m pro choice but I do have mixed feelings about filming the procedure and about this article. It’s good to talk about the procedure, it is important. But it still is not the same as a usual surgery to me and I believe it shouldn’t be.

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    I understand accidents happen, but wouldn’t an abortion doula and abortion counselor have the information and accessibility to prevent the pregnancy in the first place?

    As someone who has no formal experience in the field and has regularly engaged in heterosexual sex since becoming sexually active, I can confidently say that I do not think it is that difficult NOT to get pregnant. This is why I am surprised that someone who councils these women wouldn’t be more knowledgable in preventing the pregnancy the first place.

    I’m sure this is an unpopular opinion but could she have planed the pregnancy and abortion to inform the “scared, and uninformed” women she comes across on a daily basis?

    • Thumb up 5

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      I’m pretty sure that’s unlikely. Also, people have different fertility levels, throughout their lives and at given times, which can make accidents more or less ‘forgiving’ for different people, and people have different bodies and different kinds of sex which can make ‘accidents’ more or less likely.

      Someone might be used to ‘easily not getting pregnant’ doing the same things as another person for whom a pregnancy does happen. A friend of mine had several incidents of condom breakage across partners (she didn’t have access to the pill at that point), and although she suspects it might have happened because of a technique problem, she has no definite answer. Meanwhile her roommate used the same methods, across the same period, and with roughly the same amount of sexual experience, and experienced no such incidents.

      • Thumb up 2

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        Actually, the rhythm method can be quite effective at pregnancy prevention provided you use it correctly: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/fam-standard-days-method-22141.htm. She’s a sex educator, so she knew how to use the method. That being said, even with perfect use, fertility awareness/rhythm methods still have a relatively high failure rate.

        Remember though, lots of things go into someone’s risk calculations: a relatively high risk of pregnancy may be outweighed by someone’s fears of weight gain, emotional shifts,or even depression. For lots of people, an unplanned pregnancy is a much more tolerable risk than depression or other health issues.

    • Thumb up 2

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      In the huffpost article above she admits to not being on any form of birth control or taking any measures to prevent pregnancy. If you actually read her quotes, it’s very disturbing. She should not be counseling vulnerable women.

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        Ahhh, I don’t know how to use the quote thing. The italics are my commentary on this quote, taken form the cosmo interview:

        «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. »

    • Thumb up 5

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      And so…?

      What’s the big deal about her not being on birth control? That she should have had a baby as punishment for being ‘irresponsible’ in her choices? Or are you suspecting her of a kind of ‘premeditated murder’?

      (Just my two cents: The backlash she no doubt knew she would face would be a pretty intense deterrent for a ‘plotted’ abortion. I’m pretty sure she has or will receive death threats.)

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        Yeah, there’s a major difference between tracking your cycle to try to avoid pregnancy but not taking birth control and “getting pregnant on purpose so she can have an abortion!!!!” or whatever the accusation is that’s been leveled at her elsewhere. It was an unwanted pregnancy. The calendar method is hardly uncommon (though obviously not advisable) and she was appropriately sheepish about not having taken better precautions considering her field.

  9. Thumb up 4

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    Seeing that first-trimester abortions are wildly safer than giving birth, I would be amused to see you go around maternity wards and shaking your finger at the mothers for being ‘reckless with their bodies’.

    (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-abortion-idUSTRE80M2BS20120123

    Quote: «Researchers found that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortion.»)

    ‘A burgeoning life’? Seriously? She was two to three weeks pregnant! That’s not even called an embryo yet, that’s a trophoblast, or ‘ovular bag’, basically a mass of rapidly dividing cells.

    People have spontaneous abortions of trophoblasts all the time without even noticing it! The percentage of fertilized eggs who successfully attach to the endometrium (the lining of the uterus, which by the way, is not a ‘cosy little nest from mommy’, it is the tissue in the body that it is HARDEST to attach to. Researchers have tried to grow embryos all over the bodies of mice and it is the single hardest place to grow one, and there’s a reason for it too: pregnancy in higher primates is extremely expensive, and it’s in the mother’s interest to give resources to only the most stubborn egg who manages in there, the ones most likely to survive.) I just cannot understand how people put questions of morality in these kinds of situations. Pregnancy is not this permanent loving mother-baby bond 24/7, it’s a struggle for the balance of resources. Eggs are projects, not babies.

