A Generation Missing Siblings

Georgia,  United States
  I had an abortion because I felt I could not support myself and two children, I already had my son.  I was divorced from my son’s father and, although we were living together at the time, I knew we would soon be living separately.  This was the late 1970s--I believed that since abortion was legal it must be okay.  

I don’t know/remember how far along in the pregnancy I was.  When I went to my regular GYN to request an abortion I was informed that my physician did not do abortions.   I remember the women in his office looking at me like I was a leper.  I did not understand it at the time, but I think it was their way of expressing their pain for what I was about to do.  I was then referred to a physician in the same clinic who did abortions.  I remember waking from the anesthetic during the procedure and could hear a sucking sound.   I felt physical discomfort after the abortion but also emotional relief.

Not wanting to experience another abortion I had my tubes tied to prevent another pregnancy.  Unfortunately, this lead to a promiscuous life style.

In the early 1980s I reverted back to my Catholic faith and, although I made a good and serious confession of my sins, I never felt forgiven for such a grave sin as abortion.  In the late 1990s I heard about a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat being offered in my area, so I signed up.  I have to admit that although it is a wonderful program and is healing for most, I felt like I was just going through the motions, forgiveness and healing did not come until sometime later.
I kept having this gnawing inside that I needed to do more.  It wasn’t until I spoke openly to my son who was in his late 20s that the real healing started.  It was a tearful and emotionally draining experience but I felt I had to come clean to him.  Let me back up for a minute.  After I came back to the Catholic Church and started practicing my faith it was only natural that I would share this beautiful faith with my son, so, although his early years were dysfunctional and painful, his teen years and beyond provided him with good solid Catholic teaching and understanding.  He even went on to graduate from Franciscan University and married a beautiful lady he met at Franciscan, and they have four beautiful children, all who love the Catholic Church and her teachings.  They are a young pro-life family.  I mention this because both my son and his wife have been to the March for Life events in Washington, DC and my daughter-in-law has been involved in pro-life work for many years.  I always felt so ashamed when the topic of pro-life came up, and I could not speak from my heart.   

Although many years were filled with remorse and guilt, I’m now able to experience God’s loving mercy and forgiveness.  I’m still healing and learning about the effects of my abortion, not only to my family but to our universal family.  It really is a holocaust, and, although I did not understand at the time because I thought I was helping to make our lives easier, the truth is I was not only aborting my baby, I was also aborting my son’s sibling.  My son is from the generation who are missing siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, friends, etc.  And that’s why I’m silent no more.

Priests for Life