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I was one of those victims who had an abortion ten years ago and now regret it. I was seventeen when I became pregnant and was very excited about this pregnancy until I began to tell the people around me. They said the best thing I could do for myself and the baby was to abort.

The first person I told was the father of my child, who immediately told me to have an abortion. When I told my mother about my pregnancy she cried with me several nights and told me I should have an abortion. She said she couldn't afford having a baby in the house at that time and that I would never be able to financially take care of the baby and it wouldn't be fair to the child. My boyfriend's mother was calling me trying to persuade me to have an abortion because I was ruining her son's life by having his child.

I finally went to my father and he was the only person who wanted to help me keep my baby. At this point I told everyone I was going to keep my baby and my mother had accepted this and said she would help me. But I could still sense all the disappointment from others. When my father said he would help me, this was the first time I had spoken to him in about two years. He seemed like a stranger to me and I was very bitter and resentful to him because of his divorce to my mother and the circumstances surrounding the divorce, that I very selfishly did not want anything from him.

Even though my father was willing to help me I still felt all alone and confused. I didn't know where else to turn and I scheduled an appointment with the abortion clinic, even though I was still undecided.

When I first got to the abortion clinic there was a group of people holding signs that said abortion is murder. I wanted so badly for just one of those people to stop me and say they would help me. They gave me a look and I went inside. The clinic sent me home that day without the abortion because I had purposely eaten breakfast that morning after they had told me I couldn't if I was going to be under anesthetic.

At that point I thought I was convinced I was going to keep my baby, but unfortunately, I rescheduled about a week later. But, this time driving from Ashtabula to Cleveland, I was really hoping those people would be back on the sidewalks again, because I was determined that I was going to ask them if they could help me, but this time there wasn't anyone around.

When we entered the abortion clinic, the father of my baby said he would be right there in the waiting room for me the whole time. I thought I still had little hope left that maybe my boyfriend would change his mind about abortion during counseling. But they wouldn't let the men in the counseling rooms with the women. When unsure about my decision to abort, the abortion counselor told me that there were too many babies all ready up for adoption and she assured me there were no other alternatives in my situation. They told me I would be having a suction abortion which was stated as a safe and simple procedure where they would be removing fetal tissue. They told me I would wake up in the recovery room and everything would be all over with and I could go home.

I remember one of the girls who was in the counseling session who stated she was going to be awake during the procedure. She was very scared and crying. She was the first to have her abortion. When I woke up in the recovery room lying on a table, I looked around and saw several other girls lying on tables all around me. I heard someone in pain crying and I noticed it was the same girl who had her abortion while awake. They immediately removed her to some other room.

When they told me I could leave, I came out to the waiting room and the father of my child was nowhere to be found. I sat there waiting for him by myself and crying over what I had just done, when finally about four hours later he showed up to drive me home. Apparently, while I was having our baby killed, him and his friend were out getting drunk the whole time. During those four hours I never saw the girl who had been crying come out.

I now realize that I was very misled and lied to. And the counselors never mentioned the extremely traumatic guilt and grief I would feel later. All these people said abortion was the best choice and that they would be there for me when I finally decided to abort. But where were these people all those years after my abortion when I was hurting so badly? The father of my child didn't care how I would feel afterward, as long as I got rid of his so called "problem." He was so concerned about me destroying the rest of his life if I were to have his baby, that I ended up destroying my own innocent unborn child's life instead.

They all said having an abortion on would make everything be all over with, but that's just the beginning. The baby is no longer there, but the memories are there forever. I did not end a problem. I only created several problems by having an abortion. My life began changing dramatically. I became very depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol. I had a very low opinion of myself and I tried very hard to gain acceptance from people. I even ended up marrying a man I only dated for three weeks and got pregnant right away to make up for the baby I aborted. And when I had a miscarriage, the doctor told me I would need to wait about five years before getting pregnant again and being able to carry the baby to full term. I blamed everyone else for my miscarriage and thought God was doing this to punish me for my abortion. The man I had married was very physically abusive and I got a divorce one year later.

I still continued a very self destructive lifestyle. I didn't care if I lived or died and considered suicide a few times. At one time I did try taking an overdose of pills, but just became very sick. A couple years later I met the man who is now my husband. But within a year or two after we were married I started going to a psychologist. The diagnosis he gave me was severe chronic depression and he gave me drugs for this which created several different mood swings, and before I knew it I wanted a divorce.

