Abbie Chatfield has opened up about having an abortion several months before appearing on The Bachelor.
The 24-year-old from Brisbane spoke about the experience during a candid discussion on the Shameless podcast on Thursday, telling hosts Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald she felt contestants had tried to “use the information against her”.
She also said she told Matt privately during one of their dates.
She said while she had told the other contestants in the mansion, she wasn’t comfortable discussing it on camera.
“In the house, I told the girls about my abortion … because I didn’t want other women to feel ashamed about having abortions and I feel like it was used against me,” she said of the other contestants, her voice quavering with tears.
According to the reality star, she had told Bachelor Matt Agnew discreetly during a date, prompting a producer to ask her to repeat herself “out loud”.
Abbie said she had told Matt about having the procedure, but begged for it to be cut from the series. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied
“I turned around, looked dead in the camera and said, ‘I had a f**king abortion last year!’” she said.
Abbie said the crew was “supportive” after the discussion and said she later “begged” producers not to include her revelation in the final edit, to which they obliged.
This week, however, she decided to go public on the podcast as a step towards beating the stigma surrounding abortion.
“A lot of women have abortions and, whether or not you know they have abortions, it’s OK. I just don’t want people to be shamed for that or feel internal shame,” she said.
Abbie Chatfield said she felt guilty saying she wanted kids after having an abortion. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram
Abbie said during her time on the show, the pressure to openly discuss having children was upsetting and overwhelming. On the podcast she recalled a moment she broke down in tears when a male producer suggested how “nice” it would be to have a child.
She said in the episode, which featured former Bachelor winners Laura Byrne and Snezana Wood who were both pregnant at the time, she was asked: “Isn’t it nice to see Snez and Laura pregnant? Wouldn’t it be nice to be pregnant with someone you love?”
“Because I had an abortion last year, I just started sobbing,” she recalled.
She added that other women on the show pressed her to explain whether she wanted children, and why she might not want them, only worsened the situation.
During the season, fellow contestants had constantly probed Abbie about her plans for the future and her thoughts on having kids. Picture: Channel 10Source:Supplied
“I’m so sick of having to justify (to these women) why I haven’t been screaming from the rooftops, ‘I want kids’,” she said.
“At that time, I felt very guilty for saying that I wanted kids because I had aborted one in March last year.”
Now she wants to help other women feel comfortable sharing their stories.
“Maybe someone who’s kind of in the public eye saying they’ve had an abortion and that it’s OK will help them (women who’ve had abortions),” she said.
Network Ten has been approached for comment.