1975 was the time of free love – sex and partying. I was about to graduate from college; my life finally turned around. And I was pregnant, again! I had to make a choice and I chose to terminate the child who I thought could ruin my whole life. It was no time for a baby. The school nurse told me there was an easy solution, just go down the street to the local Planned Parenthood and have an abortion.
After 46 years it is a still a vivid memory, lying on a cold table in a heartless room. A room where my child died as well as my inner self. My son Matthew was vacuumed from my womb and like a freshly cleaned carpet; the footsteps of my sin were erased.
And for the outer Carol, the one that some came to know, the path that led me to murder my own child became a memory that only I shared, only I felt and only I hated. In my loneliness, in my forsaken world, I could only screech making alien noises like the born alive baby Kermit Gosnell murdered. Those who knew me at the time of my abortion forsook me – leaving me in an empty dorm room to cry for my child. The father of the baby paid his dues – taking me to dinner and acting like nothing had just transpired – that our child had become dust and mud in a vacuum bag to be discarded with the rest of today’s trash. After dinner, he brought me back to my dorm room and again I was forsaken, left alone with my misery. I never saw him again.
Night after night I saw the face of the nurse at Planned Parenthood who laughed at me when I started to sob upon being awakened after the abortion. She was laughing as I screamed “I want my baby back and to put it back inside me.” She even called another woman over to share in her cruel laughter. After days of crying, I decided to put this behind me and pretend like it never happened. But I secretly obsessed thinking about what this child would have been like – his personality, his looks. I wondered what, if allowed to breathe, my child would have become.
I realized I had done something awful – after that I could do nothing right. I partied hard to forget, was promiscuous, used drugs and alcohol. I felt that those I loved had forsaken me in my time of need, that the world was forsaking me and that I could no longer do anything right. The self-loathing brought me to a world of darkness. A world where love was an obsolete word and hate was the name of the game. I deserved punishment and found someone to help me in this goal. My self worth had deteriorated. I gained weight, stopped wearing make-up and did not care what I wore. My husband abused me and I deserved his abuse.
Thirty years later, in church, I begged forgiveness for my sin – but did not feel forgiven. The priest I spoke to told me to ask forgiveness of my child. Over and over, I asked my child to forgive me. In a vision, I saw 3 babies playing in the clouds. One turned to me and said “Hi, Mommy.” It was at this moment I knew I had been forgiven. But still I kept my dark secret telling only my children and asking them to tell no one.
At a 40 Days for Life Vigil, I saw a woman carrying a sign that said “I regret my abortion.” I regretted my abortion and wanted to carry that sign. I was convicted. On the sidewalk, I knew I had a message. I had learned the healing power of forgiveness. I am Silent No More.