“Ex-Pro-Lifers, What Changed Your Mind On Abortions?” (30 Answers)
The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has lit a powderkeg in the nation. Proponents of both sides continue to clash on social media and in real-life debates, and some Americans worry that women’s rights have been set back a hundred years. After the court’s decision, each state can decide whether or not to allow abortions.
There had been rumblings earlier this year that this might happen, igniting the debate about body autonomy and the freedom of choice. It seems like nearly everyone has an opinion one way or the other, and it feels like someone changing their firmly held beliefs is a rarity. However, a couple of months ago, redditor u/Honeydew-Popular went on the r/AskReddit community and asked former pro-lifers about what finally changed their mind on the question of abortion.
Scroll down to read their stories, and share your perspectives on the debate in the comments, Pandas. What do you think the future of the US will look like? What do you think could be done to protect women’s rights more in the future? Let us know what you think.
I decided to move away from my small religious community. I meet people who had different backgrounds. Listened to stories of people who had abortions. Realized that if I was in their position, then I would have considered abortion too. Then I learned that abortion was rife within my small community, just not talked about and deeply shameful. The same people who picketed at those rallies also coerced their underage teenagers into having abortions when they turned up pregnant. It was not about "the unborn" it was about their image in the community and their control over others' bodies. It's about power and inflicting their world view on everybody.
Raised in a Christian home. Defaulted to my parents' view because I didn't know any better. When I left the church I started reexamining some of my positions and realized that abortions might not even be killing anything that I could call a person.
So I did some research on fetal development and the metaphysical definition of personhood. I came to the conclusion that, until six months of pregnancy, it is physically impossible for a fetus to have personhood, and that personhood most likely occurs some time after birth. Then I checked abortion statistics and found that less than 1% of abortions are performed in the third trimester, and the majority of those are to save the woman's life.
I can find no satisfying moral justification to force a woman to give birth against her will.
I grew up in a religious household where sexual relationships before marriage were considered a sin and abortions were considered murde. A friend of mine dated an abusive a*****e and she got pregnant , we were all in college at the time and she didn't have enough money nor support to raise the kid . Her parents were extremely angry and refused to speak with her because she ‘ruined' her life . We became roomates because I saw she needed a place to stay . Until then I'd always thought of women who got abortion as cruel. But i saw how helpless she was and how torn she was about the whole thing. After a few weeks of hospital visits she realised that she didn't have any other choice because of her financial instability and she also felt like she wasn't mature or ready enough to give birth to and raise another human being while she was still getting over the trauma of a relationship and she was afraid of messing up an innocent kid's life so she got an abortion. After seeing all that happen I realised that abortion wasn't just people f*****g around and then murdering an innocent child , it was when people were in situations where they knew they weren't ready for a child
Redditor u/Honeydew-Popular’s thread got nearly 1.5k upvotes, as ex-pro-lifers really opened up about what got them to change their beliefs about abortion. They were extremely candid about how a heavy dose of reality made them reconsider what they thought was true.
Very recently, Bored Panda covered the overturning of Roe v. Wade. A lot of celebrities and public figures, not just from the US, came out in support of women’s rights and shared that they were appalled by the direction in which America had turned.
Celebrity expert Mike Sington, from Los Angeles, explained to Bored Panda why it’s vital for well-known figures to denounce the US Supreme Court’s decision.
"Celebrities and public figures speaking out against Roe v. Wade being overturned has been very important, especially for young people. Freedom of choice has been a right granted to Americans for 50 years, so younger people don’t know what a world is like without that freedom," he said.
I never really had strong feelings about it, but it didn’t seem like a great idea in general. But what ultimately changed my mind for good was my fiancé at the time (later wife and now ex wife lol) having one. We wanted a child, and were actively trying. We were excited about her being pregnant, but soon found through the ultrasound that the fetus had some horrible deformities. Some testing revealed more issues. If you have never been put in a place where you’ve had to choose between terminating a pregnancy you very much wanted and going ahead and giving birth to a child that would have never had a chance for anything but a short, painful life (assuming he even made it that far) give thanks. And if you think either you have the right to make that choice for someone else, get f****d. And if god’s plan was for that child to suffer for some reason, he can get f****d too.
It will only lead to unsafe abortions in a back alley. Plus, people who call themselves pro-life are generally only pro-birth.
When I was pregnant and was told it wasn't compatible with life and didn't have a heart beat and to just go home and wait for the miscarriage. Despite asking for the abortion pill they said no we don't do that here. Turns out no one does. So i had to wait a week and a half still having pregnancy symptoms for it to end itself. It's really hard to call into work because you could miscarry at work. Because nobody gives a s**t. And I just remember thinking...why isn't this my choice?
