Years ago, Melissa was raped. What followed was one of the hardest decisions of her life.

Hear a couple of women from Kansas explain why we should have the right to make a decision like Melissa's.

Melissa Olsen is a mother from Wichita, Kansas.

She has two kids. Here is one of them.


Here is Melissa with her family.

Many years ago, before she had a family, Melissa was raped.

That's young Melissa on the right.

After her rape, Melissa found out she was pregnant.

In an email to Upworthy, Melissa explained how her pregnancy wasn't a direct result of her sexual assault.

    "I was raped at 15 and was still in the process of healing when I went to University of Kansas. I was sexually assaulted by three men that fall of 1997. I proceeded to flounder, and became lost and terrified. My PTSD, depression, and anxiety went into overload. I began drinking heavily and became pregnant the summer following my assault — and most definitely not from the assault. I didn't feel as if I were a whole person, or anywhere near ready to have someone live within me when I hated the touch of my own flesh."

To this day, she remembers how hard her decision was.

Ultimately, Melissa decided to get an abortion.

Here's what she has to say about her decision:

    "I got my abortion for multiple reasons, but one of the huge reasons was after my rape, I wasn't prepared to share my body for nine months with another being. I felt like I had already put my body and my spirit through so much that I don't think that psychologically I could have been through a pregnancy. I was angry and I was afraid and I literally had nothing left to give."

She also told Upworthy this:

    "I don't want my message to be that you must be traumatized to have an abortion. Trauma doesn't make you worthy of an abortion. Having your own hopes, dreams, and ideas does."

Today, Melissa has no regrets about her decision. She only wishes her younger self could have been less hard on herself.

Fact: 1 in 3 women of reproductive age will have an abortion. Melissa was one of those women.

Watch this video to learn more about her story and the advocates who have worked to help people like Melissa.

FACT CHECK TIME!

More
True
Ultraviolet
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular