I submitted to a legal abortion on March 6, 2003 in Miami, FL. I wasn’t young or inexperienced. I was forty-two, married, and the mother of two boys, ages nine and three. I had no medical insurance and a history of pre-term labor and a previous pregnancy that cost over $100,000.
My husband urged me to consider an abortion. “We’re too old,” he said. He insisted that our comfort and the comfort of our two boys, Danny and Alex, were threatened. “After all,” he said, “I’m not asking you to do anything illegal.”
We argued about it for days. He knew that I wanted this baby and he said that he would support me either way. But, he said, if I had this child we would have no more vacations, no more eating out, and no more money toward college for our kids. Also, I could no longer pay for the plane tickets for my mother to come visit us. He said I would have to give him all the money that I earned.
I finally gave in. I was a coward, my faith was weak, and I was afraid to take the full responsibility in case something went wrong. I worried. What if, due to my age, I had a baby with Down syndrome?
I went to the abortion clinic with the idea of stopping the procedure at the last minute. That way, I thought, I could appease my husband. At least it would seem like I had tried to please him.
When we got to the clinic, the woman at the front desk asked me what kind of abortion I wanted. None, I thought to myself. Ralph immediately jumped in and said, "She has not made up her mind yet. Is there any counselor she can talk to?" We were led into a counseling room by a woman with dark hair. After we sat down, I told her, "Deep inside my heart I know there is no justification for an abortion.”
Ralph glared at me. He said, “She thinks she’s carrying a baby and not just a blob of cells.” The counselor assured me that my baby was "just a pinhead." Both she and my husband argued with me. She said, “You can do this. You don’t have to want it or like it. It’s best to make this sacrifice for the well-being of your two boys.” My husband begged me, “Please do it!”
How naive and stupid I was. I did not even object when the counselor compared my baby to a tumor. "Wouldn’t you remove a tumor?" she said. As she shoved the papers at me to sign, she told me, “You can stop the abortion at any time.”
When it was time to go into the operating room, I crouched down outside the door and whimpered, "I can't do this." Two smiling women, one on each side of me, lifted me up and pushed me into the room. The doctor got upset at me because I was crying. Many times, I told him, "I don't want to. I don't want to!" They gave me the anesthesia, and I went to sleep praying.
When I woke up, I felt violated and hurt. In that moment my living hell started. I felt my life was ruined, and I thought of suicide so I could join my baby in the afterlife. On the way home from the clinic I thought about throwing myself out of the car on the expressway.
That night when my crying kept Ralph awake, he yelled at me, “What’s wrong with you? We got rid of the problem!” The next morning, after a night without sleep, I urged Ralph to look on the internet for what happened to women after an abortion.
He searched WebMD and found only one article. He showed it to me and pointed to one sentence, “Most women do not regret abortion.” He grinned knowingly and said, “You see? You’re crazy, you’re creating this problem. You’ll be okay.” I cried.
Later he found a website about post-abortion depression. After he read the information, he looked sad. He hugged me, and for the first time in the ten years of our marriage he apologized. He said, “I’m sorry. Forgive me.”
Even though it took the website information to open his eyes and soften his heart, I felt that somehow he understood and shared my pain. He found a psychologist who saw me that afternoon and Ralph told her that he was willing do everything in his power to help me. The psychologist referred me to a psychiatrist and two days later I was able to see him. He prescribed antidepressant medication for me.
My husband had urged me to abort my baby for the well-being of our other two children, Danny and Alex. But after the abortion, I found myself incapable of taking care of them for almost a year. I held my two innocent boys responsible for the death of their sibling. This seems irrational and insane, but at the time I couldn’t help myself. Why could they breath, talk and laugh, and my baby couldn’t? Why were their future and their comfort and their college money more important than my third child’s life? I stopped talking to them. I could not hug them. Their presence bothered me.
After the abortion, my husband’s life changed drastically. He had to take over and take care of our kids, plus he now had to take care of me.
My days were filled with anger, depression, anxiety and flashbacks of the abortion. I was determined to get myself arrested so I could confess to this murder. I knew this plan wouldn’t work, so my thoughts turned to suicide. I tried to hang myself but was too cowardly to finish. I thought of driving into a water canal. I was intentionally very close to being hit by a truck. I would go walking in the middle of the night, hoping I would get lost or die. I cut myself and hit myself many times. I refused to eat. I went to work, but even there I cried most of the time. The rest of the time I spent in bed hoping to die. I was helpless to do anything about my miserable life. The therapy and medication didn’t seem to help. There was no magic therapy or pill to cure my sorrow, grief, regrets, anger and anguish.
My family and friends were concerned about my personality change, but I didn’t dare tell them about the abortion. I just said I was sick and being treated for depression.
My husband acknowledged his guilt, and I started to hate him. I was so angry at him; I hit him on several occasions.
After my husband promised me that we would have another child, I committed myself to concentrate on healing. Seven months after the abortion, I got pregnant again. I found out that I was pregnant on the exact due date of my aborted child, whom I had named Gabi. I was really happy and thanked God for such a sign of forgiveness.
Sadly, I miscarried very early. It was very painful, but not nearly as painful as the abortion.
Then two years after my miscarriage, I got pregnant again, but I miscarried Valeria Isabel at nine weeks. I now believe that my abortion did not kill just one child but three—Gabi, Mel and Val.
From the beginning I somehow knew that God was my only hope. But how could I turn to him after what I had done? I was fortunate that I was referred to Father Gabriel, and he introduced me to the merciful God I had forgotten. Thanks to God’s mercy, many Bible studies, a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, and many wonderful pro-life workers that God placed in my path, my healing journey began. It took a lot of Bible studies and prayers before I was able to forgive myself…and to forgive my husband.
I came to understand that God allowed his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. That included the horrible sin of my abortion. I was able to accept God's forgiveness, and to believe that my baby forgave me for extinguishing his light before he had the chance to shine. Then I was able to forgive the abortionist and the clinic personnel, leaving their judgment in God’s hands.
I have suffered greatly—physically, emotionally and spiritually. My children and my husband also have had to pay the consequences.
Abortion does not help women; it hurts women!