"I think it’s the sensitive issues like this that celebrities have the most impact on because it tells the public they are not alone in the feeling of despair they are having by a fundamental right being taken away," celebrity expert Mike told Bored Panda that stars and public figures can have a large impact on the debate.
"The impact celebrities have will not be on the Supreme Court itself, and I don’t expect it to change the opinions of politicians either. What celebrities can do is drive people to the polls this November to actually change who the politicians are representing them," Hollywood’s Ultimate Insider explained that the real impact of the court overturning the decision will be felt in November 2022, during the elections.
I was raised with the religious pro-life outlook, and to believe all who had abortions were just devastated for the rest of their lives, that they didn’t comprehend the gravity of what they had done until it was too late. Then I went to college and met someone in a women’s studies class who shared she had had an abortion while married to a man nobody knew was abusive. I realized I had been misled about the realities of why people have abortions. When I suffered an assault a year later, I knew what choice I would make if it came down to it. And I was grateful to know I would have had a choice in that scenario. Working with homeless adults and at risk teens/social work really solidified that for me, when you see abused and neglected kids and you know the parent didn’t want any of those babies but has them because they were pressured out of an abortion… children should not be punishment or accountability lessons, they should be wanted and loved.
My tipping point was when I realized that “pro-life” people in general opposed all the things that would minimize unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions. Real sex education and free, easily obtained birth control would prevent so many unwanted pregnancies and thus abortions, yet the “pro-life” crowd opposes those things.
Once I saw this hypocrisy, I gave the rest of their arguments more thought and realized I could not support that anymore.
The birth of my son almost killed us both. I am almost certain another would kill me. The thought of leaving my husband alone with two children, one grieving and one motherless, breaks my heart.
I’m one and done for the sake of my family. We take precautions, but I’m not sure if I became pregnant I would carry to term.
With my health and habits I’m not sure adoption would even be feasible if I could.
I don’t know what I would do, but I want the choice.
"Other rights granted by the Supreme Court are now in jeopardy, so it will be important to have political representatives in place that can turn those rights into laws," he warned.
"I’m on Twitter a lot, and I’ve seen nothing but widespread condemnation of the Court’s opinion. Polling confirms what I’m seeing on Twitter. The vast majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose,” he said.
A horrific horrific childbirth that left me with unfixable fecal incontinence , and NOT ONE health provider informed me that this could possibly happen during my birth, despite receiving an intervention that is highly correlated with resulting in anal incontinence. NOT ONE provider took my issues seriously postpartum and just dismissed it, I had to fight to find my own specialists WHILE LEAKING POOP AND TRYING TO CARE FOR A NEWBORN. Not being able to even sit down for months afterward but still having to be my daughters primary caregiver at 6 weeks because my husband had only 6 weeks of leave. Gaining a ton of weight while pregnant and being extremely nauseous for SEVEN MONTHS, due to a severe hormonal imbalance that has yet to be corrected 16 months postpartum—you know, because I’m traumatized from the birth. I went from being a collegiate athlete to a 30 year old who now needs a colostomy bag. F**k americas health care system. I will speed drive any woman who wants to go to planned parenthood now.
When I was 20 years old and pregnant with what would’ve been my third child .
I already had 6 month old twins at the time and I was ready to raise this baby along with the other two . But during my second trimester , the doctors said if I continue there was a 65 percent chance of me dying during birth .
As much as it pained me , I made the choice to say goodbye to my little girl .
After that , I changed my views and now fight for women’s right to abort a pregnancy no matter what .
The stark realization that if I got pregnant, it would literally kill me.
I have high blood pressure and my medicine could SEVERELY hurt a fetus. If I got pregnant, I’d have to stop my meds, my BP would skyrocket, pregnancy would raise my BP more, and I’d have a stroke within the first trimester.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, around 40 million women who can have children live in states where abortion rights are to be restricted. The Institute found that 860,000 abortions were performed in the United States back in 2019.
Meanwhile, the CDC states that the number was 630,000. Nearly 93% of abortions in America are performed during the first trimester. Most women who get abortions are unmarried. Many high-profile companies have come out in support of women’s rights and have pledged to fund their employee's costs of traveling out of state for abortions.
When I realized women abort out of necessity, because they can’t financially and/or emotionally support a child. Prohibiting it won’t stop them, it will only make than do it more dangerously, and therefore putting more lives at risk. If* you’re pro-life, you should always be pro doing abortions safely, because that saves more lives than criminalizing it.
