In the summer of 2001, I was at home when my daughter Irene walked in through the front door. By her tone of voice, I immediately felt something was wrong. She told me that she had had an abortion. I thought to myself, “Her belly showed…she was still six months pregnant…how could this be?” Then Irene explained, in her tearful, shaking voice, that they injected a chemical into her stomach using a large needle which caused by granddaughter to kick and twist inside her. She told me she was scheduled to go back the next day so they could finish the process. I now know that meant to rip my granddaughter out piece by piece and throw her precious body in the trash. I’ve never seen my daughter so distraught. She immediately regretted going to the clinic and was desperate to save my granddaughter. I felt a gut-wrenching pain in my heart and asked God to please guide us in what to do.
I immediately drove her to the hospital. At the hospital they performed an ultrasound, and I saw my granddaughter alive and moving around. I was happy, my heart overwhelmed with love. But that was soon robbed from me, when the medical team said they couldn’t do anything to save my grandchild’s life. At first, I was confused, because I had seen her heart beating on the screen. They explained that the chemical injected would soon stop my granddaughter’s heart and the doctor strongly encouraged Irene to go back to the clinic to finish the abortion. If she didn’t go back, then she would have to endure hours of labor and deliver a dead baby.
My daughter refused to go back to the abortion clinic, so the next day we returned to that same hospital. This time, I didn’t see my granddaughter’s heart beating. The medical staff confirmed my grandchild died.
Irene’s labor began, and my daughter was in so much pain. Throughout the hours she would whimper I Love You, Forgive Me, and I’m Sorry. She said the pain was well deserved on her part and accepted it. My heart bled for her. There was nothing I could do but hold her hand and tell her I loved her. After seven hours of labor it was time for Leonor to be delivered.
As the medical staff prepared Irene for the delivery, her face suddenly appeared peaceful, I thought to myself, “Is she not in pain anymore?” I asked Irene if something had happened. Irene said Leonor talked to her and said, “Mom, I forgive you and love you.” That is when her heart became peaceful, and she felt God’s love.
My daughter delivered a beautiful baby girl, who she named Leonor Bridgette Beltran. She looked like a normal baby, just small. Her hair was black, her arms, legs, and feet were tiny. Family members were in the room, and each of us held her in our arms. After a couple hours it was time to give Leonor our last hugs and kisses. Then Irene spent personal time with her, telling Leonor goodbye. A death certificate was issued, and Leonor’s body was sent to a mortuary. When Irene was released from the hospital, I drove her home, and we did not say one word.
We planned Leonor’s funeral. Irene did not want anyone to know the truth about Leonor’s death, so I respected that. I justified not being truthful, because it was already unbearable to know the reason my granddaughter died and telling anyone would be like pouring salt on my daughter’s wound. Many family and friends attended my granddaughter’s funeral. Words can’t express the pain in my heart when I think about how distraught and desperate my daughter was to do something like this. Her abortion did not help her at all. It not only caused her unbearable pain, but our entire family.
Today, my daughter has gained the courage to speak the truth about her late term abortion, and I am proud to stand by her side, because Women deserve better than abortion…That is why I AM SILENT NO MORE.