Emily Letts is an abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey. The 25-year-old soft-spoken platinum blonde provides guidance and support to women who are grappling with the decision to undergo the procedure.
However, Letts hasn’t been back to work since her video (below) went viral.
The video is a non-graphic depiction of Letts undergoing an abortion herself. Interspersed with Letts’ own commentary about her decision to have an abortion, we see her surrounded by supportive nurses holding her hands as she clamps her eyes shut and hums herself through the procedure. All in all, the video de-stigmatizes a straightforward medical procedure and humanizes the politically-loaded decision to terminate a pregnancy.
The video was uploaded three months ago, but went viral after Cosmo magazine published an essay by Letts about the ordeal May 5.
In the essay, Letts claims that part of what motivated her to film her abortion is the guilt that is forced upon women who opt to terminate a pregnancy:
I know there are women who feel great remorse. I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman’s process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt.
Our society breeds this guilt. We inhale it from all directions. Even women who come to the clinic completely solid in their decision to have an abortion say they feel guilty for not feeling guilty. Even though they know 110 percent that this is the best decision for them, they pressure themselves to feel bad about it.
Letts claims in the video that she wants to demonstrate that it is possible to have a “positive abortion experience.”
Letts has been so embroiled in a media circus after the video’s going viral that she hasn’t returned to work. Responding to the circus — which includes outpourings of support, aggressive interview panels, and harsh criticism—has become Letts’ full-time job, she explained in a follow-up interview.
She maintains that she does not regret filming her abortion whatsoever.
“I don’t regret anything about this. I believe in making mistakes, learning from them, growing, and moving forward. I wouldn’t say this is a mistake at all. This is a beautiful, happy outcome of something that I did not expect, which was the pregnancy,” she said.
Letts’ candor and empathy throughout her experience is laudable and brave as hell. She made it clear that she welcomes any conversation about this that comes her way.
“I hope to be having this conversation for the rest of my life,” she said.
~ Emily Letts No Regret Sharing Her Abortion Video ~