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      “Eggs are projects, not babies.” It is still a living thing because it has the ability to grow. I’m not religious but i do believe that every living thing has a life. I keep making unpopular comments on this article because homosexual women are that type of women who will cry because of a cute cat video. I mean, I’m pro but I cannot force myself to be completely apathetic towards an embryo or an egg project. I cannot choose to not feel and be as typical as some of the other women. My friend had her abortion and i helped but we still cried when the embryo aka egg project was gone. I believe that IT HAD A LIFE, Is that wrong for me to believe? Does it mean i’m waving a morality flag if i believe that? I’m pro-abortion and whether the embryos is 2 days, 1 week, 3 weeks, 1 month, The minute is starts growing that means it has a life. I won’t change my perspective on that.

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        I’ve been sorta quietly hitting the thumbs-up on select comments, but I thought I’d let you know I agree with pretty much all your points – I don’t think it makes anyone any less pro-hoice to think the life of a fertilized egg has some gravity, and to feel some sadness that the life was ended. I mean, if a person’s happily pregnant and starts cooing affectionately about their baby at 3 weeks, I don’t think anyone would tell them it’s too soon to start caring about it yet or say it’s not alive.

        Honestly, I think sometimes people in our community can get way too militant about smacking down any hint of something that may be similar to a premise of frothing pro-life rhetoric, even when it’s obviously not coming from that angle.

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          @renee “if a person’s happily pregnant and starts cooing affectionately about their baby at 3 weeks, I don’t think anyone would tell them it’s too soon to start caring about it yet or say it’s not alive.” Thank you for adding that up.
          It scares me to think that someday undergoing abortion can be as easy as getting a slurpy from 7-eleven. I don’t want that because women should choose abortion as a last resort and not as the first choice. Good God, We are not that low. I admit i’m mean to some people like brendan eich but not to an innocent embryo.
          I don’t like it when i see old cats being put to sleep so what more to a living thing who can’t even make a little noise. A powerless little egg being cut off from it’s tube. We have no idea if it can also get hurt but what if it can? I’m feeling too attached with this topic and i think i should just leave it here.

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            Woah.. what’s happening to the reply button? My replies are not posting directly to the comment i connected it to?

  10. Thumb up 5

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    The comments on this article just make me sad. Reactions like this are why women who are confident in their decision to have an abortion don’t tell friends or family or look for support. Even in supportive community spaces there will still be judgement from a few and the shaming that ensues is terrible.

    Totally wishing I could post comments logged in but anonymous because I would totally be more honest in my comments.

    • Thumb up 4

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      Exactly.

      And also the logic is odd behind, “Well, I guess I won’t judge her for her abortion if she used the pill and a condom and a sponge and tracked her cycle and fate just still threw this at her,” which somehow implies that women who have been less responsible decision-makers should, what, be forced into parenthood? “Pro-choice” should be literal, the choice should be available to all women on-demand and without apology.

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      Come on… Feel free to comment.
      I said mercy killing because that’s how it felt when a good friend of mine decided to have an abortion. She was raped by her ex boyfriend and found out she was 3 weeks pregnant. She felt it moving inside her stomach so it was reasonably a living thing and she decided to end it’s life. Abortion is not legal in our country so my friend improvised it on her own by drinking different type of pills and it worked. She lost the tiny embryo two days later. I tried to be the friend she needed and i slept in her house and saw the blood in the bathroom and uh…. It wasn’t a pretty scenario for my eyes.
      It had a life and somehow we knew it deserves to be prayed for and buried. She took out a shoe box and walked outside and i followed. She dug up a hole in the backyard and i helped and we spent the rest of that night feeling numb. We were looking at each other’s eyes but we weren’t speaking. It was my experience on abortion and i’m sharing it with you. Forgive me if my mercy killing comment offended you but what do you want me to do when it was how it felt for me? My friend and me felt sad and we cried. How other else are we suppose to react? Was it guilt? I don’t think so but it was a sad night.
      Having a different opinion about the matter is not putting a judgement on abortion. I mean, my opinion on abortion is not against any woman. When did i say it’s horrible? Mercy killing isn’t horrible.
      I actually wish more women would choose not to give birth if they find out they’re pregnant. Just adopt if you want a kid. Like dogs and cats. We probably should adopt more and help the unloved to be loved.

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        Wow, Pinay. That is just awful that your friend who had been raped by her ex-boyfriend, and pregnant, had to do your own abortion. God, this scenario is a worst case scenario because she was raped, because she had to find a way to abort her foetus, because there is no legal option for abortion services in your country.

        This is what happens when abortion is made illegal. Abortion becomes self administering. This is such an unsafe predicament to put women in. There are women such as Pinay’s friend who needed abortion, and then there the same women, who become pregnant again and again, who are well known to the public health service, who use the abortion service as perhaps??? their sole form of contraceptive, many times over, in their second trimester, which is when it is a larger beast, and termination after 12 weeks is a greater risk to the mother. I have seen some women abuse the service when it could have been used for someone in a more critical situation. This is where some women need to take some responsibility for their choices. I am pro-choice, and I am also pro-contraception. I just wish some people would get an education. I am always pro choice, but there are easier options than abortion, for sure.

