I had a choice but I made the wrong one for selfish reasons. I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, knew abortion was a grave sin but I had fallen away from my faith. My father left when I was seven years old. My father was killed in a car accident when I was eighteen years old and two years later my baby brother died of leukemia at the age of fifteen. I was so mad at God. I could not understand why he would allow my precious brother to suffer and die. I was married at seventeen and had a child at age twenty. I divorced her father when she was only five months old and after the death of my father and brother, moved to another state. I was running away from the pain.
I met a man five years older than me that did drugs and was already an alcoholic. I slept with him and became pregnant. I decided that child would be better off dead than to live life with either of us. He did not object.
I have no memory of how I found the abortion clinic. I only remember sitting across from the doctor and I guess I told him I wanted an abortion and he said okay. At this moment the only thing I clearly remember is looking past his shoulder and seeing a photo of his two children and I thought, "how can this man kill children, when he has kids of his own?" The better question would have been to myself, "How can YOU kill your own child?" I was put on the exam table and he inserted something into my cervix so he could perform the abortion the next day.
I remember having the most overwhelming emotion of regret and sadness and there was no turning back. No family to turn to, no friends, that night was pure hell.
My boyfriend drove me to the clinic the next morning, dropped me off and drove away. I went in, they performed the abortion and I only have a vague recollection of seeing nurses, an operation room, back to a room where I recovered and my boyfriend picked me back up. I do not remember ever speaking about the abortion again. That was 1974.
I married my boyfriend and we had two more beautiful children and one miscarriage. Our marriage was filled with resentment, distrust, and ended after twelve years.
I anguished about my decision for years. I tried to go to church but I felt empty, I felt dirty, I felt worthless. I wanted my child back but there is no going back.
Forty years later, I went to the local Catholic church and confessed my sin to a priest. I went through the RCIA class, and returned to my faith but even though I knew God forgave me, I could not forgive myself. My priest did tell me about Rachel's Vineyard, counseling for those that have had abortion. I feared having to talk about my abortion with strangers but two and 1/2 years later I finally got the courage to attend the retreat. I cannot express enough how wonderful it was to be surrounded by love and compassion. There were six of us, from all walks of life, filled with deep regret and the tears that flowed were of shame, sadness, grief, regret, heartbreak but each tear we shed brought us closer to God.
Rachel's Vineyard is a deeply profound program for anyone that needs healing from the affects of their abortion. I now feel a peace that I never knew was possible. I miss my child but I can rest in peace that she is in heaven with our ever loving God. Do not be afraid, trust in the Lord with all your heart and soul and great things will happen.