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My first "lover" (I use the term bitterly) was 27; I was 17. He was such a wonderful guy that he was concurrently sleeping with my best friend (even the night I lost my virginity to him). I was young, a victim of childhood sexual abuse (untreated). I had no self esteem, was lonely, and craved affection and nurturing. I had never even been on a date all through High School. He was demanding and emotionally abusive and I once again became the victim.

I had been on "the pill" for a few years to treat a menstrual disorder, so I considered myself "safe." My girlfriend, on the other hand, rarely used any form of birth control. I wasn't completely surprised when she had fears that she'd become pregnant. What did unnerve me, however, was that I, too, had missed my period. There had been one time, about mid-cycle, when I hadn't taken my "pill" at its usual 9:00 PM time - I'd waited till the following morning some 12 hours later. That was the closest I'd ever come to missing a pill.

At some four weeks after that "late pill," my girlfriend and I decided we'd better have a pregnancy test at the local "family planning" clinic (AKA Abortion Broker). This was in the 70's - when you couldn't get instant results. You had to leave a urine sample and come back later. So we went. We left our samples. We bought cheeseburgers and milkshakes and talked. What would we do? The thought of being possibly pregnant secretly thrilled me. I felt "grown up," as though I'd affirmed my potential as a woman.

The "lover" was adamant. It was abortion or loose him. The pressure was indescribable. I had consuming fears of telling my parents. I was weak and afraid. I'd always been the "good" girl, the apple of my father's eye. He'd had a serious heart attack only a few short years before. I felt sure I would be responsible for another one. . . one that might kill him. To complicate matters further, I had experienced a rash about two weeks into my "pregnancy" - it was not known whether I'd had German Measles.

I was frightened, confused. I sought counsel - after much fear and trepidation - from one of the religious brothers at my high school. He pressured me to have an abortion! My God - if only ONE person would have taken my hand, talked to me, told me there was a way out . . . just one. It's years later, as I write this now, and I have tears in my eyes. Sixteen years and it hurts more now than it did then.

We went in for the results and "counseling." They called my girlfriend first. She was in there for about 10 minutes with the "counselor" when they called me in. I saw her there, with a Kleenex, crying, and I knew she was pregnant. I wasn't even worried about myself - I couldn't really believe I could really have become pregnant - after being three years solid on the pill, only 12 hours late, and I'd even had a "period" the few days before. The "counselor" handed the box of Kleenex to me and said "Well, then, when will we schedule the procedure?" No "You're pregnant"; No "Let's discuss the options." Just "When will we schedule the procedure?" I was told that, since I was under 18, I wouldn't have to pay for the "procedure." Welfare would pay. We would have to apply to the DPSS and fill papers. My parents need never know. They would "take care of everything." Liars. Damn them.

A few years later, the clinic was closed down for fraud. It seems that a group of nursing students had gone in and posed as "pregnant's". The urine samples were from the male students. They were given positive test results and pushed into having "abortions."

I will never know the truth. My sin was committed. But I will never know for sure if a baby died because of my sin. It is a hell that will haunt me to the end of my days.

By the way. . . the religious brother later called me a murderer.

Quick, numbing, painful, cold . . . all overseen by an attractive, pep-talky young "den-mother" type who gave us lots of strokes and praised us for doing the "right" thing. She also patted our hands as we wept and told us that it was all over - and that we shouldn't cry. I left there feeling as though I owed the woman a shot at the Nobel prize.

As I have said, it has been an experience from which I will never recover. I have hated myself so much that I have gained 150 pounds since that day. My fat is a wall, I know. I've been sexually promiscuous to the point of degradation. I can't accept a loving relationship from any decent man. (The "lover," by the way, found another reason to drop me anyway.)

I have tried therapy - the therapist was anti-life so it did not help. I've tried prayer - I made my confession ten years later. That did help, although my inability to accept God's forgiveness (should I say unwillingness? I don't know) has made for a constant struggle in my life.

It has killed the life and the innocence within me. I have never completely trusted any man (or my own feelings) again or since. I still feel tremendous loss, pain, and remorse. I am bitter, though I know that if it ever happened to me again or to anyone I love, I would fight to my last breath to save that poor and innocent angel. No more abortions. No more killing!

Talking about this has been more painful to me than you will ever know. . . but I'm doing it - re-living this pain - in the hope that if I do, one person could be saved. . . at least I would be saved, really. . .the innocent baby and the confused, hurting mother. God bless you.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
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