I've had two abortions. My life has been full of regret, shame, and pain. I'd love to share my circumstances with the hope that it could help someone experiencing what I went through.
My first pregnancy occurred when I was eighteen. I had a boyfriend and we drank, did drugs, and fought all the time. About the only time we got along was when we were having sex. When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I worried about was what my parents would think. I didn’t live with them. I had moved out when I was sixteen. But I was a coward. My boyfriend wanted me to have an abortion, but I didn’t really care what he thought. I was more worried about what my parents and family would think. The day of the procedure was awful. My boyfriend and his friend (who happened to be a girl I was jealous of) dropped me off in front of the clinic where there were lots of pro-life protestors. A nice lady got my attention and she told me I could have the child and give it up for adoption. She was so nice. She told me that I wasn’t alone and that I had options. There were places I could go. She comforted me and I know God was telling me then to listen to her and do what she said. Foolishly, I didn’t listen. I went inside and the woman who did my intake processing in the clinic asked me as soon as I sat down if the people outside had talked to me. When I told her they had, she said not to listen to them, that this was my choice, that it’s an easy procedure and the baby wasn’t really a “baby” yet, so it didn’t matter. I asked about how big the baby was and she told me that it (the baby) didn't feel anything and that the body hadn't developed. I know now that that is not true. They put me in stark room on a table in stirrups and gave me local anesthesia. I saw a hose and remember the machine that was like a big vacuum. Afterward I was taken to a room where there were lounge chairs and other girls recovering. It was like an assembly line—one girl after the other. There must have been forty of us. I got a shot in my thigh (something about Rhesus. I'm still not sure), and I was sent on my way with a fresh maxi-pad for later.
After the procedure my boyfriend and his friend took me to a hotel, and then they left to get something to eat. I cried and cried because I was alone, and because I was in tremendous pain. I was bleeding badly and I was scared. I called the clinic three times and told them what was happening to me, and they said it was normal.
My second abortion was even worse. I was twenty-six. I should have known better by then. I should have been more responsible! What was I thinking! I kicked myself for having sex drunk with a very immature guy I really didn’t like. Having a child with this man was something I didn’t want to consider, and again I was ashamed about what my parents would think. By then I had a job at a brokerage firm and lots of people knew my father, who was in the same business. I didn’t live with my parents, but I was afraid that people at work would tell my dad. I went into the abortion this time with my eyes wide open and regretted it from the minute I chose to do it. But I felt like I didn’t have any other options. Also, by this time my alcohol and drug addictions were in full bloom. Being drunk and high muted all the pain, regret, and shame I was feeling. I tried to tell myself that my drinking and drug use wouldn’t be fair to the baby. But my body deceived me because even before I knew I was pregnant, I mysteriously stopped drinking, smoking, and using drugs. I just didn’t feel like it. The human body is truly miraculous. The second procedure was essentially the same as the first, but I was out cold for the whole thing and don't remember anything. I hear horror stories about girls being raped on the table. I woke up in a lounge chair in the same assembly line recovery room where there were other girls being called when their rides showed up. My friend Janet brought me, and I went home after. I felt the same pain, bleeding, and trauma that I felt before.
My abortions are all the more painful considering where I came from and the gift my birth mother gave to me. I am an adopted child, and I was born in August of 1972, one year before Roe v. Wade. My mother had me when she was eighteen and was courageous enough to carry me to term and give me to Catholic Family Services, who in turn gave me to a wonderful family who took care of my every need. I found out through minimal records at Catholic Family Services that my mother was eighteen, my father twenty-six, and they had dated three times before she found out she was pregnant and broke up with him. She didn’t tell him she was pregnant and there is no information about my father in the records. I never looked for my mother. If she wants to see me, she will. God will make it happen if it’s supposed to happen. Although, if I did see her, I would tell her I love her, respect her, and most importantly, thank her. She’s my hero.
I am so blessed. I could have been one of the fifty-four million children aborted. And unfortunately, I contributed two to that number. I have sobered up and gone back to church (I was raised Catholic and knowing that I was committing a grave sin was weighing on me my whole life). I ask forgiveness for my abortions every time I go to confession. If there was a way that I could convey something to a young, pregnant girl considering abortion I would tell her the regret I feel is real and it's painful and it never goes away. If motherhood isn’t for you at the time you find yourself pregnant, you don’t have to keep your baby. There are plenty of people looking for an infant to raise as their own, and places like Catholic Family Services who will help. My adopted mother couldn’t have children, and she was blessed with me, courtesy of my birth mother. If I could go back I would gladly give both those babies I aborted nine months of my life so they could make someone’s dream of raising a child come true. A girl who gives her baby to a family who is looking to adopt is a superhero.