In 1993, Tami told her Real World: Los Angeles roommates that she was pregnant and she admitted she was not ready to be a mother. The then-22-year-old decided to terminate the pregnancy because it was the “best decision at this point in time,” and she had the full support of her mother Nadine. Tami bravely chronicled the procedure as she walked into the appointment with Nadine as well as after as she endured “excruciating pain.” Now, during this week’s Homecoming episode, the cast relived Tami’s experience as she reflected on this life-changing choice she shared with millions of viewers.
“For me, as an African American woman who was really trying to find myself, I just felt like it wasn’t the right time for me to bring children into the world,” Tami calmly stated, while adding she still stands by her decision to this day.
Beth S. praised Tami for her strength and admitted that she would not have been able to speak to her mother the same way Tami did. Tami then admitted that the hardest part of reliving this experience was seeing Nadine, who sadly passed away. Then Tami disclosed something for the first time: She endured complications from the procedure because she was expecting twins.
But this was only the beginning of the confessions: Irene and Beth A felt compelled to share that they too had terminated pregnancies in their early 20s. Three young women living together had all made the same decision, and only one chose to reveal it on camera.
First, Irene admitted she was 23 at the time and intended to “keep the pregnancy.” But then the former police officer had a change of heart.
“I kept on playing this scenario over in my head with this person who I was going to have this baby with, and I thought
‘No, this isn’t the man that I want to be the father of my children,'” Irene explained.
Beth A’s story: She was dating a well-known actor and soon after realized she was pregnant.
“I knew I did the right thing because I still would be entangled with him, and it might not have been healthy,” she said.
Tami intently listened to the women, but she admitted she felt alone at the time and “it would have been nice” to know that others under the same roof could relate to her circumstances. Irene and Beth A felt a similar emotion — shame — and that was what prevented them from speaking up. Jon, who opposed Tami’s decision in the 90s, reiterated that he remains “adamantly pro-life” and his views have not changed. However, his approach to expressing his beliefs has.
“This time, what I don’t want to express to them is judgment and hatefulness coming from someone who has a different opinion,” he shared in a confessional.
Tami appreciated Jon’s sentiment that it was up to people to make their own choices and loving them throughout the process “in spite of what they might feel about something.” However, she could not help but address the timeliness of this topic, the future of the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, and “men trying to dictate what a woman can do with her body when this was already settled.” Now, Tami is a mother to “two beautiful daughters” — and she had them at the right time.
Meanwhile, the other female roommate, Beth S, sat silently as the other women spoke. After the group chat, she approached Tami to speak outside and admitted she preferred to speak to her one-on-one.
“When I was 19, I fell in love and I waited for the first time to have sex, and the first time I had sex, I got pregnant,” Beth S stated, to which Tami responded, “And you had an abortion.” Beth S began to tear up, and she shook her head yes.
Beth S, who was 22 when she entered the Real World, revealed it was a mutual decision and she had a supportive partner at the time. But Beth S did not divulge this part of her life to her mother at the time and reiterated how Tami was fortunate to have her parent by her side.
“In some strange way, we’ve all lived the same moment,” Tami concluded. “It’s just weird I’m finding it out 27 years later.”
If you or someone you love is facing an unplanned pregnancy, you’re not alone. For information and support on pregnancy, birth control and all your options, head to Bedsider.org.