In September 1987, I was a 17 year old teenage girl. I had run away from home and was living with my boyfriend and his family. My boyfriend was heavily into drugs and drinking, and after a night of partying and celebrating his graduation from high school, he and his friends decided that it would be fun to hold me down, pass me around and repeatedly rape me. I was drunk at the time and later they told me I “had asked for it”. He told me afterwards that if I told anyone what had happened he would kill me. Weeks later I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend TOLD me I HAD to get an abortion. He frightened me and humiliated me so much, I felt I had no other options at the time. I had the abortion.
I’ll never forget walking into the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Syracuse, NY. It was a huge, cold waiting room. My boyfriend had paid the $300.00 fee and immediately left me there by myself. He told me to call him when it was done. I felt so alone and scared as I filled out the paperwork that they gave me. Keep in mind, I was 17 at the time and was not accompanied by my parents. It’s the same today as back then…no questions asked, no matter the age. No parental consent need be given. After filling out the paperwork, I was taken into a room and made to watch a short video about what my abortion would be like. I can only describe this video as wishful thinking, because it bared little resemblance to the actual invasive procedure I was about to have.
I was let into a very cold, small room and told to undress and put on the paper gown they supplied me with. After a few minutes the “doctor” came in, sits at a chair at my feet and just starts. He did not say one word to me. The nurse that was there grabbed my arms and started holding me down. All of a sudden, I felt a hot, searing pain and I saw STARS! I gasped as the “doctor” shoved a needle into my cervix. He said to me “…stay still! It doesn’t hurt! It’s all in your head! Let me FINISH!” I remember that the nurse still had me pinned down and I just wanted to jump up and run out the door, but I could not move. The pain was indescribable, as was the feeling of helplessness I felt. No one was there to help me. All I remember after that was pressure and extreme pain. I know I was crying. The “doctor” just rolled his eyes at me afterward and said it was finished. I got dressed and was just numb as I walked out the door. No after procedure instructions were given. No follow up appointments made. They got their money and now would have nothing else to do with their patient.
After getting back home, I just went to my room and cried myself to sleep. I was cramping very bad and it was the worst period I have ever had. I remember globs of tissue and blood pouring out. After a few days it subsided and I went about my life again. A few weeks later when my cycle did not come around again, I went to a clinic doctor and he informed me that I was STILL PREGNANT! I was floored. I could not even comprehend what he was saying to me. This could not be happening…it just couldn’t.
After that, I was unable to get another abortion…it was too late. I was relieved, but also knew I was not able to care for a child. I still had to finish high school, and then college. I had the baby…well, actually, BOTH babies. You see, I had been pregnant with TWINS. I lost one at birth, the other I gave up for adoption. She was beautiful. They BOTH were. That was the hardest thing I have ever done, giving her up, but I loved her so much I had to. I named the babies Jessica and Sarah. Jessica was adopted.
I eventually grew up, married and became pregnant with my third child. While pregnant with my third daughter, Elizabeth, I found out I had some serious medical issues from my botched abortion procedure. Instead of removing the twin, my fallopian tube was torn out on one side instead. I was lucky I got pregnant at all, the doctors said. Then, two years later, my husband and I were blessed with a son, Christian. This felt like a miracle to us!
At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer directly linked to my botched abortion I had had when I was younger. I had to have a complete hysterectomy. This was just the start of my complications related to the abortion. I also developed breast cancer in my late 20’s. With all these medical issues I was having, I felt I needed to write to the adoption agency to provide a family medical history for my baby girl that I had given up in case she needed it one day. It was anonymous, so there would be no way she could track me down, right? Wrong.
One day I received a letter in the mail from the baby I had given up for adoption. It was one of the most exciting days of my life! Jess had grown up safe and in a fantastic home with loving parents who gave her the world. For this, I am so grateful. I was so blessed she was brave (and curious!) enough to seek me out through the adoption agency. We gradually got to know each other and became good friends. She got married to a wonderful man and she herself was blessed by becoming pregnant. I was going to be a Grandma at only 41 years old!
Jess passed away on March 30th, 2011, while giving birth to her daughter. I also lost my granddaughter that day, Christina. I was so crushed, I thought “…here is my final punishment…I get to lose EVERYTHING!”
I know in my heart this is not the truth. God has blessed me in so many ways. He has forgiven me and carries me when I need him most. It has taken me a few years, but I can now tell my story so that others may benefit from my mistakes. I NEED to tell the world about what happened to me and my daughters. I am not being punished, I am being “chosen”. Chosen to tell the world the truth about abortion and chosen to help others by my example.
What the abortionists fail to tell you is that there are consequences for every action, even…especially, abortion. I have had cervical cancer, a ripped fallopian tube, ovarian cancer and breast cancer twice. Is all related to my abortion? ABSOLUTELY! That is the easy part. The physical part. The hardest part is what you DO NOT see. The mental and emotional scars abortion leaves on women is immense. Abortion isn’t a simple procedure. It is a life altering moment. It is bloody and painful. It is MURDER. It is not just the death of a precious child, but the death of those mothers who live through the procedure, too. It is final. There is no going back and you cannot make up for it. That is what I want to convey to girls and women about abortion. I want women and men to know the effect it will have on their lives. Maybe not today, but one day, one moment. It will take you by surprise and you will have to deal with what you have done. There will be someone there for you though, to help you through it. He will always be there for you.
I have to say I am blessed with a wonderful sister-in-law who worked at the Heart and Pregnancy Center. I confided in her about my abortion and she helped me get the help I desperately needed. She has walked beside me every step of the way throughout this journey of mine. She held me, let me cry and never let me forget that I am loved and forgiven She has been one of my biggest champions! I am also blessed with the best husband in the world who has loved me and been there for me through it all. After being raped, I never thought anyone would love me. Especially after knowing I “murdered” a child. He has loved me and all my girls, and for that I can never thank him enough. Without Project Rachael, Rachael’s Vineyard and Heart, I do not think I would be able to speak out about my abortion. Abortion is emotional and it cuts your heart out, as well as your child. It leaves you devastated. You know you killed your child. You know you will never hold that baby again, or sing to them, or kiss them, or tell them everything will be all right. They are dead and with Jesus. I know one day I will see my babies again, but for now, I want their short time here on earth to MEAN something. They are still loved and will NEVER be forgotten!
I dedicate this to my lost girls, Jess and Sarah, my wonderful husband Matt, my sister in every sense of the word Edie and my two living children Elizabeth and Christian, I love you all so very much!!