Abigail Heringer Opens Up About Her Impact on the Deaf Community: 'The Response Has Been Incredible'
On Monday night’s "Women Tell All" special, standout contestant Abigail Heringer opened up about her historic turn as the first deaf contestant to appear on “The Bachelor.”
The stunning Oregon native told host Chris Harrison why she shared more with Matt James about her hearing loss during Week 7, explaining that her future children could potentially be born deaf.
“By that point, Hometowns were coming around the corner and so I wanted to be as fair with him, because I think it wouldn’t be fair to him if I went through this entire journey and held on to all of my insecurities and not giving him that full transparency,” she said.
Though she was initially hesitant to share her story, Abigail expressed gratitude at having a platform to touch the lives of many Bachelor Nation members.
“It’s been incredible. I was really scared when I decided to come on, just because I think people kind of view the hearing community and the Deaf community as black and white. I’m kind of that gray space in the middle that hasn’t had a lot of light shone on,” she said. “I was born profoundly deaf, so that means I have no hearing. So if I take my cochlear implant off, I can’t hear anything.”
She continued, “But I’m also not a member of the Deaf community because I don’t use sign language. I’m able to communicate vocally. So, I had no idea how people were going to receive me. But the response has been incredible. I’ve had so many people reach out and say, ‘Thank you for sharing your story. I have a very similar one.’ I’ve been blown away.”
Abigail also reflected on her breakup with Matt. As viewers witnessed, the handsome lead sent her home just before Hometown Dates, noting that their relationship hadn’t progressed in the way he had hoped.
“I know things didn’t work out with Matt and I, but that’s not to say I didn’t leave with anything,” she said, looking on the bright side of her “Bachelor” experience. “I met an incredible group of women. I learned a lot about myself… I’m just a much better version of myself that I’m really excited to be able to share with whoever wants to share that with me.”