Tess Holliday Opens Up About Getting an Abortion for Her Own Mental Health

"The decision was awful."

In the wake of abortion laws becoming more and more restrictive across the country, more and more people are coming out to share their own stories. Today, Tess Holliday spoke out, telling the world that she had an abortion after the birth of her second child. Holliday grew up in Alabama and Mississippi, so the new laws hit especially close to home for her. In an interview with People, Holliday talked about coming forward with her story and shared that the near-debilitating postpartum depression she experienced was ultimately how she decided to get an abortion.

"I thought, 'I feel like it would be pretty hypocritical of me if I don't talk about it,' because I'm from there and I've gone through all of this," Holliday told People of sharing her story. "I share so much with my followers, I always have, but I don't share everything and if I'm honest, it felt like no one's business and it’s not."

Tess Holliday The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation's 2nd Annual Compassion Gala
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Holliday says that she discussed the topic with her husband, Nick, and close friends before deciding to tell her followers about it on Twitter and Instagram. She acknowledged that it's not an obligation for anyone to share, but she felt compelled to do it because she wanted to be honest with herself and her fans as well as anyone who could be going through the same postpartum depression that she did.

"I had postpartum depression and then severe delayed postpartum and that’s what I was dealing with," she explained. "When I found out that I was pregnant again, I thought there’s no way I could do this. I was already, for the first time, experiencing suicidal thoughts. I literally didn't want to go through any day at all. So, the thought of having to do it, to go through all of that again, destroyed me."

Holliday added that the decision wasn't easy and that she, along with her husband, decided that it would be better for her health to make the decision to have an abortion.

"He said he saw a side of me that he had never seen before," she said. "And that's accurate. I felt like a completely different person. I was just bitterly out of my mind and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy."

What Holliday does wish would happen is effective sex education. She drew parallels between the lack of sex ed in Mississippi and the state's rate of teen pregnancy (it's one of the highest in the nation) and said that people should not be shamed for getting an abortion if they're not given the education that could keep an unplanned pregnancy from happening. She also thinks that there should be more conversation about it, so that more people can get involved and join the conversation. It's something she's spoken about before, saying that for change to happen, people need to listen as well as contribute.

"It's hard with the political and social climate we're in, but, man, what a time to be alive. People are actually listening, and things are changing," she said back in April. With her honesty and openness, Holliday is leading the change herself.

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