Abortion has gone viral after a New Jersey abortion clinic employee filmed her own abortion and posted it on online. The viral video has helped to re-ignite the hot topic issue and has drawn strong responses from both sides of the controversial issue. Pro-life groups have accused the woman of glorifying the killing of an unborn child. While pro-choice advocates had mixed reactions regarding her posting of the online video.
Emily Letts, 25, who became pregnant last fall after not using birth control, decided to have an abortion at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in Cherry Hill, NJ where she works as an abortion counselor. While preparing for the procedure, she believed sharing the experience online might help open minds and de-stigmatize abortion. She considered video footage of her procedure the most convincing means available to demonstrate the procedure and make her point known.
Since Letts posted her abortion video that has subsequently gone viral, it has received more than 100,000 views on YouTube and she has encountered a myriad of responses. Some pro-choice proponents have applauded her bravery, thanked her for sharing her story, and posting it online, while others who classify themselves as pro-choice question her decision to film and broadcast the procedure. As she expected, conservative pundits have racked her over the coals on two fronts–her decision to have an abortion and then publicize online. Moreover, some have expressed sentiments of “disgust” towards Letts’ video.
In addition to her viral video, Letts offered support and explained her actions further on her YouTube channel and via a recent Cosmopolitan online magazine article. When Letts learned she was pregnant last November, she realized it was too soon and she was not ready for children. Additionally, the abortion counselor decided to document her experience in hopes of helping other women come to terms with past abortions and offer support for women who might undergo the procedure in the present or future. Moreover, she described her experience as positive and said she does not feel guilt or regret over having the procedure.
Since her abortion, Letts has outlawed natural forms of birth control she used in the past, and has subsequently had an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. Moreover, she stated there is a possibility she might have children in the future and feels she would make a great mother. As for the abortion itself, Letts contends she has no regrets about the procedure and does not feel guilt or regret serve a useful purpose. Her future plans include a focus on social work and public health at the University of Illinois in the Fall of 2014, along with a concentration in women’s and gender studies.
Letts posted the three-minute abortion video that has gone viral, during which she is shown smiling and shot visually from the waist up, soon after undergoing the procedure approximately six weeks into her pregnancy, and eventually, posted the video footage to social media sites such as Reddit and YouTube, where it started attracting media attention. Last week, Letts reached out to Cosmopolitan.com with her story, and an op-ed article she wrote appeared on the website Monday. More specific details on the procedure itself and her reflections are available via the published op-ed article on Cosmopolitan.com.
By Leigh Haugh