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They Made it Sound So Simple...

I loved my child from the moment the nurse told me I was pregnant -- So much so that I feared the penicillin I had taken for strep throat might have hurt him. The nurse reassured me and told me otherwise.

When I arrived home I told my live-in boyfriend that we were going to have a baby. I was happy and expected that he would be too. Instead, he began to speak of the family that we would have someday, and how it was important to plan and prepare financially for children. He then reminded me of our bills and told me the timing was not right for a child. He asked me to consider having an abortion.

Disappointment struck me but it paled when compared to the love that we had for each other. His comments sounded so reasonable and rational. His case was stated well. I knew I had to at least consider abortion for the sake of our relationship. Anyway, what could be the harm in just "looking into" the possibility of having an abortion? My intent was to make a sound, logical decision about my pregnancy.

My boss, whom I respected greatly, chronicled her two abortion experiences and referred to her husband as "the sucker who got her into that mess". She told me how to complete the insurance forms to guarantee reimbursement.

My boyfriend's mother told me whatever I chose to do was fine with her. So did my friends.

Well, I knew I had to get the facts. Just what was abortion ... Really? I telephoned a clinic counselor for the straight scoop. She spoke so nonchalantly, no problem, I didn't really have a baby ... Just a piece of tissue, and then she recited the simple procedure for expelling the cells. That couldn't be.

I called another clinic. The counselor there told me the same thing. No baby, just a piece of tissue. I went on to speak to seven counselors. Sometimes I think I spoke to so many because I just wanted one person to confirm what I believed, that I had a baby in my womb.

All the "pregnancy experts" (clinic "counselors") assured me I did not.

I had envisioned my legislators gathered around a large table discussing abortion. This embodiment of intelligence had decided abortion was legitimate. The evidence was weighty, it must not be a baby or they wouldn't embrace the abortion doctrine.

It would not have been logical to continue my pregnancy based on a whimsical-sounding belief.

Ostensibly my decision was prudent. I was only nineteen, the pregnancy wasn't planned, there were bills to pay, it wasn't a good time to start a family, it would preempt my career and I probably wasn't ready for motherhood. It had all the dressings of wisdom.

Except that something tugged at my heart. There was still a smidgen of conflict. The only way I knew to justify the decision within myself was to make sure my "baby" wouldn't have been a "good one" anyway. So I began to drink ... enough to dehumanize my child.

Mike set next to me in the nicely decorated abortion facility. I did just fine until clinic personnel separated us. My security blanket was gone and I began to cry.

From there I was treated like a piece or meat during a pelvic examination, and I felt like it. I was lead by the hand to the room for a blood test after three attempts to follow directions proved futile.

The young man taking my blood told great jokes. He had to. All thirty plus girls were so somber as they awaited their abortions.

Interestingly, I was more afraid to take a blood test, because I had never taken one, than I was of the abortion procedure. It was made to sound so simple.

It was my turn. I was escorted into the large room equipped with dozens of stainless steel tables and stirrups.

I took the last table.

As I leaned backward and placed my feet in the stirrups, the abortionist peered between my legs, smiled, and told me everything would be all right. Everything would not be all right -- that moment was the beginning of an eight year emotional roller coaster ride.

When I awoke, there was just another girl and me left.

I sat on a bench until a worker took me to get dressed. From behind the curtain I could hear two women chatting. They were talking about a girl and how there were "two". They didn't realize they were talking about me. I couldn't understand why they would be talking about two. Two pieces of tissue?

In a moment of horror, I thought, what if I really did have a baby, what if I had two. I couldn't bear wrestling with these thoughts, so I rejected them.

As I sat in my boyfriend's van, I looked at the floorboard. I was relieved. "It" wouldn't have been any good anyway. The trauma of the decision was over. So I thought.

When I got home, my dear friend was waiting for me. I smiled. She thought I was fine. But my sense of loss was more than I could bear. In my eyes, the emptiness and hurt couldn't be explained because I had been told repeatedly how simple the procedure was and how much better I'd feel. There was nowhere that I knew of to vent my feelings so I internalized them.

During the next year, I kept trying and thinking I was pregnant. I wanted to replace my children. I married my boyfriend on the would-be-due date of my twins. The marriage lasted eight months.

For years I became preoccupied with thoughts of my own impending death during the would-be-birth month.

I had to have a hysterectomy four years after my abortion. Eleven months later, my ovaries and tubes were removed. I was menopausal at twenty four years old.

I set a great example for my friends. One had two abortions, she cried for a year every time she saw a blonde, blue eyed boy. Another had three abortions and still mourns.

It was ten years following the abortion before I found support through a post abortion recovery program. For the first time, I walked completely through my abortion experience; the inner conflicts surfaced and I was able to grieve, mourn and receive forgiveness from my precious Lord. I was able to forgive myself. Will I forget? Never, but that is what enables me to share and be of the same heart with others in distress.

Even at this writing, eleven years later, I am teary eyed, because so many Americans have been unwittingly duped into believing abortion serves women. It does not. It exploits us and serves to promote the decay of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

No, as a people cannot continue to pretend Post Abortion Syndrome does not exist. To do so is cruel and inhumane. It only heightens the anxiety and feelings of betrayal experienced by thousands.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •