I graduated from high school in May of 1973, just 4 months after abortion was legalized. During my high school years, I learned to cope with life with any substance or action that would erase memory, ease conscience, and eliminate burdens, while avoiding consequences and responsibilities.
The memory of my first wedding was blurred by getting high on the way to the courthouse. We had two little boys, very loved and very treasured, so we thought...although at no time did we alter our substance abusing lifestyle. When James was 2 ½ and Chris was 13 mos. old, I discovered that I was pregnant again. I had recently had a thyroid scan, but the doctor did not indicate that there was any danger to me, although a miscarriage was always possible.
I went home with mixed feelings. I told my husband that I was pregnant again and he reacted very negatively. This was a bad time for me to be pregnant. What if something were to happen to me because of this pregnancy, and he'd be left having to raise the boys alone? We can't afford to have another kid. We can't afford the kids we have. I was tired, scared, overwhelmed and felt like a failure. I couldn't imagine a positive outcome. All of our friends advised abortion. No one tried to talk me out of it, not even my husband, and it was his baby.
He took me to the Planned Parenthood Clinic. I was given a sleeping pill and instructions for the next morning. The next day he took me back to the clinic and he sat in the waiting room while I changed into a gown, lay on a table, and was given a large dose of valium intravenously. I remember hearing a vacuum cleaner sound, as I felt a very long and very painful cramp. I remember sobbing as I fell into a drug-induced sleep. I awoke in a separate room, with a nurse telling me to get dressed, it was time to go. I walked out, and my husband drove us home.
I lied about it, rationalized it and justified it for years. I even lied about what the dr. Had said regarding the thyroid scan...I told everyone that I’d had a medical excuse for the abortion...as if there could be an excuse. I thought that the immediate “so-called solution” would override any possible future regrets. This abortion would meet my needs of the moment. It would be the solution to my family’s financial burdens, and my personal energy and convenience concerns.
But in my heart and soul I knew that it was wrong. The abortion that I chose to have not only killed my innocent baby, it damaged me physically, mentally and spiritually.
It was not a solution to my problem. Because of the physical damage done to my uterus from the suction curettage abortion, I had to have a hysterectomy 3 mos. later. The guilt and shame of allowing my child to be killed made it much easier to use and abuse myself in many other ways. After all, what did I have to lose? I had done the unthinkable by allowing my baby to be killed.
Feb. 14, 1999 is the day that I decided to change my life, by giving up drugs, and coming back to god. I have been clean and sober since. Since then I have opened myself to god's healing love and mercy, forgiveness and grace. Through the miracle of the 12 steps, I became honest about the past.
However, it was through Fr. Pavone's website that the deepest level of truth finally sank in. I clicked on the link to see what abortion looks like. I needed to see it to realize the truth that I’d been denying for so long. She was not a blob of tissue or just a piece of my own body that I could do without. She was not a mistake that I didn't want to deal with. She was my Ceci baby, and because she was an inconvenience, I allowed her to be killed.
As time has passed the Lord continues to reveal his love and mercy to me. He has helped me to feel the depth of his forgiveness and love both sacramentally, and through the healing ministry of save one...a scripture based program of healing for post abortive women and for men who have been involved in abortion decisions.
...and I’ve finally forgiven myself. But I’ve also come to realize that my own personal healing and sorrow are not enough anymore. It is important for our regrets to be heard and acknowledged as truth. That's when I decided that I could be silent no more.