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What I Didn’t Know

Father Frank,

… I like to share with you my experience, in the hope that maybe it will help a woman have a change of heart and decide to keep alive the tiny human being growing within her. My scope here is not to discuss pro-life or pro-choice (I am in between two waters right now). This message is geared more towards women who are contemplating an abortion, and in the same time it might aid your cause.

The "pro-choice" movement has banalized abortion. They want women to believe that the procedure takes only a few minutes, and that the next day they’ll be able to go about their business as if nothing had ever happened. Maybe it is true for some women. For a very tiny minority of women. Most of us will never say how we really feel about it, will never allow ourselves to even get in touch with those feelings. We can’t. Because if we do, then we acknowledge that we made the wrong "choice". And it is a heavy burden to carry, the realization that we are responsible for the death of our child. So we try very hard to keep in check those feelings, and thus allow, by our silence, more babies to die and more women to suffer. For the rest of their life. The memory doesn’t go away. The pain of loss doesn’t go away. The guilt is always present. The sensation of worthlessness, the feeling of being dirty, the certitude that we don’t deserve to be mothers, the feeling that we cannot love fully the children that we do have. The fear that something will happen to those children as punishment for what we have done. Those are almost daily battles.

No one told me that I would carry the weight of my choice for the rest of my life. No one told me that I would get so desperate without realizing it (because remember it was MY choice) after the abortion, that I would end up having three more. No one told me I would go through mood swings. No one told me that crying would happen often, without apparent reason. No one told me I would not feel worthy of being loved. No one told me I would "feel" the baby kick, the baby that wasn’t there any longer. No one told me I would say aloud that I have two children, but think inside that I have six. Let alone count the birthdays. No one told me that I would miss them so much, that they exist. To have aborted them did not deny their existence. They are real, and their death is real too. The only difference is that I have been denied the right to grieve. And that makes it ever so much harder.

I consider myself lucky. Eighteen years after the first abortion, I am finally able to let my feelings be. Even though the pain seems to be stronger now that it has ever been, I am facing it. And in doing so, I know healing will follow. Actually healing has started, and with it a ray of hope that was never there before.

Priests for Life
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