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"Someday We'll Be Reunited..."

I was 18 years old when I had my abortion, in 1975. I had been dating my boyfriend for over a year and we had been sleeping together for a couple of months before I got pregnant. He had been backing off of our relationship, seeing another girl, and I suppose unconsciously I thought I could hang on to him by sleeping with him. I was a mess emotionally at the time, I was not thinking clearly. We thought it would be okay if we slept together on "safe days".

I remember telling him that I might be pregnant. He didn't say much, except that he would marry me if that was what I wanted. After I found out for sure that I was pregnant he was still seeing his other girlfriend, so that made it pretty clear to me that I was on my own. I wanted to talk to my best friend about it, but she would've told her mom, and she was a terrible gossip. My sister and I weren't speaking at the time. I couldn't talk to my mom, she'd been through so much with my older sister. My parents had taken her to New York for an abortion three years earlier. I knew how much that had hurt them and I didn't want to disappoint then or have them be ashamed of me. When my sister and I had moved out of the house a year earlier to live together in a house with my boyfriend we had a big blow up with my parents, Mom disowned us, Dad got real nasty. I just couldn't face any more turmoil. My boyfriend had gotten another girl pregnant right before we started dating, and he had refused to have anything to do with her or the baby, so I didn't really know what to expect. I felt so stupid for having let myself get into the same situation. I decided that abortion was my only choice. I told my boyfriend of my decision and asked him for half of the money to pay for the abortion. It cost $150 and I couldn't come up with all of it that quickly. I was really sick to my stomach, scared. I was throwing up constantly. I thought for sure my Mom would figure it out, but she thought it was just because I was so upset about the way my boyfriend was treating me. I got into the clinic as soon as I could. I had convinced myself that if I got the abortion done soon enough, it wouldn't really be a baby, just a little speck of tissue.

I talked to the counselor at the clinic and told her that my boyfriend and I planned to be married eventually, but we weren't ready for it yet. She didn't ask many questions. I was told to bring someone with me to drive me home. I didn't want my boyfriend there, but I couldn't tell anyone else, so I asked him to go with me. I don't remember anything that day until I walked into the room where they performed the abortion. They told me to lay down. There was a bucket on the floor full of red liquid with a sign on it that said something like "This is not blood, it's plasma." The doctor come and touched me and told me that I had the eyes of a frightened doe. Then he said something like "You didn't think it would happen to you, did you?". He was very gentle, he described the procedure and said that it would hurt for a minute or two. It hurt intensely for what seemed like a minute. Afterwards they had me sit up, I threw up. I was shaking so I had to sit there for a minute to steady myself. I had to go to another room for about 20 minutes so they could be sure that there were no complications, but I don't actually remember being there. After that we (all the girls who had just had abortions) were taken to a room and told about contraceptives.

I don't remember leaving the clinic, but I remember taking a walk later and being relieved that it was over. I thought that I could pretend that it had never happened. I convinced myself that it was the only thing I could've done - it was over so I should just put it behind me. My boyfriend agreed, he said that we should never discuss it again and we both agreed never to tell anyone. He told me that when I had gone into that room he had wanted to grab me and drag me out of there -- I wonder what I would've done if he had.

We eventually got back together and got married the next year. I lost a baby by miscarriage three years after our marriage. I really grieved for that baby and it entered my head that I was only a few weeks farther along than I had been when I had the abortion, yet I considered this one a baby. I guess I just pushed that thought away, I couldn't handle it, I got pregnant again as soon as I could. I was scared that I'd never be able to have children, but fortunately I have.

I thought about the abortion over the years but never in an emotional way. It was like looking at the pictures but never letting the feelings in. I always told myself that my husband and I would've never made it through those first few years with a baby, and it's probably true. He was angry and violent a lot in the early years of our marriage, and I told myself that it was better that there hadn't been a child involved then.

I turned my life over to the Lord in 1988, but I still wouldn't admit to myself that what I had done was wrong. It really bothered me when our Christian friends would talk about abortion, I felt that they were condemning me. For 14 years after the abortion I denied the truth until my husband and I went for counseling to work through some problems in our marriage. I had to face what I'd done and how I really fell about it, and it really devastated me. I was so ashamed of what I had done, I couldn't see how God could forgive me for it. I wanted to just kill myself or hurt myself, but I eventually realized that being destructive to myself would only cause more hurt for everyone. I'm still having a hard time forgiving myself, but I know the Lord is working in my life to heal me, and I hope someday the pain I've been going through will allow me to be useful in helping other women.

I found out later that my sister had an abortion about the same time I did, at the same clinic. We would've both had teenagers now. In the back of my mind I always thought that the baby I aborted was a girl. We named her Lindsey Marie. I think a lot about what it would be like to have her here with us, what kind of personality she would have. I wonder how much she would resemble our other children. It's hard to realize how much I've missed over the years by not having her here, and how much I'll always miss her from now on. I take comfort in knowing that someday we'll be reunited.


Post-Abortion Facts, Reconciliation and Healing

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