The Bachelor's Abbie Chatfield Tells Emotional Story Of Abortion Journey
In an emotional video, Abbie Chatfield has opened up about the turmoil she experienced after having an abortion.
Posting a 14-minute video to her 125,00 Instagram followers, Chatfield -- who has been open about her abortion in the past, including discussing it on 'The Bachelor' -- said she struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts after the procedure, but now was "the happiest I’ve ever been."
She posted the video with a 'trigger warning' for abortion.
Chatfield opened the clip by explaining she wanted to share her experience with her followers, hoping to help women going through the same circumstances.
"I wanted to put this here to have for women to come back to and relate to and feel like they aren’t alone," she wrote in a caption on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
TW: Abortion I know a lot of you know about this, but when I spoke about having an abortion on @shamelesspodcast I felt like I was so scared and nervous for backlash that I didn’t express myself as well as I could have. I wanted to put this here to have for women to come back to and relate to and feel like they aren’t alone. I got such amazing messages from women of all ages and backgrounds after coming out with this story originally, so I hope sharing it in long form will help more people. Talking about it is a part of my healing as well. If any of you are struggling with a decision such as this, please DM me. I’ll help all that I can. I understand the depression that comes afterward, and the guilt, but I’m glad I’m here today.
Chatfield said she wanted to use her platform to raise awareness and help remove the stigma attached to the procedure.
"While I understand there’s a needless taboo around it and there’s a stigma, there are still those inherent guilty feelings, embarrassment and shame that come from it," she said.
The now 24-year-old fell pregnant when she was 22 with her on-and-off-again boyfriend of two years, guessing she was about six weeks pregnant when she found out.
She told her followers she phoned the abortion clinic to make an appointment for the next day, before she called her boyfriend.
"I knew I could not have it. I knew I financially couldn’t, I emotionally couldn’t at the age of 22, and I knew my boyfriend would leave. I didn’t trust that he would stay," she said.
“Having a single mum, I knew I didn’t want to raise children by myself.”
At the time, abortion hadn't been legalised in Queensland, and Chatfield said she had to answer a number of "invasive" questions ahead of the procedure.
"I was waiting, naked in a gown and you feel so f**king vulnerable and so scared," she said.
She detailed that there was a girl sitting beside her in the waiting room who looked no older than 14. Chatfield said she immediately felt worse because she was an adult with a full-time job, a degree, a career and a boyfriend, sitting next to a young woman who clearly had no other choice.
"I felt guilt from the very first moment, it wasn't an easy decision," she said.
“I was upset going through this as an adult woman, a feminist woman, who is well educated and very sure of my beliefs and reasoning to do it.”
Despite the physical procedure being over, Chatfield said the emotional trauma lingers. She said she previously struggled with anxiety and depression, and that the two weeks following the abortion were her hardest mentally.
"I was having suicidal thoughts," she confessed, before explaining that she began seeing a therapist.
“I was so f**king sad. It’s a very strange position to be in. You feel guilty but you know you made the right decision for yourself so you feel selfish."
"You also have your hormones that are going crazy. I felt like this was the worst f**king thing I’d ever done.”
Despite acknowledging that she made the decision to have an abortion pretty quickly, Chatfield said is still wasn't an easy choice.
“People think that it’s an easy decision. I hate when people describe it as a form of contraception, it’s not. I had no other option emotionally," she said.
Almost two years on from the abortion, Chatfield is still finding herself distressed by the experience. She explained how she finds herself questioning her decision and the impact it may have in the future despite doing "the best thing for me".
“There’s a misconception from people who haven’t experienced abortion in their lives where they think its an easy way out, it’s not," she said.
"I still think about it so often. Like, what happens if I can’t get pregnant when I want to get pregnant? What happens if I never find someone I want to have a baby with?”
The self-proclaimed feminist added: “We are not here to procreate or be an incubator. If you want to keep to, good on you and if you don’t, don’t feel bad.”
“I’ve gotten to experience all these amazing things in my life and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. There is hope beyond that.”
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.