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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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Cheryl's 2018 March for Life Testimony
Cheryl
New Jersey, United States

My name is Cheryl Riley.                                                                                  


I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY as a catholic.  I don’t remember when or where I first heard the word “abortion.” but knew the Church was against it.  I thought I knew more than the Church. I thought if a woman had only 1 or 2 abortions and didn’t use it as a form of birth control, then it was OK.

 

At the age of 19, I found myself with an unexpected pregnancy.  Young and scared, I gave into my boyfriend’s pressure when he told me to abort my baby.

 

I can remember as if it were yesterday the day my boyfriend picked me up and drove me to the abortion clinic.  I desperately wanted him to put his arms around me, hug me and tell me it would be OK and that we could have the baby.  Instead, when I turned to him to tell him I didn’t think I could go through with it, he gave me a nudge through the door and said, "Yes, you can.”

 

The first thing the receptionist asked me for was the money.  I received a receipt that day in exchange for my baby’s life.

 

Immediately following my abortion I started to suffer from depression. My boyfriend and I broke up and my life became a living hell. Drugs and alcohol became my friends. I hated myself and I thought God hated me too. I disconnected myself from him. Never thinking he would forgive me for what I did.

 

My abortion effected so many aspects in my life but somehow I was able to marry and have three children. I would suffer for 12 years after my abortion before finding hope and healing on the first Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in the Archdiocese of Newark. That was over 20 years ago. 

 

I stand before you today as a post abortive woman that has healed and has a voice to speak on behalf of all those that don’t.

Abortion hurts!


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