"what if...."

Alabama,  United States

I spent 1976 in a pot-enhanced daze. So it was no wonder that I found myself pregnant at the age of 15.  My 18-year-old boyfriend’s eyes filled with fear when he saw me throwing up in the toilet and he arranged for me to see his family doctor.

The doctor confirmed that I was pregnant and he wrote down the address and number of an abortion clinic and gave it to us.

When I first realized I was pregnant, I felt an immense sense of joy, but that was quickly replaced by fear and confusion. All my friends were telling me I was too young and that I was going to ruin my future. I realized that my father might put my boyfriend in jail if he found out.
So my boyfriend and I decided to have an abortion.  It was in March or April right before Easter. I gave a fake name and said I was 18. They didn't ask any questions or ask for identification. I was numb that day. I can't remember if I got high before the procedure, but I probably did.

As I laid down on the bed for the procedure I didn't say a word. I remember the doctor complimented me for being such a "good" patient. I expected to feel relief, but as soon as it was over all I felt was emptiness, remorse, regret and guilt. The other girls were talking about going to church for Easter and I was thinking to myself that they were hypocrites. When I came out, my boyfriend hugged me and said, "Now I know you really love me." I was thinking to myself, "Now I know you really don't love me."

Our relationship began to go downhill because now I was full of anger, hate and resentment for what I felt he led me to do. One night, he was drunk and cried and repeated over and over, "We killed our child.  We killed our baby."  I felt no compassion for him because I felt like it was too late to be crying about it. I began to think about suicide. I got deeper into drugs. I quit school because I was too depressed to go anymore. I began working at a diner, but was fired shortly after.

A few months later, after a bad experience with drugs, I turned my life over to God. I broke up with my boyfriend and started going back to church. I enrolled in summer school and graduated on time.

I became very close to my friend's baby and it was like she was my own. I received forgiveness from God, but it was many years before I could forgive myself and my baby’s father. I suffered from panic attacks, depression and anxiety for years before finally getting help. I attended a Bible study at my church and that helped a lot. Last year, I attended a Rachel's Vineyard retreat and finally named my baby. I am also active on a post abortion stress syndrome website which serves as a support group.

The most important thing about abortion that I think people/women need to know is there is not a day that goes by in your life that you don't wonder "what if...."

Priests for Life