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Regaining My Voice
I was 21 years old, recently divorced and a mother of one. I was working and planning to go back to college.  My ex-husband wanted me back. I refused. He was an abusive man—physically, verbally, emotionally, and sexually. He decided that, if I was to become pregnant, I would take him back. He raped me multiple times for a week or more and then quit. The next month was the same.

During that time, I hooked up with an old boyfriend. We spent the night together. And I didn't hear from him again for three months.

Unfortunately, it was during those three months that I realized I pregnant and was unsure who the father was.  To me it didn't matter who the father was. I loved my baby, but I was terrified about my ex-husband finding out I was pregnant.  If he did, I would never get him out of my life. Since I had not spoken to the old boyfriend, I was concerned he wouldn't believe the baby was his. I felt trapped and alone. I didn't want to disappointment my parents again, either. So, I chose abortion.

I called Planned Parenthood in Peoria, Illinois. The receptionist said I might experience light cramping or discomfort for 24-48 after the procedure, but I would be fine, my life would resume as normal, and no one would ever know.  What a lie!  

On November 16th, 1989, I aborted my baby.  As the doctor began the procedure, I began hyperventilating. The doctor told the nurse to "get that taken care of" and gestured to me. I was nameless, and he was annoyed that I was scared and crying. There was no compassion, no understanding, and he was clearly not going to stop before it was too late for my baby. I regretted my abortion decision even before the vacuum suction procedure began. 

Six months later I was pregnant again.  This time I knew who the daddy was (the former boyfriend).  We married and are still married to this day, 28 years later.  It has not been an easy road, but we have accepted Christ as our Savior and made Him Lord of our lives. I learned to forgive myself and truly believe that God has forgiven me, too. We also have had many years of counseling. Then, five years ago, I attended a Deeper Still post abortion healing retreat in central Illinois. I was finally able to lay down my shame and regret. I was also given the freedom to mourn my baby and memorialize her.  

For 25 years I was silent and refused to talk of my abortion, because I was so ashamed. Now that my shame is gone, I have regained my voice and will remain silent no more.

Priests for Life
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