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The doctor laughed at me and my "beliefs"

I was pregnant by my boyfriend at the time. I rang the Family Planning Association and was counseled to wait until I knew definitely of the pregnancy and was given the address of a clinic. I had to phone for an appointment. My boyfriend took me to the clinic and then home again.

My reasons for having the abortion were, 1) my boyfriend never mentioned marriage; 2) I was just about to start a job in another state. Until then I had been studying;  3) the shame of being an unmarried mother and admitting to the world I had been having sex. (My immediate and some extended family were staunch Catholics. I also had a very "good" image at that time.);  4) The possibility of moving to another state and having my baby adopted was a) too inconvenient because of starting the new job, and  b) difficult because I am a very maternal person and I don’t know if I could have given the baby away.

The abortion was humiliating. I was extremely ashamed, mainly because I didn’t even believe in abortion at the time. The doctor laughed at me and my "beliefs" and explained about the vacuum. Everything was clean and clinical. When I was recovering in a cubicle I was given a packet of contraceptive pills. I bled very little.

My boyfriend and I broke up. He never mentioned the abortion. I don’t know why. I had actually tried to pretend to myself that I wasn’t really pregnant in the first place, which didn’t work because deep down I knew I had been. I had shocking guilt. No one else knew about the abortion.

I went to a Priest who talked it through. I couldn’t get absolution from the confessional at first because I thought that if the same thing happened again, I might do it again. I spoke to a second priest in confession and was eventually given absolution -- although I didn’t feel forgiven for a few years.  The thing that has helped the most has actually been time (abortion occurred in 1980).

I think I’m a bit more compassionate towards people in desperate situations (especially abortion). I have joined a pro-life group because I believe so firmly that abortion is wrong. At first I didn’t think I was worthy. I have agreed to counsel women/girls post-abortion. If it hadn’t been for my abortion, I may not have seen this as important.

Priests for Life
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