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          @annalou “I am pro-choice, and I am also pro-contraception”
          I am too.

          “there are easier options than abortion, for sure.”
          But some instances like with my friend, Abortion is the answer. She did not want the baby. She did not want the sex. If she had decided on another course and kept it, That baby will live but will not have the life it deserves.

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          All these abortions you qualify as preventable are most often induced by lack of access to healthcare, education, contraception, or even the lack of ability to fully consent (and I’m not just talking about the common situations people refer to when talking about rape). If they are preventable, it’s not by shaming individual decisions, but by questioning our collective attitude!

          I’ve also seen people being medicated for years for hypertension, without taking the sufficient lifestyle mesures to actually prevent hypertension. Do we blame these people for later having coronary disease or a heart attack ? I don’t think so, not from where I come in any case. Here, whoever has a heart attack has a fundamental right to the protection of their health, regardless of the reasons for which they had a heart attack.

          Similarly, we must defend the fundamental right for women to have access to free (in Europe at least, I hope women’s rights in the US will be equally respected someday soon) and safe abortion.

          This debate is not about how people chose to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is not the same as prevention. Prevention requires a serious investment in education and in healthcare (preferably state administered).

          (also, if free access healthcare services are limited, how can you possibly blame the people who actually need those services ? and why pit them against each other ? we all need to unite to demand universal, accessible, fair healthcare !)

        • Thumb up 2

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          Pinay – I am contrasting the ease at which *some* women in New Zealand, abuse the public service of abortion.

          Most women don’t use the public system of hospital provided abortions (free) as their only form of contraception, but, I have witnessed that some women do abuse this system thus blocking other more critical female patients requiring abortion from the same time slot.

          I am not argueing within the same political health system as ?either? of you are referring to.

          New Zealand abortion, from http://www.familyplanning.org.nz

          “Legal side of abortions

          Abortions are legal in New Zealand if you meet criteria. This includes two consultants agreeing that the pregnancy would seriously harm your mental or physical health or that your baby would have a serious disability. They may also consider your age and whether the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Different criteria apply if you are more than 20 weeks pregnant. Your doctor will be able to advise on this.

          There is no legal age limit on the person having the abortion. This means that a female of any age can consent to an abortion – or refuse to have one. Girls under 16 do not need to inform their parents or seek parental consent.

          A woman does not need the consent of her partner before having an abortion. The male cannot force his partner to have an abortion.”

          I endorse this legislation, it is an example where law and ethics have moved towards the same goal of enabling women to make optimal choices for healthcare.

          What annoys the shit out of me, as a Registered Nurse working in frontline care such as when I worked in the operating theatre for abortions in NZ, was the arrogance and entitlement that some female patients who sought abortion had towards the service.

          I am the first to concede that healthcare is never equal for all, and furthermore, those that require the public health services the most, are most likely to be unable to access it.
          The issues of access to and equality of healthcare, and the affordability of healthcare are huge, and every country in the world has the problem of determining access to healthcare for underserved populations. In New Zealand, where I am, I get angry when a number of women abused the abortion service, multiple times, when contraception could have been used. The patient’s I am referring to were not raped. Why should someone who could use contraception be given a time slot for abortion again and again when she is blocking someone elses access to abortion?

          That is what makes me furious.

          I am not referring to your friend, Pinay. I am contrasting the disparity in equality in access to necessary healthcare, between your country, where abortion is not legal, and mine, where abortion is legal, and in this hideous example, where I am aware of a few female patients who abuse the system of free public health abortions when there is some woman who is more deserving of abortion than those few women who present to the service a few times a year, for abortions. I get so frustrated with the disparity Pinay’s friend in a genuinely traumatic and tragic crisis requiring specialist medical help and not being supported, to the injustice of the few women I am aware of in New Zealand refraining from using consistent contraceptives and abusing the free public health abortion service as their preferred form of contraceptive.

          It just goes to show that although I much prefer my country’s health care system to ANY in the world, there are always those who compromise it for someone else. This is the context, nature and extent of my gripe.

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          “The issues of access to and equality of healthcare, and the affordability of healthcare are huge, and every country in the world has the problem of determining access to healthcare for underserved populations. In New Zealand, where I am, I get angry when a number of women abused the abortion service, multiple times, when contraception could have been used. The patient’s I am referring to were not raped. Why should someone who could use contraception be given a time slot for abortion again and again when she is blocking someone elses access to abortion?

          That is what makes me furious.

