‘Married at First Sight’: Alum Jamie Otis Reveals Why She Got Two Abortions
For the last few months, the nation has been torn as Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Utah, and Arkansas have all passed what have been called “heartbeat bills.” These bills make it illegal to have an abortion once a fetal heartbeat or embryo can be detected, which usually happens within the first six weeks of pregnancy.
This has been so controversial because most women don’t even realize that they are pregnant until much later. On top of this, Alabama recently passed a bill that bans all abortions, regardless of if the baby was conceived via rape or incest.
These bills have caused celebrities to come out with their own abortion stories. The #YouKnowMe movement, started by actress Busy Phillipps, has led a number of women to share their experiences to decrease the stigma around abortions.
Married at First Sight’s Jamie Otis is one of the latest women to open up about the topic.
Otis was almost aborted
Over the course of her time on Married at First Sight and afterward, Otis has always been open about her childhood and how rough it was. She recently told People that her mom considered aborting her.
“Ever since I was little, my mom told me she almost aborted me,” she told the outlet. “I know that sounds a little hypocritical coming from me, but with that being said, my mom had a total of five children—none of whom she could provide for. I don’t mean this to be negative towards my mom. It’s just a fact. My mom was sexually abused by a relative and beaten to a bloody pulp so many times by boyfriends. I had no idea who my father was. My siblings and I would wake up with no heat, no electricity and no food half the time because my mom couldn’t afford us all.”
Otis’ first abortion
Growing up, Otis’ mother left her and her siblings to fend for themselves and during that time, Otis became pregnant.
“I ended up getting pregnant at just 18 years old by the first guy I ever had sex with. I actually went to a center to get birth control, and that’s how I found out I was pregnant. The nurse said, ‘Oh, you have options. There’s abortion.’ I literally stopped listening to her because in my family, you don’t have abortions under any circumstances. I was in such a daze that I put on my shoes and just ran out of the building. I met my boyfriend outside and told him, ‘Oh my God, we’re pregnant. I can’t believe it. How did this happen? What am I going to do? My mom’s gone. I have nothing.'”
“My mom had gotten pregnant and dropped out of high school, had a baby, chose to be with abusive men and live on welfare. My oldest sister— who I’m so proud to say has since broken the cycle—also dropped out of high school when she got pregnant with an abusive man. Right then and there, I realized I was in this cycle too. I was in college and knew I wouldn’t be able to finish my education, and was with a man who didn’t really respect or love me.”
Otis chose to abort the child, feeling like she couldn’t give it the life it deserved.
Otis’ second abortion
Later, while in nursing school, the reality star got pregnant again.
“I don’t even want to admit that it happened twice, but here I am sharing my story so other women can feel that they aren’t alone,” she told People. “Abortion was so frowned upon in my family, but I think even my mom would vouch for this today: We should be able to have the choice in hopes of breaking the cycle. My mom went on to live a life that was so destructive not only for herself but for every single child she brought into this world that the cycle continued with my sister until she was able to pick up the pieces of her life and change it. “
What does Otis want other women to know?
After having both of the abortions, Otis was extremely ashamed, but she felt it was finally time to share her story.
“You can throw stones at me if you want, but I just think of a young woman who has no one to turn to. I wish someone had said to me back then that I’m not evil. I felt like a terrible, selfish human being and sometimes I still do. I don’t want to admit that out loud, but it’s just a hard fact.”