Chicago Med 's Torrey DeVitto Shares She Had an Abortion at 21: 'I Was Able to Make That Choice'
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Torrey DeVitto
In 2005, Torrey DeVitto was 21 and had just booked her first big acting job. She was finally making acting her career and starting to earn some money, when she found out she was pregnant.
"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," DeVitto, 37, tells PEOPLE. "I think the two of us just didn't know what to do and I remember feeling like really dizzy. I was in this surreal moment and I was like how did this happen? What do I do?"
The Chicago Med alum knew that she, nor her then-boyfriend, were in a place where they could raise and support a child.
"I just started making money but with taxes and agent fees and manager 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."
RELATED: Bill to Make Abortion Legal Nationwide Fails in the Senate as All Republicans and 1 Democrat Vote No
"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 says she was "lucky" to have the support of her family, and decided to fly to where her mom was living in Michigan for an abortion. After recuperating, she went back to Los Angeles and "jumped right back into work."
RELATED: See Which States Have Abortion Restrictions in Place — and What Would Change if Roe Is Overturned
While she told close friends and family about her abortion, DeVitto otherwise kept it under wraps, due to the stigma. That fear, she says, made it harder 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."
In the 15 years since, DeVitto has fully processed her decision and "reclaimed" it.
"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."
RELATED VIDEO: 'I Pray for All ... Who Will Suffer': Many Stars Are Outraged at Sweeping Alabama Abortion Ban
DeVitto now talks about her abortion "very freely" with people, but hadn't shared it publicly until now. She decided it was time after a draft opinion leaked last week indicated that the Supreme Court will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion.
"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."
RELATED: 33 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help Women Feel Less Alone
By sharing her story, DeVitto hopes to "help be a part of normalizing" abortions and "normalizing doing what's best for you."
"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."