My name is Audrey. I’m here because I regret my abortion and I want women to know we deserve better. I had an abortion 41 years ago. I felt I had no other choice. When I found out I was pregnant I was happy I was going to be a mother but sad because I was not married. I thought my boyfriend would share my joy, but I was wrong. His first words were: “You can’t have this child. I will not marry you.” He said my Portuguese community would never accept him or our child because he is Indian, and it would be selfish of me to raise a mixed-race child alone.
“You have to have an abortion,” he said. “It’s the best thing for everyone.” He said he had “helped” someone this way before.
We went to a birth control clinic, and my boyfriend did all the talking, as I didn’t speak English very well then. When the doctor asked if I was sure I wanted to have an abortion, my boyfriend said yes. The doctor said he would send me to a hospital for the procedure. “Once it’s done you can go on with your life like you did before,” he assured me. He was wrong. When I met the doctor who would do the procedure, I remember thinking he looked so unhappy.
Just before I was put to sleep I asked God to let me die, but I woke up in the hospital, feeling empty. Part of me was gone. At home I started to feel helpless, guilty, depressed, and isolated.
I worried that I would never be a mother. I was right. For years I had nightmares of children drowning, and I couldn’t save them. I became bitter and angry with my boyfriend. The emotional pain was so bad that I tried to commit suicide. I don’t believe I wanted to die, I just wanted the pain to go away.
Eventually I married my baby’s father. We tried to get pregnant for many years and when I finally did, I miscarried twins. I thought God was punishing me for the abortion. I blamed my husband, and our marriage didn’t last much longer.
If I had known what I was going to suffer, emotionally and physically, I would have never have had an abortion. A woman who has an abortion will never stop wondering what her life would be like if the child was alive and who that child would grow up to be. My child would be 40 years old. People mourned with me when I miscarried my twins, but my sorrow for my aborted child I had to bear alone.
There is help and forgiveness for women after abortion. I found forgiveness through the Church and counseling through Second Chance Ministries and now I will be silent no more.