I was an adult, on my own, a professional in a respected position. I was very much in love with a man who was separated from his wife and going through a divorce. Despite taking precautions, I became pregnant. The father then revealed he and his wife were not divorcing, and it was my decision what to do about the pregnancy. He did not want nor would he discuss the pregnancy. I was devastated and felt emotionally abandoned. I had no one to turn to and felt incapable to handling this pregnancy on my own.
To this day, I cannot remember the time of year I underwent the abortion; I knew if I were to undergo the procedure, I had to do so as soon as possible, before I had time to think about it, to think of the reality of the child I carried. I had relatives who prayed outside the local abortion clinic, so I went out of town to another clinic. The baby's father drove me to the clinic. I have very little recollection of the experience at the clinic or the procedure itself. I made a concerted and conscious effort to put any thoughts and memories of the experience out of my mind. All I allowed myself to feel was relief. I do recall, the next day, I smiled for some reason, and the father commented that he did not know how I could smile after what I had done. Our relationship ended shortly afterwards, within days. He was the only one who knew about my abortion.
For many years, I lived with regret, grief, guilt, shame, fear of exposure, and self-loathing; I did not believe I was of value or deserving of anything good...I became promiscuous. I now recognize this was a self-destructive response to my low self-esteem. I could not look at pro-life signs, listen to news reports on abortion—for or against—or anything that reminded me of this past event. There was a deep wound that remained raw. I had failed God, myself, and my child.
I eventually turned to God. I met a wonderful, loving, Christian man, and we married. I still had not dealt with the abortion experience. Several years later, I confessed the abortion to a priest when we were on vacation in a different state. I still did not tell my husband.
A number of years later, I shared my "dirty little secret" with my husband, and he still loved me. That truly was the beginning of my deeper healing. I felt it would be hypocritical to speak up against abortion, because how could I deny another woman's right to do what I had done myself. But this was one of satan's lies. Eventually I confessed my abortion to our parish priest, and he looked at me with mercy and forgiveness...I survived one more person knowing my secret. I shared my secret with my spiritual director and then a very dear friend...both were supportive and did not treat me differently...I survived two more people knowing my secret. This gave me courage to attend a post-abortion healing retreat (30 years after my abortion) and found greater forgiveness from GOD, myself, and my aborted child.
In my weakness, I had placed my fears before my child and discarded that precious life in exchange for my own comfort. Instead of comfort, I found more weakness—greater shame, guilt, and fear. GOD called me out of this place of personal poverty and into His loving and merciful embrace, where I have found greater courage—His courage and strength. My hope is, by sharing my story, that one person will seek or find healing from this same shame, guilt, and fear. That is why I am silent no more!