With a few months left from college graduation, I discovered I was pregnant...left in disbelief and panic-stricken. I had just landed my dream job as a TV Talk Show Host and horrified the position would evaporate if anyone found out. After all, unwed women were not “allowed” on TV back in the 70’s and 80’s…it was too scandalous.
I weighed my options quickly, and it was a “no brainer”… my new TV career was much more important than the inconvenient pregnancy growing inside me. I had to get rid of it and fast!
A roommate drove me to an abortion clinic in Greensboro, NC. Ashamed and humiliated, I barely remember sitting in the cold, grayish cinderblock waiting room of the abortion clinic with a few other girls, nobody making eye contact. I felt sick to my stomach but was anxious to get it over with. I don’t even remember seeing the doctor or nurses face…it was a blur… I just hoped and prayed they wouldn’t hurt me.
I stayed in bed for a day or two, bleeding and crying, feeling hollowed out. I self-medicated with bong hits. The pot dulled the pain and helped me forget what I had done…or so I thought.
After graduation, I threw myself into the new job, working endless hours so I wouldn’t look back, creating a façade of the perfect young career girl who had it all together.
Relishing in my new local celebrity status, I was partying non-stop, burning the candle at both ends, drinking, drugging and sleeping around…self destructing.
A year and a half later I found myself pregnant again. I was in shock, how could I let this happen? How could I be so stupid? I agonized over the choice I’d have to make…I didn’t want to revisit the horror.
This time the stakes were higher. I was now a recognized TV personality and there was no way anybody could find out, I’d lose my job for sure. My friend and producer arranged for me to have the pregnancy aborted by a private practitioner in his office.
The words of my boyfriend still haunt me to this day…”Why do the women I love kill my babies?” The relationship ended soon after.
Looking back on the choices I made, I didn’t realize the profound emotional impact the abortions would have on my life. I buried them in the deep recesses of my soul, where they stayed for the next three decades. I moved on with life, feeling bogus and unworthy, but strained forward in my motherhood, marriage, career, and community involvement.
Trying to validate my choices, I became a strong pro-abortion supporter and spent many years fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights. I was an outspoken advocate for choice…at times militant with anyone who didn't agree with my opinion. The radical feminist inside me angrily argued that it was only about a woman’s right to choose.
I even lobbied lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly, helped organize the Republican Pro Choice Coalition of Virginia, worked as a Media adviser for a Pro Choice House of Delegate candidate, hosted events for Pro Choice candidates, and was one month away from becoming a Board member of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood when my heart dramatically changed...thank God!
Nearly five years ago, a powerful message clearly came to me that I could no longer fight against the lives of the unborn. God’s grace allowed me to see clearly that life is sacred. I began regretting my abortions and attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for post-abortive men and women where I finally received the tremendous healing I so desperately needed. I learned to forgive myself and give dignity to the precious lives I took. Mary D and Timmy are my little angels waiting for me when I meet them in Heaven one day!