Stephanie Chatfield, the wife of Michigan state representative Lee Chatfield, took to her husband’s Facebook page May 20 to share some very personal news. She revealed to her husband’s supporters that she had obtained an abortion as a teenager.
According to her open letter, Chatfield was allegedly raped at a party in high school. After finding out that she was pregnant, she decided to get an abortion—the “worst” decision of her life. “It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep,” she said in the emotional letter. “I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.” She was too ashamed to tell anyone and says only later did she eventually find forgiveness in God.
Chatfield decided to discuss her abortion publicly for the first time after she says an unnamed person threatened to out her secret. “Your desire to see this story go public emboldened me to do something that I should have done years ago,” she wrote. Her husband, a Republican member of the Michigan State Senate, recently co-sponsored a bill criminalizing certain abortion practices.
According to one study, 95% of women who receive abortions do not regret them. But it is not uncommon to hear abortion stories from anti-abortion advocates.”It’s a choice that I deeply regret, that deeply hurt me,” said Texas lawmaker Molly White about her own abortion. Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina discussed accompanying a college friend to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, citing her friend’s enduring “emotional scars” from the experience.
Chatfield had a message in her letter for fellow anti-abortion activists: “Be against abortion—yes, but let’s continue being proactive and looking for young girls and women who are hurting, suffering and confused so we can offer them assistance.”