"I wish we could all just put down our picket signs and talk to each other." That's the plea of one woman who bravely told the story of her abortion. To mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, CNN's iReport invited women to tell their abortion stories. What resulted was a flood of devastatingly emotional and complicated personal stories.
"Right" or "wrong," abortion is something women do. And however you feel about abortion, you cannot walk away from these stories without feeling the profound impact it's had on these women's lives. What looms larger than what led to their decisions is what happens after, whether it's torment, regret, relief, or redemption. We've found four videos with different perspectives. All four of these stories gave me chills. Take a look -- and maybe share with a friend or family member.
"If I knew then what I know now." Christie had two abortions, one at 15 and another at 18. She wonders how abortion affects men and boys, and she also answers the question, if she knew then what she knows now, would she have gotten those abortions?
"I had an abortion and I have no regrets." Sarah had an abortion when she was 16 years old. Now she volunteers at an abortion clinic and does abortion advocacy.
"I turned my back on God." This woman says she literally had to shut God out of her life because she knew abortion was wrong. She didn't expect how painful and emotionally difficult it would be. She talks about her road to redemption and healing.
"Let's listen and share experiences." Renee had been on birth control since she was 16 with her verbally-abusive boyfriend of three years when she became pregnant at 19. Even though she felt it was the best decision for herself, she feared being judged by other people. Now she volunteers at a clinic so other women won't feel alone.
Have you ever shared or heard other women share their abortion stories? How did those stories make you feel?
Image via CNN