My name is Cindy, and unfortunately, my story isn’t unique. I’m a post-abortion survivor. I use this term to help others understand abortion not only kills the unborn child; it leaves an aftermath of victims, and isn’t a “procedure” that mothers and fathers walk away from without painful, permanent scars.
I was pro-choice from the first time I heard about abortion. When I became pregnant in 1985, my boyfriend said it wasn’t the right time to start a family. I agreed without any thought, because it wasn’t yet a baby - at least that’s what I believed. About eight months later I dreamed I was holding a baby, and then realized it was my son. This was just the beginning of the pain and regret.
I didn’t understand the reason for my depression, but assumed I was mourning the loss of “potential” motherhood. My life from that point was filled with promiscuity and heavy drinking, an attempt at dulling the pain. I prayed God would let me die. I did what I could to prevent myself from becoming pregnant, because I felt unworthy of having a child. My shame kept me from seeking the help that I needed.
After 23 years of despair, I told God I’d follow Him. He led me to the Catholic Church and to confession. Learning the lives of saints helped me realize God had forgiven me, I was worthy of His love, and I didn’t have to be ashamed anymore. I wanted to help others affected by similar pain, so I spoke with our priest. Two days later, I was sharing my testimony at the Catholic High School.
What happened caught me by complete surprise. No one looked at me with disgust as Satan had convinced me. Instead, I received admiration, sympathy, and love. Satan no longer held me in the bondage of shame.
My son, Francis McKinley, knows that I love him and was blind to the truth that life begins at conception. I will mourn my son the rest of my, and will be silent no more.