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I had no warning it would hurt so much.

I was from an alcoholic family, and went to college in another state to get away. My boyfriend at home was drifting away from me and I felt so lonely, rejected and unloved that I went home and got pregnant on purpose. I hoped he would marry me and if he wouldn't I figured he'd at least stay with me a bit longer out of guilt, perhaps go through an abortion with me. He said he didn't believe he was the father, so I returned to college and had the abortion alone.

It was a degrading experience at the Bill Baird Center. I was told by counselors that if I left without the Pill or IUD, I'd be back there in 6 months for another abortion. I was offended by that, and by being ridiculed for looking worried. The suction abortion was physically very painful; I had no warning it would hurt so much. The abortionist yelled at me to shut up when I cried out from the pain. I was initially relieved when this ordeal was over.

My personality changed radically. Before, I was a nature-loving poet and folksinger. Over the next five years, I became hard, cold and lost much femininity. I drank too much, abused and sold drugs, got in a punk rock band and rode with a motorcycle gang. I had many bad, short relationships with insensitive men. I began to do poorly in college. I began to see fortunetellers, who exploited me financially, and said my unhappiness was due to a curse.

I was so frightened by the antics of the fortunetellers that I prayed to God one night, asking if He were real, to help me. Things fell into place spiritually after that. I began to watch the 700 Club and was impressed by the scriptural quotes on the sanctity of life and Pat Robertson saying "So you've had an abortion, God wants you back". I prayed the sinner's prayer, and eventually returned to the Catholic Church. Then I read Dr. Bernard Nathanson's Aborting America, and became convinced of the humanity of the unborn and the need to defend them. I became active in the pro-life movement and post-abortion support groups, and went into 2 years of therapy. The therapy helped me work through the abortion as a death experience, the personal loss of my own child. The pro-life work (especially organizing rescues led by post-abortion parents) helps me use what I've been through for good, to show how painful abortion is to survivors. Attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings has also helped me understand the fear of abandonment that led to the pregnancy and abortion, to accept what's past, and to have "hope for the future" as the Lord tells Rachel in Jeremiah 31:15-17.

I would say the abortion caused me to waste a lot of years in self-destructive, unconscious self-punishment. It left me with great sorrow and longing over the child I lost, the child I was never told was a child, who I'd miss. I've also suffered low self-esteem and a tendency to compare myself to women who have living children. God can bring good out of evil, and it was in dealing with post-abortion pain that I came to know God in a personal way and internalized my faith. The hope and healing I've found, however, cannot be chalked up as a learning experience and does not justify the abortion. What can ever replace a precious life lost from this world forever? I am sorry for my role in this, and wish the pro-aborts would come to see their responsibilities in it as well. I am not a necessary casualty of so-called freedom of choice. Along with my baby, I was a victim of abortion.

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