Emily Letts, a counselor at Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, posted a video on YouTube in March, explaining her decision to have an abortion. In the three-minute video, the 25-year-old takes viewers all the way to the abortion clinic and explains why it was the right decision for her.
Although the video, which is not graphic at all, has been up since March 14, it is only now just getting attention because Letts decided to write an essay for Cosmopolitan. She explained why she filmed the entire process, stating that she wanted to show that “there is such a thing as a positive abortion story.”
As the New York Daily News notes, Letts really wanted to show the emotions that a woman goes through when deciding to have an abortion. It was her first pregnancy and she said she was just not ready to be a parent.
“I know there are women who feel great remorse. I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman’s process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt,” Letts wrote. “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% that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.”
Letts said that she became pregnant in November because she wasn’t using birth control. She had a surgical abortion with local anesthesia, so she remained awake during the procedure, as seen in the video.
“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,” she wrote. “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 said she felt lucky to have the support of those around her, although her one big regret was not using birth control. As for some of the negative reaction the video has received, she said that she is still proud that she chronicled the journey.
“Every time I watch the video, I love it. I love how positive it is. I think that there are just no positive abortion stories on video for everyone to see. But mine is,” she wrote in her essay.
Daniel S Levine is a longtime movie fan and a graduate of Hoftsra University.