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Annette's 2019 March for Life Ottawa Testimony
Annette
Ontario, Canada

At 17, I left home and school, and church. I was concerned about over population, and wanted to act responsibly, so I learned about birth control, and began volunteering and then got a job at the local university birth control centre. I had decided if I ever got pregnant, I would have an abortion.
At 18, I was arranging abortions for other women, and then I got pregnant. I had an I.U.D. , and I used contraceptive foam,  but I got pregnant anyway. I thought my parents would be disappointed and I didn’t feel as if I could raise a child. I remember thinking that someday, I would have to deal with my abortion, but right now, I could not deal with pregnancy.
I arranged my own abortion. That day my boyfriend drove me to the distant hospital, drove me home, and supported me. A week or two later, I got a pelvic inflammatory disease. I was quite sick, and the physician told me “this is what you get for having an abortion.”
A few weeks later I was called into a meeting at the Birth Control Center and fired. My abortion made other employees uncomfortable about their own abortions.
I was devastated – and confused. If abortion was morally right, why did they feel bad, why did they not want to be reminded of it, why would they shun me?
I went on with my life. Moved away, got married, had 3 children.
I didn’t get depressed, or addicted, but there was someone missing. Every year at Christmas, I hung a tiny stuffed bear ornament on the tree for my missing child.
In my 40s, God pushed through to me, and I couldn’t ignore my abortion anymore. I was working a quiet night shift, and had time to reflect, to pray, and it hit me – I had lost my child. I had killed my child. I had already confessed this sin in confession, but I hadn’t really thought I had done a great wrong. I hadn’t believed that it was truly a human whom I had killed. But now I knew, and it wasn’t just any human, it was my child. I, his mother, the person who above all others was supposed to love and protect him, had killed him. My tears were God’s grace, and I felt Mary wrap her arms around me, and cry with me. I didn’t feel condemnation, I felt great, life-giving compassion. I went to confession again, because now, I felt sorry. I will never feel sorry enough and yet, I am forgiven..
I did this horrible thing and yet all I got from Mary, from God, from my priest, from my husband, from anyone I have told, is compassion.  
There is a gap in our thinking. The value of a human in the womb is not determined by whether a mother wants the child. Thinking a child in the womb is not a human doesn’t change the facts. I pray that my Gabriel will pray for his or her brother and sisters, and for all children whose lives are threatened.


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