A New Jersey abortion clinic employee whose video of her own abortion has gone viral in recent days has drawn intense criticism from pro-life groups, who accuse her of glorifying the killing of an unborn child.
Emily Letts, 25, said when she became pregnant last fall after not using birth control, she quickly decided to have an abortion at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in Cherry Hill, where she works as an abortion counselor. But as she prepared for the procedure, she believed sharing the experience online might help de-stigmatize abortion, with video the most powerful means available to her.
Pro-life advocates have blasted both her decision to have an abortion and then publicize it in such a way.
"It is a sad commentary on our nation that someone can be rewarded for filming an event that takes the life of an innocent unborn human being," Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said in a statement Tuesday. "We pray that in the coming years, she will understand and be able to accept the ramifications of her actions."
“People have such strong opinions on abortion, but they don’t actually know what it looks like,” Letts told FoxNews.com on Tuesday. “My video of my abortion is there only to tell women that they are not alone. Speak up. Tell your stories. Do it through words, through video, through pictures, through songs, whatever. You do not deserve to be alone.”
Penny Nance, the CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian group, said Letts ignores the potential ramifications for women who have abortions.
"It's not a simple choice. In fact it's very complicated and often women suffer later, even if they don't suffer immediate physical ramifications, there are often psychological and emotional ramifications later," she told FoxNews.com. "She oversimplified the issue and pretended that it's no big deal, and that's a false impression for women."
Letts posted the three-minute video – during which she’s smiling and depicted from the waist up – soon after undergoing the procedure six weeks into her pregnancy, and eventually posted it to Reddit, where it began attracting media attention. Last week, Letts reached out to Cosmopolitan.com with her story, and an op-ed she wrote appeared on the website Monday.
"I don't feel like a bad person. I don't feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life," Letts says at the end of the video. "I knew what I was going to do was right, because it was right for me, and no one else."
Since her abortion, Letts has scrapped the rhythm method and other natural forms of birth control she used in the past, and has had an intrauterine device inserted. She says it’s “definitely” a possibility that she might have children one day, believing that she’d make an “amazing” mother.
She plans to study social work and public health at the University of Illinois in the fall, with a concentration in women’s and gender studies.
As for the abortion, Letts says she has no regrets. “I don’t think guilt is a productive feeling. I don’t think guilt does much for us,” Letts told FoxNews.com. “I forgave myself for not using birth control, I corrected it, and I moved forward.”