I had an abortion in 1985. I was living with an abusive boyfriend two thousand miles away from my family. I didn't have any friends and my boyfriend and I didn't have any money. I was scared. When the doctor who examined me confirmed that I was pregnant, I began to cry. He then walked out of the room and came back in with a pamphlet on abortion.
My memories of going to the abortion clinic are a little sketchy, but here is what I do remember: I saw a lot of women (and children) in the waiting room and thought to myself, “There must be a group of ob-gyns here who also see pregnant women, because all of these women surely couldn't be here for an abortion.” How wrong I was.
I vaguely remember answering a few questions, but I don't remember how far along I was. The next thing I can remember is being on the table and the doctor giving me a shot in my cervix. I heard a crackling noise and it was very painful. I don't remember the doctor explaining the procedure to me. The next thing I heard was a loud vacuum-type noise, and then I felt excruciating pain. I cried out because of it, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” over and over again. The woman in the room holding my hand told me to calm down, but I couldn't. The pain was unbearable.
I remember immediately after the abortion being in a recliner and eating crackers and sipping Sprite because I thought I was going to be sick. I felt very weak. My boyfriend had come with me that day, but he had dropped me off and said he would be back later. He wasn't there by the time the clinic was ready to close. I remember sitting on the curb outside the back door of the clinic until he finally showed up.
I was sick to my stomach and bled for several weeks after the abortion, and I never went back for my follow-up appointment. I had a pain on my left side whenever I took a deep breath. It lasted for a month or so.
I had no other females to talk to. I couldn't share this experience with anyone from my family, so I began the business of shoving it down as far as I could, burying the heinous, gruesome details of that day so that no one would ever find out what I had done. Several years later a girlfriend shared with me that she’d had two abortions. I was shocked. I had felt so alone all those years and had never imagined that anyone I knew had done this too. As I began talking about abortion with other women, I was amazed at how many of them had had abortions as well.
It was at this time that God started moving in a mighty way to walk me through the healing process. In 2000, my girlfriend told me she had attended the H.E.A.R.T. (Healing the Effects of Abortion-Related Trauma) group at a local Vineyard church. She told me it had helped her heal and that I should go too. God planted a seed that day. He began to deliver me from the shame and guilt of my abortion during a revival at the church we were attending. But that was only the beginning. It would be two years before I actually attended a H.E.A.R.T. group and found true healing and forgiveness.
My husband and I started attending a Vineyard church. During one of the services, a woman spoke about her own abortion, of twins. I began to weep as I listened to her story. I was astounded that she did not weep as she spoke. I could never speak about my abortion without weeping. She said that if anyone wanted more information, she would be at a table passing out literature after the service.
I know the Lord led me to that table, because I couldn't get there fast enough! The woman happened to be the leader of the H.E.A.R.T. group. I signed up to attend. During those eight weeks, God moved so intensely yet gently in my life and helped me to forgive and be forgiven. The sessions gave me some perspective on the events of my life that led me to that abortion clinic in 1985.
I was never able to have children of my own, but I have been blessed with two beautiful stepdaughters, and we now have three grandchildren and one on the way!
God is so good! Thank you for letting me share my story.