I didn’t know what abortion was until 1987; I was 17. That was the year I was raped and became pregnant. I was a naïve and mixed-up kid. I remember feeling morning sickness, missing my period, and talking to my friends about it. I had NO IDEA what to do. In MY high school, girls that got pregnant dropped out. But that wasn’t for me.
A friend suggested an abortion; she said it was no big deal. Another friend took me to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, which came back positive. They didn’t perform abortions, but they referred me to a place that did.
No one mentioned adoption—not my friends, not the clinic, not my dad (whom I told in desperation and who agreed with and paid for the abortion), not his girlfriend (who had an abortion herself).
I spent the night before the abortion with two girlfriends. We skipped school the next day and they drove me to the clinic. When we arrived at the clinic, I was checked in, asked if I was sure about my decision (I had NOT been given any other CHOICE!) and prepped with a couple of pills.
The procedure was painful, but I had a nurse holding my hand as I cried. I had no idea what was happening (I’d only had one pelvic exam and 3 sexual experiences, including the rape). During my recovery, I was sadly and silently sitting in a recliner for about an hour, with a few other sad, silent souls sitting around in a cafeteria-style room. I remember lying in the fetal position and cringing in the backseat of my friend’s car, with silent tears as we went over bumpy railroad tracks on the drive home. It was surreal, all of it—from the rape, to the pregnancy test, telling my dad, the abortion, to the Billy Idol concert I attended with blind abandon the following weekend.
The following week, I had to leave school due to severe cramping, bleeding and fever. I called the clinic from home and they coldly told me I had my meds mixed up, but I checked and was taking them correctly, so it was either a bad prescription or bad pharmacist. I cried, not being able to talk to anyone—not having any support at all. No one talked to me about how I felt. Maybe no one knew what to say. I just let it go at that and crawled into a silent hole.
The second time I got pregnant, I was overjoyed. I was living with my boyfriend who was also looking forward to becoming a parent. I was just three months away from finishing my student teaching and last semester of college. I would graduate, get a job, get married, and have this baby. I was 23 and had it all figured out. I even checked out books from the library for us. I was taking good care of myself. I told my best friend, and she said what a beautiful baby we would have. The day came when we decided to tell our parents. We proudly announced the news. Instead of joyful smiles and hugs, however, we met with grim disapproval. Our optimism and hope were crushed with discouragement, doubt and criticism. We gave in, and I had the abortion on November 7, 1992. That time I was met with protestors (graphic signs and all) at the clinic. I wasn’t fazed in the slightest; my silent hole had spread, and I was numb to the world that was taking away the life within me. I can’t remember much after this abortion.
My third pregnancy came about three years later. I didn’t have a steady boyfriend, but I was trying to fill that looming, silent emptiness with casual sex. I had a diaphragm and used it religiously, only this time I found out too late there was a tiny hole in it. That tiny hole led to an all-consuming hole in my soul after my third abortion. I had gone from surreal, to devastated, to just plain sad.
It has been twenty years since my first pregnancy and abortion. I have since become a Catholic and confessed my sins. I have married and confided all in my husband, seen a therapist for counseling, seen a psychiatrist and treated with an anti-depressant drug. I’m still not healed, though not for lack of trying! I have gone from Pro-Choice (I even marched in Washington D.C. in 1989... defending my “right” to have that “choice” in my first abortion...how distorted my thinking!) to Pro-Life just in the past two years, and am just beginning to truly deal with the pain.
Only God can fill this hole—I’ve tried everything else; nothing else has worked. And, honestly, it isn’t just God that fills that hole. Through the 40 Days for Life program, I am finally able to do His will and begin to work with Him in my healing. My prayer is this—JESUS, END ABORTION. Simple. Stop letting women hurt themselves and HAVE the babies—there IS support.
Would my life be different if I hadn’t had my abortions? Yes. I would have children and it would still be rich with God. Although I once gave up on Him, He never gave up on me. He wanted me back and, in His mercy, brought me home.