Lying on a hospital table in the emergency room in 1998, the doctor explained that the abortionist had not completed the procedure and he would need to do a D&C. I didn’t even know what that was and I didn’t ask. I was too horrified as I faced the realization of what I had buried deep in my heart. I had given permission to someone to kill my child. However, this wasn’t the only child I had given someone permission to murder. I’d had two other abortions previously.
The first abortion was in 1993, I was in college and my boyfriend and I had just broken up. When I found out several weeks later that I was pregnant, I heard his voice on the other end of the phone saying: “We’re too young for this.” “Our parents will kill us.” “This wasn’t in the plans for my life.” “I’m continuing my education and can’t afford a baby.” “You can’t afford a baby.” Feeling embarrassed and thinking my mom would kill me if I came home and told her I was pregnant and having nowhere else to turn, I agreed to have an abortion. I was pro-choice at the time and had bought into all the lies of my baby just being a conglomeration of cells. But if that were true, why did I feel so bad?
The night after having this procedure done, I went out with my friends and got so drunk I blacked out. I wanted to forget all about what I had done. I continued drinking heavily and almost always blacked out each time I drank. It was the only time I could forget about what I had done. Over time, I started becoming emotionally numb, not caring. I was sinking into depression.
In November 1994, I had my beautiful daughter and although I was a single mom, I chose her over myself. This time. Abortion statistics show that when someone has one abortion, it’s easy to have more. In my case, this was true.
I married in 1996 and later that year found out I was pregnant. When my husband wasn’t joyous over the news, I thought something was wrong with me. Was I not a good mom to my daughter? Not a good wife? Maybe it was because we married too soon. Maybe it was because I was still abusing alcohol. Whatever the reason, we chose to have an abortion. I pretended I was just going to the doctor’s office for an exam. I blocked the real reason why I was there out of my mind. I disconnected myself from what was happening. However, that didn’t stop the tears. I continued to drink. Although I loved my daughter and wanted to see her grow up, get married, and have children of her own, I constantly thought of suicide. It was better to die than to feel empty inside. I loved my little girl. But my heart was broken, yet I refused to understand why.
In 1997, my husband, daughter and I moved and when I found out I was pregnant again in 1998, I told my husband and without much discussion, we decided to have an abortion again. I forced myself not to think about what I was doing as I made the appointment. It was easy to do that because I was numb, I pushed the emotions down so deep I couldn’t reach them. I drove myself to the clinic and afterwards went home.
That night, as I was watching television with my daughter and husband, I started bleeding profusely. Blood covered the couch and the floor before I could make it to the bathroom. After cleaning up, I noticed the blood and nonchalantly said, “It looks like someone has been murdered in here.” I didn’t realize how true those words were until a few hours later. My husband rushed me to the emergency room and when the doctor told me the abortionist had not completed the procedure and my body was rejecting what was left of my baby, I could no longer contain my emotions. I cried uncontrollably and could not be consoled. How could I do this? The grief, the guilt, the shame, all came through and continued to live inside of me. My first marriage ended shortly after the last abortion.
In 2011, eighteen years after my first abortion, I attended a weekend retreat for post-abortive women and men. There, I realized my babies had forgiven me. God had forgiven me. And I had to work on the hard part of forgiving myself. While I still grieve at times, I now speak for the unborn. I speak for my babies. I refuse to let their lives be lost in vain. I share my story so others can see that abortion is not a “quick fix”. The emotional and psychological impact of having an abortion will last a lifetime. Until the day I see my babies in Heaven, I will be silent no more.