I had the abortion because I was pressured into it. My brother convinced me I'd have to move back home with mom and that my company that I was working for wouldn't be so forgiving for having to keep calling in sick for a sick baby. Although my original intent was to keep my baby, I was too weak emotionally to defend myself and succumbed to his line of thinking. When I informed my (then) boyfriend that I was pregnant, he too didn't want me to keep it and said he'd help pay for the abortion.
Actually had two chances to change my mind, the first clinic I went to in Creve Coure, although friendly enough looking on the outside, the inside personnel were cold and heartless; especially the Doctor. I was given nothing to relax and when the doctor went to examine my cervix, he said I was too tight and couldn't perform the digital examination so therefore the abortion could not be performed. They kept my money and would not refund any of it. Even though I questioned myself whether I was doing the right thing, my brother’s words kept ringing in my ear.
The next week was the week of Thanksgiving so I scheduled my appointment with the Euclid clinic the day before Thanksgiving, knowing the next day I had off. This place was so much warmer and understanding. I was given a muscle relaxer, examined and had an ultrasound; although it never occurred to me to ask to see it. My feet were in stirrups and they did the procedure.
Immediately after, I broke out in tears that wouldn't stop. The nurse in the room was very kind and attentive and was holding my hand during the whole procedure. Even the doctor seemed very sensitive and kind. I was then ushered in a recovery room filled with lazy-boy chairs and allowed to rest. Afterwards they offered counseling, which wasn't much, but was more just informative on what to expect the next few days.
Remorse and regret hounded me, as it still does 22 years later. I sought help through project Rachel about three years later. They encouraged me to give my baby a name, which I did, Sarah Nicole, and gave me suggestions on how to start taking steps to move forward. Sometime after the counseling, I went on a retreat and was able to confess my sin. But even this wasn't enough; I'm still hounded with guilt, shame, regret, and unforgiveness of myself for my actions.
Attending the Pro-Life march this year for the first time and hearing Fr. Pavone speak at the Prayer Mtg. at Constitution Hall, has ignited a spark within me. I took a candle with me with Sarah’s name on it to the vigil mass and had it with me during the march. I know now that it will be in sharing my story that I will truly find the healing and forgiveness I need.