When 25-year-old abortion counselor Emily Letts decided to terminate her own pregnancy last year, she wanted to use her personal experience to show others that the abortion procedure itself — while a big decision for any individual — wasn't scary.
Although her abortion was filmed in November, Letts recently revealed her motivation behind the public showing in an essay in Cosmopolitan magazine.
Letts said she wanted to let other women know what to expect from the surgical procedure, and how to deal with their various feelings throughout the termination.
"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."
Since posting the video and explaining her rationale, however, Letts has been under fire from a number of pro-choice groups and anti-abortion commentators.
In addition to receiving messages wishing her death, spokespeople from anti-abortion organizations have accused Letts of acting incorrectly.
Vice President of the Pro Life Action League Anne Scheidler said she hoped "the day will come when she realizes encouraging other women to blithely kill their children without any remorse at all is an irresponsible, juvenile and immature thing to do."
Letts said she remains confident in her decision, both to terminate the pregnancy she wasn't ready for, and to film the procedure so she could use it as a tool for future counseling.