Woman defends abortion video to combat stigma and guilt
Emily Letts argues her controversial YouTube video is positive for women
A woman has defended her decision to film her abortion and post the video on YouTube saying she "wanted to show it isn't scary".
Emily Letts, an abortion counsellor at a women's centre in New Jersey, argues that "there is such a thing as a positive abortion story" and insists that filming her experience can help fight the stigma and demystify abortion.
In an article for Cosmopolitan magazine titled "Why I Decided to Film My Abortion", Ms Letts said she wasn't on birth control when she "wound up" pregnant by mistake and wasn't ready to have the baby. The father wasn't "involved" in her decision.
The 25-year old searched the Internet for videos of an abortion to see what "it actually looks like", discovering that no one had documented the procedure from a woman's perspective and there was a lot of misinformation.
She discussed her intention to film the procedure at her abortion clinic and everyone was “supportive of filming it” despite the potential consequences of her decision to make it public and share it online.
"We knew we could have hundreds of protesters at our door; we could have bomb threats. Working at an abortion clinic, every once in a while it feels like you’re working in a war zone," she said.
The three minute video shows Ms Letts breathing deeply and humming her way through a five minute surgical abortion.
She added: "I remember breathing and humming through it like I was giving birth. I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me."
Being in the first trimester of her pregnancy, Ms Letts could have taken an abortion pill, but she decided to undergo surgery and "do the one that women were most afraid of" to show it isn't "scary".
"A first trimester abortion takes three to five minutes. It is safer than giving birth. There is no cutting, and risk of infertility is less than one percent," she wrote.
Following the abortion, she said: "I don’t feel like a bad person, I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact I can make a life. I knew that what I was going to do was right because it was right for me and no one else. I just want to share my story."
Her video has been watched more than 360,000 times since it was uploaded on March 14. She said most of the feedback has been positive and supportive, but some have attacked her decision and branded her a "Nazi" and a baby killer.
She added: "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."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...