My first girlfriend explained that it wasn't about the deaths of babies, but the potential lives of both mothers and children. The overflowing adoption system positively crawling with "unwanted" kids. The way that providing abortion actually helped reduce the prison population and provide better lives to more people overall.
My mind swam. I talked to my mother about it. I realized that her rationale- and also my father's in turn- was faulty and built on a rickety foundation of religious punditry.
myself, this one is genuinly really trigger very sorry.
when i was younger i was assaulted by a family friend, i wasn't pregnant but when i had to get the test the lady told me. "if anything goes wrong, my sister works at planned parenthood." she was a very sweet woman, but at that time i was like "i would never abort a child" i remember genuinly shaking and crying before i had to take the test because it reminded me of what happened. i was negative, but the fear of having the raise the child that was forcibly put into me made me genuinly sick to my stomach.
When I realized that people are gonna do what they want regardless of the laws. Banning SAFE abortions isn’t gonna do a thing except hurt more people. You can throw the percentages of birth defects, rapes and etc and then sprinkle some religion in on it, but who cares. You’re gonna tell rape victim Chelsey that she has to birth her forced child? Or force a mother whose about to birth a brain dead quadriplegic where there no quality of life because there’s a heartbeat? Since when did people care about a heartbeat when villages were being bombed by the US, UK and other NATO nations in the name of freedom? Literal kids, healthy kids were dying. Don’t give me that b******t about how you care about a heartbeat from a group of cells that doesn’t even know it exists until 3 years after it gets shot out of a vagina.
There are directions on how to administer dirt brewed tea to precipitate abortion in the bible itself. The people who are the most adamant about their good book and their beliefs have never actually read it. Today's interpretations of the scriptures are pure trash and anyone with half a brain can see it.
I was raised Catholic, so I was bombarded with pro-life propaganda from a young age. It seemed really obvious to me too - why not save two lives instead of just one? Nine months of inconvenience for the pregnant woman but permanent death for the baby? It all seemed like simple math.
It was learning more about how serious and potentially dangerous pregnancy is that changed my mind. That and the science convinced me that the idea that human life begins at conception is untenable - there's a reason pro-life propaganda posters almost always show fully born babies to make you think this is the killing of a human. Whatever personal philosophical beliefs one has about when life begins, having the state force the issue in a way that requires women to undergo a dangerous and life altering physical process is indefensible.
I can tell you, based on my experience, that there are some pro-choice arguments that won't work on someone who believes now what I believed then. Slogans like "trust women" miss the point for these people - it's not about the women to them, it's about the baby they think exists and which they have been religiously-motivated to believe they're saving. Similarly saying "if you don't like abortion, don't have one" also misses the mark - as far as they're concerned that's like saying "if you don't like murder, don't kill people, just don't stop me from doing it!" These kinds of slogans treat pro-lifers as confused pro-choicers. They're not. They really do think they're saving babies. You have to show how medically unreasonable of a judgment that is and how horrific it is to force someone to undergo a pregnancy in the interest of something of such questionable humanity
Getting pregnant and having kids and realizing that 1) pregnancy is hella hard on a body; 2) the possibility of severe birth defects is terrifying; 3) a child should only be brought into this world if it is wanted and will be loved; and 4) no one should be forced to give birth against their will.
I feel that every abortion is a tragedy, but often not the worst choice.
I left the church and started interacting more with non-Christians. After that I realized that a lot of my beliefs were instilled in my by my religious upbringing. I’ve always asked a lot of questions so I just started talking with people and forming my own opinions. Abortion was one of the last things I switched positions on but here’s how I see it now:
It’s not a question of “is a fetus valued the same as another human being,” rather, it’s a question of “should pregnant people have the right to chose if they want to allow another living thing to use their body to grow.” I believe bodily autonomy is absolutely vital, so, as a man, my position is that women need to have the freedom to chose for themselves. We don’t force people do donate blood, kidneys, bone marrow, or any other part of their body to support other’s lives, even if the person in need is their own child. So why is it different for fetuses?
I hate how religion has latched onto this issue. They know “save the babies” is a good way to garner unquestioning support for the church and the political parties associated with it. I remember sitting through entire sermons where the pastor would just talk s**t about planned parenthood for the entire time. It’s sad, looking back on it.
