By Kathleen Gilbert

NEW YORK, May 14, 2010 ( – Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, better known as a member of the successful 1990s hip-hop trio TLC, has joined a growing number of women and men who have come forward with horrendous stories of post-abortion grief. In a recent interview, the singer revealed that an abortion that she got when she was 20 years old “broke my spirit,” and robbed her of her “strong self.”

The singer discussed her abortion on the May 9 episode of the VH1 reality TV series “What Chilli Wants,” which follows the singer as she seeks help to establish a long-lasting relationship. Prompted to discuss her first relationship, with producer Dallas Austin, Thomas recounted her emotions upon realizing that she was pregnant for the first time at 20 years old.
“I didn't have the support, and so I was so scared and didn't know what to do,” she said, “and chose to not have it (the baby) – one of the biggest mistakes.”

Far from an empowering option, the singer said the abortion seemed forced upon her by her budding career – and that it was a choice she didn't really want to make. “I'm 20, my career hadn't even really started, you know, so how do I do all that? How do I be a mommy?” she recalled. “It messed me up. I don't know – it broke my spirit.”

She continued, through tears: “I feel like I became, I don't know – kind of like, not my strong self anymore. I feel like I gave in and I broke to what someone else wanted.

“And I would break down and I would just cry – because I wasn't a mommy. I cried almost every day for almost nine years.”

Thomas said that she eventually pursued the one way she felt she could “fix” the abortion – by having another child by the same man. The relationship later disintegrated.

Georgette Fourney of Silent No More Awareness, a group dedicated to raising awareness of post-abortion grief, said that Thomas' story is a common one, and that more and more women are stepping forward to tell their own stories.

“I think it's time,” Fourney told “It's almost like what's happening is that the reality of what the last 50 years of the sexual revolution – the havoc it's wreaked on women – women are starting to realize.”

“Real feminism says that we can be women, and we can embrace our femininity, and we can say no to people taking advantage of our sexuality,” said Fourney, who sympathized with Thomas' statement that the abortion robbed her of strength.

“People are waking up to the fact that abortion does not empower women, but undermines them, and women are much stronger and they don't need the weak solution of abortion,” she said. “That's exactly what we're telling people – is that abortion doesn't empower you, it's the opposite, it takes the strength away from you.”

Click here to read more testimonies of post-abortive women on the Silent No More Awareness Web site.