After looking for love in all the wrong places, about two months after the passage of Roe v. Wade, I found myself pregnant. It was 1973. I was a senior in high school, 17, the oldest of four children in a fairly affluent family, and I had a huge problem! The father of the child refused to believe the baby was his and completely turned his back on me. When I told my mother, there was no question as to what was expected of me. To this day, I don't believe anyone in my family knows that I was pregnant and had an abortion.
I went to the local Planned Parenthood and they set the appointment for an abortion. No one counseled me or told me what was going to happen. One Sunday morning a friend, her boyfriend and I took the train from New Jersey to New York City to the Eastern Women's Center. Once there, they separated the guys from the girls. They showed the guys what was going to happen. They never showed us (me) what the procedure was. Ultimately, I found myself on the table in a small room with a nurse and the "doctor." I was told there would be some cramping but not much. Oh really? It was extremely painful. I felt like my insides were being sucked out of me. At one point, I tried to hold the nurse's hand and she literally backed away from me. I truly don't remember much after that - just feeling emotionally numb. Promiscuity continued and I kept looking for love. At that point, the nightmares and recurring dreams started. It wasn't until after I found total healing that I understood what those dreams really meant.
As I began to feel again, it was remorse, guilt, and shame but I stuffed down those feelings. I was very good at "stuffing!" I very seldom talked about "it" and was very careful with whom I talked about "it.” I found that even though abortion was legal and supposed to be OK, if you had had one you were looked down upon and judged if anyone "found out" or I told the wrong person I had gone through the procedure. I have been called just about every disgusting name there is by guys who found out. They seemed to realize I was vulnerable and would take advantage of the vulnerability and use me for what they wanted. I was using drugs during the end of my senior year in high school and, as you can imagine, hanging out with not exactly the best crowd.
Due to having the abortion, I was not able to have children. Thirteen years later I was married and found myself pregnant again. This was such a happy time until we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy. Because I had no pain my doctor didn't know what was wrong and sent me for an ultrasound. As the tech put the sensor over my abdomen, I saw my baby in the right tube. The tech missed it and told me I didn't know what I was talking about. He told me there was no "pregnancy tissue" in my uterus, that I wasn't even pregnant and how did I think I was pregnant, anyway? When I went in for exploratory surgery, I found I wasn't crazy, and I did know what I was talking about. My baby was in my right tube. This baby died as did my marriage very shortly after the loss of the baby.
How do I feel today? Having an abortion was the biggest mistake of my life. It led to many other mistakes and regrets. But . . . today I know I am forgiven. I had a physical encounter with God as I asked His forgiveness. His Light was so healing. I can say without a doubt, if I knew then what I know now, I never would have done what I did. I would not have allowed myself to be coerced into killing my baby.
I was never told when I went through the abortion process that, having a conscience, I would have to live with this knowledge for the rest of my life. The shame of getting pregnant is nothing compared to the shame that I aborted my baby and caused another baby to not have a chance of living. It has been a terrible secret to keep and one that has not allowed me to heal completely for as long as I have kept it. I have also learned and realized all of my relationships were affected by this trauma.
Today, I am married to a wonderful Christian man who loves me in spite of myself! He is truly my rock and I am so thankful God put him in my life. My foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. He holds me together and has given me the strength and the will to begin to speak out and be silent no more about my story and the terrible lies that are told to those who contemplate an abortion or who have experienced the trauma of one. The Lord also put me on a PATH* to healing. Special thanks to a group of wonderful women in Washington, DC. They loved me through the pain during the walk of shame to the Light.
Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story - 40 years later.
"There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt." Hosea 2:15