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They didn't even know if I was pregnant

I was 27, divorced with two children and living with a man I planned to marry. We had just moved into a new house we bought and I was looking for a job. When I thought I was pregnant I did a home pregnancy test - it came out positive. The father told me that if I didn't get an abortion he'd leave me. My kids were very fond of him and I was afraid of what another man leaving them would do to them. They were 8 and 6 years old. So I rationalized that I would get rid of the baby for the sake of the two I already had. I used his pressure on me as the excuse. But I was willing because I was embarrassed to be unmarried and pregnant! (What did people think we were doing anyway - we were living together! What stupid reasoning!) (I don't believe he would have left me if I didn't do it - but that's 11 1/2 years later.)

So I looked in the yellow pages and called different places. I told them I had to do it the next day (I was afraid I'd change my mind) and only one place was sympathetic enough to squeeze me in. The father dropped me off and went to a doctor to have a vasectomy at the same time as the abortion! A pile of papers and [I] proceeded to monotonously read the questions and warnings. I don't remember what they were except that it didn't matter to me what they were as long as I answered them the way I knew they wanted me to. This meaningless conversation with the "counselor" was a waste of my time and I knew it even then. They never did another pregnancy test nor did they even check me before the abortion!! They didn't even know if I was pregnant!!! I signed something (never read it) and got back in the line.

We moved, like musical chairs, one chair at a time, from the hall to a small waiting room with a TV on (no-one watched it - it was a distraction since we were right next to the abortion room.) I remember next being on the table and they used Sodium Pentothal to put me to sleep. But I remember the pain of the scraping and pulling on my uterus. I figured I was only about six weeks pregnant. They must have done a D & C since I don't remember a suction machine. (I never asked what method would be used.) But I did ask to see my BABY when they were finished. The abortionist ( I have no idea who he was) showed me a small plastic (clear) cup with gauze in it. There was a small spot of blood in it and I found it hard to believe they showed me the remains of my baby... They put me in the recovery room for awhile. I think they gave me some tea. I was told to go to Planned Parenthood for the post abortion check up.

So he dropped me off and I went up alone. I remember a hospital hallway with seats on both sides. That was the first stop. There were solemn looking women and girls with their mothers in their seats. I joined them. Counseling was in a bare office with a woman behind a desk . . .

The actual feelings I had as I got upon the table for the abortion are hard to describe. I felt like a foolish child and that this man (abortionist) was going to take care of a stupid mistake that shouldn't have been made in the first place. I felt like he (abortionist) was disgusted with my stupidity and that he had to clean up after my mistake. I was totally humiliated by the whole experience. It's very hard to describe feelings I've never had before or after this experience and will never have again. I guess I felt patronized by the abortionist. I understand that these are all my feelings and I don't know if they have anything to do with reality.

The father picked me up and I remember when we got home we both cried over the loss of our baby. That was the last time he showed any emotion about this.

Four months after the abortion the father and I got married. (We are still married.) It was then pushed to the back of my mind because my brother was sick and died. I don't remember thinking much about it until when I was reading a weekly Catholic message in the newspaper - every week it said, "Abortion is Murder." After I saw this enough (I knew it from before the abortion - in High School I wrote a paper against abortion that greatly impressed my teacher) - So I already knew that abortion was murder - but as I got deeper and deeper into sin it didn't matter. God blinds those in serious sin as a punishment. But every week - abortion is murder, abortion is murder - finally it got to me. I went to confession. The priest was very kind and told me to help other people in this matter as my penance. He also told me that I never had to tell anyone about it. So eventually I went to the abortion mill two towns away from my town and started to picket with other pro-lifers. By becoming so active against abortion it has affected my kids and husband and parents - even though only my husband knows.

The abortion was the low point in my life. I don't know what could be worse than a mother killing her child. But at least from there - there was no where to go but up! I started to go to Mass every week and got very involved in the pro-life movement. I went to the Human Life International Convention and was sidewalk counseling at the two person rescue when I was beaten up by the policeman and arrested for trespassing. So the two person rescue turned into a four person rescue. A man came to help me and he was promptly thrown to the ground and arrested. This was the beginning of my rescue arrests. I would have to say that the abortion affected my life for the better - a terrible thing to have to say!! But at least I learned from a horrible mistake. But my baby was sacrificed for me to learn. I have to live with that fact. Plus, my husband had the vasectomy and we don't have any more children! He did have a reversal of the vasectomy, but that was eight years ago and we still have no children. He doesn't talk about it and I don't know how he really feels about it. (His former wife had two abortions.) I think he is tired of me talking to him about it, and would prefer not to. But lately I have no patience with pro-abortion people. As an activist I come in contact with them very often and lately the fact that they are trying to drag everyone else down to their miserable level (misery loves company) is making me unable to have (or at least try to have) courteous replies to their worn out slogans and platitudes. I see this intolerance as a frustration from going through this wonderful, liberating experience of abortion and not feeling wonderful or liberated - just very guilty of killing my own innocent baby.

As far as emotional problems, I guess I really haven't worked them out - 11 1/2 years later. I thought the pro-life work would be enough, but I guess it's not. I'm considering starting an abortion survivors anonymous group to help myself and others. But since I haven't begun to work on the emotional side of this guilt I still don't really know how it's affected me. I know that we (myself and my husband) have housed pregnant girls - helped them have their babies, sidewalk counseled, taken in foster children - trying to adopt the one we have now, picketed, written letters, rescued and prayed as outward ways of dealing with it. But I still have a long way to go to mentally deal with it. Keeping it a secret is tough. It is a great burden.

As I mentioned, I am very active against abortion. But I haven't told most people about my abortion - only because my children still don't know. Maybe at some time I'll tell them, but I still am not sure. Until last year this seemed to be easy.

. . . It was the low point and from there it was uphill. God used it to show me how low I really was and still am, but at least I am trying to be good now. I have no real idea how it has affected me emotionally. That's this year's project - to find out.

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