The 32-year-old nurse joined a number of celebrities in sharing her abortion story after Alabama passed a bill last week imposing a near-total ban on the procedure, including those for victims of rape or incest.
‘I just cannot continue to sit in silence while women’s fundamental human rights are being taken away. I am speaking up for HER,’ the reality star wrote on Instagram.
‘I had an abortion. Twice. Is it something I’m proud of? Heck no! No one *wants* an abortion,’ continued. ‘It has left the most painful hole in my heart. But do I think women should be stripped of their right to choose? Absolutely not.’
Jamie, who has a one-year-old daughter named Henley with her husband Doug Hehner, said she kept quiet about her abortions after receiving backlash when she first wrote about her experience in her book, Wifey 101.
In an essay for People, she explained that she grew up in extreme poverty with a drug-addicted mother who couldn’t provide for her five children.
Jamie said her mom ‘dropped out of high school’ and had a string of abusive boyfriends. She had no idea who her father was and her mother couldn’t afford to take care of her and her siblings. She would wake up without electricity or food half of the time.
‘We lived in a trailer that had leaky ceilings with doors that wouldn’t shut all the way and windows that were duct-taped,’ she recalled. ‘But the hardest part was that my mom was gone. She left us for weeks at a time and we were just teenagers and kids fending for ourselves.’
When she was 18, Jamie got pregnant by the first guy she had ever had sex with. She actually found out she was pregnant when she went to a clinic to get birth control.
The nurse told her abortion was an option, but she initially brushed it off because in her family ‘you don’t have abortions under any circumstances.’
However, she knew that her boyfriend wouldn’t be a good father, and she didn’t want to drop out of school and have a baby with an abusive man like her mother and older sister did. She didn’t want to be stuck in the same cycle of poverty.
‘I chose to have an abortion. I wouldn’t have been able to provide this child the kind of life he or she deserved,’ she wrote. ‘And I wanted to finish college and provide for my siblings and give us a better life. I didn’t see how that would be possible while also taking care of a baby.’
Jamie said she had a second abortion when she got pregnant in nursing school. ‘I don’t even want to admit that it happened twice, but here I am sharing my story so other women can feel that they aren’t alone,’ she explained.
‘My abortions were a secret I kept to myself for nearly my whole life. I hated myself for a very long time for it, and I know the stones people will throw at me: Why didn’t I use birth control better? Why wasn’t I more careful? But the thing is, it happened to me and continues to happen to couples.
‘You can throw stones at me if you want, but I just think of a young woman who has no one to turn to. I wish someone had said to me back then that I’m not evil. I felt like a terrible, selfish human being and sometimes I still do.’
The mother-of-one said she often reminds herself that she wouldn’t have her daughter Henley if she had ‘two children with two men who were not fit to be fathers.’
Read the whole story here.
Read the story here that People Magazine is promoting about 24 celebrities who had abortions and wanted to share their stories to “end the stigma.”
Here’s some reasons why these celebrities had abortions:
“I was worried about my career responsibilities and afraid that I could not exist as both a career woman and mother.”
“I had an abortion. I just simply wasn’t in a place, financially or emotionally to take that on.”
“My mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again & I made the best decision for ME & ultimately my family.”
“When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time. Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into.”
“I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially.”
‘I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”
“It would have been absolute career death for me to have done that … it would have been unthinkable to have a child.” (From Joan Collins, who got pregnant with Warren Beatty.)