In light of the leaked Roe opinion, the actress reveals her story publicly for the first time, "to help be a part of normalizing this."
Torrey DeVitto was 21 years old when she landed her first major acting role in 2005. When she found out she was pregnant, she was finally pursuing acting as a career and earning some money.
DeVitto, 37, tells PEOPLE,
"I remember I was sitting in my bedroom and I was with my boyfriend at the time and we were both pretty dumbfounded. We were shocked."
"I think the two of us just didn't know what to do and I remember feeling really dizzy. I was in this surreal moment and I was like how did this happen? What do I do?"
The Chicago Med alum was well aware that neither she nor her then-boyfriend was in a position to raise and support a child.
"I just started making money but with taxes and agent fees and management fees, you don't really take home that much, and I didn't have the funds to do this," she says. "I was living in a house in Los Angeles with three other roommates and very scared, very confused, and so I made the decision that was best for me. And he made that decision as well."
"It was the healthiest, smartest choice for us at the time and I'm so grateful that I was able to make that choice about me, about my own body," she continues. "I can't imagine if the right to choose over my own body was illegal. It's just something that's so unfathomable."
DeVitto claims she was "fortunate" to have her family's support when she opted to fly to Michigan to have an abortion with her mother. She returned to Los Angeles after her recovery and "jumped straight back into work."
DeVitto kept her abortion a secret from everyone save close friends and family because of the stigma. She claims that her dread made it more difficult to reconcile.
"I wanted to be open, but I was scared that I would be alienated or judged," she says. "I just went right back to filming and never really processed it because I think it felt so taboo. I didn't give myself the grace or the self-love to really process it."
DeVitto has thoroughly processed and "reclaimed" her decision in the 15 years following.
"Now that I'm older and more aware of the world and don't really give a s--- what people think anymore, especially the opposite sex trying to control my rights, I've really taken ownership and feel like this is my story," she says. "And if you don't like it, you can see yourself out the door, because it just doesn't matter to me anymore. I know in my heart of hearts, I made the best decision."
DeVitto now talks about her abortion "quite freely" with others, despite the fact that she had never disclosed it publicly before. After a draft opinion indicating that the Supreme Court will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion was leaked last week, she decided it was time.
"I was incensed when I saw the leak come out and I actually was really, really emotional about it," she says. "I kind of always brushed [my experience] to the back of my head, but I started reliving my story and how different my life would be now. How angry and emotional I would've felt had I not been able to have the right to choose over my own body."
DeVitto aims to "help be a part of normalizing" abortions and "normalizing doing what's best for you" by sharing her story.
"I hope it makes another girl or woman who's gone through this feel like they don't have to be ashamed of the choices they've made," she says, starting to tear up. "It makes me emotional saying that because for so long, I felt so ashamed because of the stigma that people put on abortions. I just hope that any other woman reading this knows that she does not need to be ashamed for making what choice she felt was best for her body."
She believes that by sharing her story, other girls and women who have gone through similar experiences will realize that they are not alone in their decisions. And that the ladies who read her story understand that they don't have to feel bad about having an abortion because it was the greatest thing for their bodies.
As she began to cry, DeVitto told the magazine that telling this story made her upset because she had long felt ashamed of the "stigma that people place on abortions."
Who Was Torrey Married To?
Torrey Devitto has had a long line of love affairs, including actor Drake Bell, Central American surfer Carlos Munoz, actor Rick Glassman, dancer Artem Chigvintsev, and most recently, actor Jesse Lee Soffer. Torrey Devitto, on the other hand, met Paul Wesley, with whom she co-starred in the 2008 blockbuster series The Vampire Diaries. They married in a secret ceremony in April 2011 after dating for four years.
The couple filed for an annulment in July 2013, which was confirmed five months later, after their marriage lasted only two years. There was no kid from the union.