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CHERRY HILL, N.J. — A video produced by a counselor at a abortion clinic showing her undergoing the procedure has gone viral.

Emily Letts, 25, filmed the procedure at her workplace, the Cherry Hill Women's Center on Kings Highway. She made the three-minute film as part of a contest intended to remove the stigma of abortion.

Letts, whose film has sparked both praise and condemnation, discussed her decision in an essay for the online edition of Cosmopolitan magazine.

"I knew I wasn't ready to take care of a child," wrote Letts, who said she did not involve her partner in the decision.

Letts, a former actress, said the film was a way to use her personal experience to reach women considering an abortion.

"Patients at the clinic always ask me if I can relate to them — have I had an abortion?" she wrote. "I was so used to saying, 'I've never had an abortion but ...'While I was pregnant and waiting for my procedure, I thought, 'Wait a minute, I have to use this.' "

Letts said she also wanted to remove any sense of shame over an abortion.

"I know there are women who feel great remorse," she said. "I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman's process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt."

Letts' film was one of two winners announced announced last month by the contest's organizer, the Abortion Care Network, an organization of independent abortion providers.

In her Cosmo piece, Letts said some online comments praised her while others showed "blind hatred."

"It will always be a special memory for me," she said of her abortion. "I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I'd grab."

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