We ended up separating for awhile. My husband had asked me to see a priest or a pastor for counseling but I refused. His sister even tried talking to me, but I didn't want to hear it because I thought all she was trying to do was to preach to me.

I had already seen an attorney and had given him a hundred dollar deposit, and I was one day away from signing the papers. When the night before, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I just got down on my knees and cried out to God. I accepted the Lord as my Savior and asked him to take control of our lives and our marriage. I didn't know it at the time, but that very same night, my husband was also on his knees in New York crying out to God, and he accepted the Lord that night also. Anyway, the very next day, we got back together, our marriage was saved, and shortly after that we were thrilled to find out we were expecting a child.

I went back to the psychologist for the last time to tell him I no longer needed his services, because I now realized it was God who I needed. When I told him we were expecting a child, he told me his wife had four abortions because of their careers and he told me over and over again to have another abortion. He said he believed in God too, but because of the deep state of depression I had been in, I still needed his services and that I would only be right back in his office in one year. And that was almost five years ago.

For the first five years after my abortion, I denied my feelings by trying to justify my reasons for abortion. But after I accepted the Lord and after our first child was born I started coming out of the denial stage. When our son was born he had to be transported to the hospital for an infection in his bloodstream where he stayed for ten days. I came and visited him each day but I did not stay the nights with him. I loved him very much but somehow I was afraid to bond with him. I didn't feel as though I deserved him. When we took him home from the hospital, there were many times that I would hold him and just cry about the baby I aborted. I couldn't understand how I could have ever done something so terrible to a precious little baby.

This still haunted me for a long time, but one Sunday while I was in church, the Pastor's sermon happened to be about abortion. It was that day for the first time that I had ever heard what really happens to those babies murdered by abortion. I was so devastated that I ran out of the church crying. All I wanted to do was drive my car into a telephone pole. but I managed to get it home safely. Later that day the Pastor came over and talked with me. He told me that when Christ died on that cross for my sins, that I died and with him and that I had to forgive myself and stop letting Satan rob me of any joy.

I still cried night after night. I thought I could hear in the back of my mind that baby saying "Mommy Why?". I would also think about those silent screams that baby must have made while being killed.

But that Sunday happened to be a turning point for me. Once I repented of my sin of abortion and was finally able to forgive myself and those around me, I really felt the Lord was calling me to help others from making the same mistake I made. I knew God was telling me to go out there and do something but I didn't know how to go about it and I began to feel miserable. I spoke to my father about this who told me that when God calls us to do something and we don't do it, we will feel miserable.

A couple months later I looked in the phone book and found "Choose Life" which is an outreach ministry which provides pregnancy testing and counseling. They happened to need someone for the telephone hot line and I got started right away, and have been with them for about the past four years.

Since then God has given me several opportunities to speak publicly about my abortion experience which He has used in healing me so completely. I still think about that baby every day, and I still cry sometimes, but since I've come to know the Lord, I know that child is with God and someday we'll be reunited in Heaven.

It's been almost five years since my husband and I have turned our lives over to the Lord. We now have three children, and we can really see how the Lord has worked in our lives. I have also now been able to forgive my father for the problems concerning their divorce and we now have a closer relationship.

During this past year my husband and I had talked about doing pregnancy counseling and post abortion counseling in our home. The Lord was giving me the opportunity to use the worst tragedy of my life to help someone else from making the same tragic mistake. And because of the healing that God has so wonderfully given me, I wanted other women who are suffering from their abortions to know that they can receive healing from God.

Well, I prayed about doing this type of counseling but I wasn't sure how to get started until last summer when God answered my prayers and a friend told me about WEBA (Women Exploited By Abortion). I contacted the National Headquarters in California and they sent me all the materials and basic ideas where I was able to get started last September.

I have only been involved in WEBA for the past four months, but I have learned a lot through WEBA. I've learned that there are so many victims of abortion who are sharing the same guilt and grief that I experienced. Some will never have children, many have had to have hysterectomies and others have attempted suicide. I thank God that I lived through my abortion and for blessing me with the family I am able to have.

Priests for Life
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