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Stop and Think
On April 21, 2005, I had an abortion. It all happened so fast!

I found out I was pregnant. I told my sister, and she told me to have an abortion. The only reason I can say why I did this is because I always did what my sister said to do. As a matter of fact, most of my life has been a result of choices I made to win mot only the love of my sister, but anyone who would give love.

On April 21, 2005 I had an abortion. From the moment I found out I was pregnant to the point of terminating the life inside my body, not one time did I breathe or think on emotional level about what I was doing. I was in people-please mode. I had an abortion because I was told to. To this day, I still find it all surreal. Like most of my life, I am stunned that there was not one person who was willing or able to reach out to me, to help me help myself. I have gone along and done what I "had" to do all of my life.  I got a ride to the place from a (at the time) friend. She and her 13-year-old were my only option. It is sad for me to look back at how quickly my sister told me what to do and exactly where to go and have it done. However, on the day when I most needed a sister, she was again not willing or able to be there. So, as a result of an inappropriate comment of the 13-year-old, I was dropped off and went in on my own.

I was numb yet, at the same time, I was so hysterical, and I could not compose myself. With no notice by the front desk woman, I was given a basket and told to follow the girl in front. I believe this was the closest I will ever come to being able to relate to cattle in a slaughter house. One by one we followed in line to undress, sit, and wait. It was there, in the cold locker room, that I sat in a gown, holding my basket of clothes and still hysterical, barley able to speak, let alone breathe. I encountered a very frustrated nurse who became so intolerant of my hysteria that she sent me to the director’s office. After all, I was slowing down her factory line.  Again, looking back, I am astounded that the director could have taken the opportunity to be human enough to stop give me an option to pause, stop, go home, and think. I suppose she was doing her job when she asked me if I was sure of my choice and, without being able to make eye contact with me, she accepted my flood of tears and emotion and moved me back into my place in line.

Next, I walked into a room where I was told to lay down and put my feet in stirrups. As I did, my knees drew closer and tighter together. I attempted to speak out as I watched a nurse push a thick white fluid into an IV in my arm. In the same way as I lost consciousness the night of conception after unknowingly being drugged in a bar, off to sleep I went. The last thing I remember was attempting to say, "I don't want to be here."  It was the same feeling I last thought I as felt as I was driven down a country road. I just wanted to go home, as I begged to go back, out of consciousness I went. Out of control of what was happening to my body and, on April 21, out of control of what was about to be done to the life inside me.  The abortion was complete.  I woke up sitting in a locker room, cramping and crying alone.

I spent the following 15 years in two different extremely abusive relationships. I allowed men to overpower and take over my life. I slowly allowed these men to kill me, to completely bankrupt me of love, life, and God. I attended Rachel's Vineyard on two different occasions. Each time, I got a little deeper and closer to how and why and finally to forgiveness. I looked very deeply into myself and relationships. I looked at the empty lonely pit my life had become. I came to believe that perhaps not one of the women involved in my abortion were capable of helping me. I forgive them. I forgive myself. Most important, I realized, I was never really alone. God was there through it all. It was God’s love for me that brought me, as a result of such pain, to a place of love and acceptance. I have become active with Rachel's Vineyard and even made a few beautiful friends. On my retreat, I met Sister Mary Christine. She told me to keep on going, to never to stopping talking, to never be silent again.

I am God’s daughter, and He forgives me, which has taught me to forgive myself. I am astounded by the number of people who played such active roles in my abortion who at so many times could have said, "Stop and think, you have another choice.”  Not one of them did and, as a result of this, I will be silent no more. I hope my testimony will help even just one girl or woman to stop and think, just pause and breathe.

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