I had an abortion in 1974 when I was 22 years old. I wish I could say that my pregnancy was the result of rape, but that would be a lie. That summer, being a single mother of a three-year-old who was away visiting his father, I became an irresponsible child of the 70’s without a thought of what would happen after having sex outside of marriage. I was having too much fun, or so I thought. I never realized that I was being used, not loved. It is a complete eye opener to find out just who your friends really are when you get in to trouble. You find yourself alone and the only advice you get is a way to take care of the problem. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I was young and, at that time, didn’t even know what abortion was. A friend told me they could do a procedure to take care of it, so I said okay. I really didn’t have a clue. This was back in the 70’s when abortion wasn’t as widely publicized as it is today. Back then we were still being told that it wasn’t a real baby, just a clump of cells. No one came to me and told me I was ending the life of a human being. No one.
A couple of people I knew drove me to the facility where I went in alone. The coldness of that building and staff is something I will never forget. After taking my money, I was led to a room where a woman asked me some questions. It’s funny how the mind works. I don’t remember too much about that day but what I do remember haunts me almost every day. I pretended like I had been raped, which I hadn’t, and actually called my baby a monster that was living inside of me. The abortionist was a woman that I had not met until I was laying on the table. She had a young assistant that was there to hold my hand while she vacuumed the life out of me. When she was done, she handed the canister that was wrapped in a towel to her assistant to take out of the room. When the assistant grabbed the container, the towel fell off and there was my baby, in pieces. She giggled, wrapped it up again, and disappeared. I don’t remember getting home that day but days later I ended up in the hospital due to an infection caused by the abortion. I don’t remember how I even got to the hospital, but I remember waking up and hearing the night nurse ask someone what I was there for. When they told her, she said, “We just should have let her die.” I knew then that I was worthless and unworthy of God’s love, much less any other decent person. Because of the way the abortion was done, I was never able to have any other children. I felt this was only fitting, God’s punishment for taking a life.
After so many years of destructive and abusive relationships, I just couldn’t live with myself any more. I was the caregiver to my both parents, who were dying of cancer, married to an alcohol and drug addict, and had a teenager that I was trying to shield from a life of severe pain. I knew I didn’t deserve better so decided dying was better than what I had. So one evening I drove to an empty parking lot, locked the car doors, and proceeded to take an entire bottle of prescription sleeping pills. I don’t know what caused my husband at the time to come looking for me. I told no one my plans. But I thank God he did. I wish I could say that I immediately found the help I needed, but I still feared losing my family if they found out about the abortion.
Finally, in February of 2009, I got the help I so desperately needed. No one knows the power of the love God has for us more than a woman who has taken the life of her child and been forgiven. As a Catholic, I believe strongly in the gift of the sacrament of Reconciliation and truly believe that God has forgiven me for taking the life of his gift. I am working daily on forgiving myself.
In the end, I was able to have the courage to talk to my family and friends and found that their love for me was unconditional. Their support is what has given me the courage to volunteer as a team member in a group that helps others find healing and to speak openly about the pain and regret of the abortion of my child.