Thirty-seven years of silence. It’s much too long, but now it is time to speak up. In fact, it is bursting inside me to let others know that the result of choosing to abort your own baby has severe and long lasting effects on one’s life. It certainly did in my life and continues to make me realize how important knowledge and support is when one finds out they are pregnant and not prepared for it. Even after all these years there is still a deep sadness. I have been blessed by God with enormous healing, with two beautiful (now adult) children, and with so much success since that dark, dark day. Yet, this was one of my biggest mistakes, and like the holocaust for Jews, it is something that I cannot, nor will, forget.
I had completed my physiotherapy degree and was practicing physiotherapy in a large tertiary hospital for several years. In spite of this success, I was a very insecure and lonely young adult woman, seeking love from “one night stands” and getting involved quickly—sexually—with every guy I met. I played around with the “pill” and was on it, off it, often.
It was sheer panic when I discovered that I was pregnant. “This couldn’t be happening to me.” I had not been around anyone I knew who got pregnant. I couldn’t help but think how stupid I was. None of my friends and no one who is intelligent in my profession would get pregnant. How could I have this baby? How embarrassing this was. My father would “kill me.” I didn’t want this baby. I wanted to enjoy my career and the great things I was doing there.
I only told one person, my brother, and he didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what to say. He neither advised me for or against.
Throughout those weeks leading up to the abortion, I had no support from family or friends. Even the obstetrician I saw simply stated that I could have an abortion, but it needed to be very soon. I never thought of the person inside me as human. I convinced myself it was just a blob at this point. How deceived we can be!
I didn’t know there were any crisis pregnancy centers or support centers that would inform me of all of my options, though I suspect I really knew there were alternative choices. I simply did not want to look at them. I just wanted this “problem” to go away so that no one (even the father) would ever know about it. It was my secret.
I can remember lying on the cold stretcher, shivering at what was about to happen. I was so sick to my stomach after the procedure; I remember wanting to put the white sheet over my shameful face. I prayed no one at the hospital I worked at would see me on that stretcher. I was so filled with shame.
For days and weeks, the heaviness did not lift. The physical healing came, but the emotional scarring never got better. Having an abortion, I realize now, was the most selfish thing I have done in my life. Many, many years later I came to accept God’s forgiveness, but forgiving myself took many decades. I want to now help lift my voice in support of others going through what I went through. I pray God will use me to save lives.