I volunteered at a Christian organization that assisted pregnant African refugee women. I gave them rides to their doctors appointments and stuff, provided them with a point of contact for general help. First lady from Sudan gave birth like a champ to a healthy baby and they went on their way. Second lady from Darfur was very new to the US and I was with her at her first ultrasound. Fetus was pretty far along, seven months I think, but it had not developed lungs or most of a brain. It was going to be stillborn - medical recommendation was obviously a relatively late term abortion.
Took this information back to the manager of the charity, who disagreed with the doctor, as "miracles do happen" so instead of an abortion, the woman was forced to carry the dead thing inside of her to term and give birth to it. It would have been a girl, but it was indeed stillborn and extremely deformed.
I feel like an a*****e for not remembering her name anymore. I do remember her quiet confusion but dutiful compliance with what she was told to do. She did ask two questions: "Why no doctor?" when we told her we weren't going to go with the medical advice of abortion. "Why no bury?" when we told her she could not take the deceased back home to bury in the backyard.
I was a part of that situation and it felt wrong to me the whole way through but my faith over rode it. Well it haunted me for years... Now I keep a stock of Plan B.
I basically started off as someone who believed in abortion for moms whose lives were in danger and a small waiting period for anyone else. I wasn't extremely pro-life compared to others.
Over time, I learned how there are plenty situations where even my two requirements could be a barrier to the most vulnerable. How does a doctor pinpoint when a mom's life is in danger and needs that abortion? What about moms who find out they have cancer? Would they be forced to delay medical treatment to have the baby? What happens if a vulnerable mom is trying to have an abortion in secret but they are turned away because of a waiting period and the scheduling aspect becomes impossible?
Then I learned how laws that are designed to support pro-life ideals screws people over in the end. A pregnant woman goes the court because she got shot in the stomach and the prosecutor think she's responsible for her baby's death by being a victim of a shooting (Southern US). A woman gets tried multiple times because she had a miscarriage and is held in a jail between each trial (Latin America). A woman is declared brain dead but is kept on life support against her wishes, and her husband isn't able for lay her to rest for a month until the hospital realizes the baby is completely deformed and non-viable (Southern US).
People might not like abortions, but I now believe there are worse outcomes when you try to restrict them anyway in the name of pro-life ideals.
I got pregnant and my ex tried to force me to have one. Having someone try to take your choice out of the matter right in your face is a bit of an eye opener.
Guy here....i realized that abortions are terrible and people dont want them they need them and generally only if they end up in a situation that requires them.
I reasoned we should keep women safe and spend time on how WE can ALL avoid having to make to decision in the first place OR making the world better so that they could also choose to keep the baby in a really caring world.
It was too easy to say abortion is bad ban it.
Education. Learning more than my right-wing parents had ever exposed me to. Getting out from under the rock and being willing to listen and change my opinion based upon newly gathered data.
I was raised sort of casually pro-life. I believed it should be safe and legal to prevent people being harmed in unsafe abortions and that it was justified if necessary to protect the "mother", but that to simply choose it because you didn't want a kid was morally wrong. I was never an activist on either side though. I just had my personal beliefs against it.
I have a LOT of reasons that I am firmly pro-choice now, a list that has grown over time, but the tipping point for me, back in college, was the bodily autonomy argument. You can't force a person to donate their organs or their blood or *any* part or use of their body, even to save another living breathing human, so you certainly can't force someone to risk their life and loan their uterus to a group of cells that *could* become a human later if left alone.
I read the sentence "Outlawing abortions means giving pregnant people fewer rights than a corpse," ten years ago and I've been loudly pro-choice ever since. I acquired more reasons as I became more educated, but that was what did it.
1. a loosening of my harsh definition of what murder is, what a human person is, etc.
2. experiencing a saving of my own life through an abortion of my child I never knew about
3. the understanding that people unwanted by their mothers drag society down and commit crimes (Donohue–Levitt hypothesis)
4. the understanding that abortion is not something modern; abortion and infanticide are found throughout history
5. the recognition that self defense goes beyond stopping an immediate threat of death: having a productive life is so much more beneficial than just surviving
In summary, just basically growing up and looking at the issue with more nuance than just a black & white application of rules.
Someone I love needed a late term abortion. Her baby had Potters Syndrome and was being crushed in utero. He was born alive with a very deformed skull due to pressure. She was called a murderer. A lot. Then I researched and learned WHY people abort.
The exceptions were too numerous and sometimes too obscure to be properly written into law, so the law shouldn't restrict it.
The idea of being forced to conceive a terminally disabled child, that to me is absolutely horrifying and I don't believe anyone should be forced to go through that
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