          Why should someone who abuses the service take up a slot that Pinay’s friend could have used, for instance? We have women who are raped, and whose access gets blocked by women who use the abortion service as their preferred contraception choice. This makes me so angry.

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          Anna – My issue with the few women in New Zealand who use the free abortion service as their only form of contraception is an issue with fairness of public funding for healthcare, and moreover, with access to contraception for women and couples.

          The patients that I am referring to are abusing the system, which then favours those patients in terms of funding for the consultant time, theatre team time, when less time, resources, money, effort and infrastructure could have been used by the same patient for a visit to family planning.

          Healthcare, is going to cost, even when it is publicly funded. Taxpayers fund the cost. Contraception is a freedom and a responsibility. Everyone who has straight consenting sex whether drunk or sober has the potential of contributing to pregnancy as a male or female. Both parties need to take responsibility for this, and in the internet community we live in, I am talking about New Zealand. We have privileged and poor people living and fucking in New Zealand, and over time, some people gain more or better access to health services. Some people lose access to health services.
          My point is pregnancy prevention, via education and accessible/affordable contraceptives, which in my universe and work life does not exclude abortion. I believe Abortion should always be available, as long as the woman meets the criteria, which is, she doesn’t want to be a Mother, right now, thanks. or, she has been raped, and doesn’t want the reminder around. Abortion, like surgery for a coronary artery bypass and graft, can be avoided with educated and accessible lifestyle choices. Health and wellness is all about education. Access to education re health and wellness is a major part of the people becoming empowered. Abortion is merely one small, but incredibly important, alternative within contraception. I am not negating any reasons why a woman doesn’t want to have a child, I am saying that contraception is the first option in primary health care, then abortion.

          Comparing two different health care systems access for underserved communities, and funding, is futile.
          Abortion services in my opinion, are a godsend. There will always be someone who needs a health service, but for the love of Lesbian Jesus, when discussing publicly funded healthcare, taxpayers money spent requires criteria for funding eligibility and justification, and some lazy arse people *despite* their education, and access to alternative less resource heavy choices such as IUDs, condoms, oral contraceptives, continually abuse and exploit the New Zealand public health system, to the detriment of the say, young woman raped by her Uncle 6 weeks ago, who finds herself pregnant, and wants to abort it, and is pushed to the back of the queue by some patients who abuse the system. This is unfair and unequal. This is putting taxpayer funds into someone who isn’t learning. Contraception is prevention, for these sorts of exploitative patients. Fortunately most patients seeking abortion are not exploitative. Most don’t ever want to repeat the experience as its too much of a time and energy drain. This type of abuse happens everywhere, and accountability for public health funding has to begin and end with the patients who are also taxpayers. Most governments will employ some tool to determine patient access for public funding.

          I endorse criteria based public health funding, and I am pro health education, pro sex/gender identity/sexuality and contraceptive education, and lifestyle wellness education. If one can plan things in advance, well and good. If not, there is always abortion.

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          @annalou – Breaks my heart a little…
          Abortion in some cases is understandable but on the other hand, It’s flat out inhumane if a woman recklessly and continuously undergoes abortion just because it’s available in her country. Some people feels invincible because they have benefits. Grossed me out.

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    Ok, so maybe the world has changed, but I got my ears pierced when I was 20ish (I’m 26 now) and my friend was not allowed to take a picture because the piercing was considered a “medical procedure.” Why on earth can you not take a picture of someone getting their ears pierced, but a person can take video of an abortion? I guess youtube changed the world a lot in six years.

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    Hey, straddlers. I just wanted to add that my last comment (the one where I mention maternity wards) was actually a reply to a comment that got deleted (while my answer to it was not). The deleted comment was a scathing remark at Letts that was accusing her of having been violent towards herself and others, which might give some perspective to why my answer was passionate.

    That being said, though I believe that it is entirely possible to be pro-choice and still have a feeling of gravity in the event of an abortion, I do not personally believe that the abortion of a fertilized egg deserves gravity (especially since that gravity becomes so easily an admonishment), because I do not consider it a form of sentient life, and because it is something that very often happens spontaneously and we are not the worse for it.

    I don’t intend that opinion to be an insult to people who have felt sadness towards their own abortion or one that they have supported, and I was not reacting to Pinay’s story, which was published after mine. I am very sorry, Pinay, if I made you feel insulted or mocked, or that I ridiculed your experience.

    That opinion does, however, make me critical of people who try to insert gravity in other people’s abortions, particularly egg abortions, like the deleted commenter.
    I do not believe that people will ever have abortions ‘like they get slurpees’, because going through a surgical procedure is not particularly fun, but I don’t feel like that phrase is of any use either except to shame people who don’t have qualms about their abortions and are not in dire circumstances.

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