I had an abortion, because I was ashamed, weak, pressured, and scared. I made a fast decision and got POOR advice from someone at church and a family member, and I was negatively pressured by immediate family with the threat of being cut off. I was 19, in my 2nd year of college, two hours from home and alone.
How I wish I stood up for myself and my baby at that time. It’s a thought that will always remain deep within me. I ended up seeking out the abortion. My college medical center had no info on adoption, only abortion. I did not have friends to turn to who were grounded in faith. One acquaintance shared an adoption story, but I felt left with no resources or help. Although I myself attended Mass weekly, I was not formed or close to God or our Blessed Mother or living a Holy Life.
I was SO scared. I scheduled the appointment. The office staff was normal; I don't recall getting treated rudely. I gave the wrong last name. The abortionist (I can't bring myself to call him a "doctor") figured it out when I didn't answer. He was a bit intimidating to me.
When was in the abortion room, with the abortionist and his assistant ("nurse"), they said I'd hear a loud sound just like a vacuum, and I'd feel a slight cramping. Once it began it was LOUD. Not long into it I felt the pain in my stomach and heard the vacuum suction sounds...it was grabbing something. It was grabbing my BABY!...apart in pieces. Each part of my baby was probably what I felt every time a strong pulling cramp was felt. Once it stopped my vision was a little blurry from the medicine I was given, probably to numb and put me out a little bit. As soon as it stopped, I looked at the nurse and said, "Am I going to hell?" She did not answer. I felt like I said this as a way to speak up for the baby I just had murdered...almost to let her know I wasn't the only one participating in this abortion. I guess it was, in a weird way, my way of voicing that a vulnerable baby boy was sucked out of my womb because of ALL of us.
Upon leaving I immediately had mixed emotions...relief and sadness. I remember anger surfacing in close proximity to that time too. I was told to wear pads because of the excessive bleeding I would be experiencing from the "surgery" (from the murder of my child). I remember the next day seeing the blood and knowing it was from my baby. That's a visual that has never left me.
As I mentioned, there were times I felt relieved, but there was a deep underlying black cloud of silent emotion. The time frame is a bit fuzzy. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend soon after. He told me that if I had kept the baby and my dad had found out, he'd never be able to marry me. I knew if I killed our baby, our relationship would be "killed", too. Sure enough, I had so much disrespect for him and myself for killing our child, I broke up with him soon after. The sadness I experienced was from such a combination of events. Killing my own child I, rightly, couldn't shake. It's because my child was with me...a life...I couldn't cut off the life within me. I could kill him, but he would always remain with me.
I had bouts of emotional crying, always alone. I told very few people, and if I did tell anyone the conversation was over within a few sentences. I felt deep down that even though I LOVED children and wanted a family more than anything, I did not deserve any children or a family.
After telling my family 20 years later I was told, “Get over it, God forgives you.” I have come to realize that very few can handle witnessing the result which comes with the pain of abortion. People prefer you just "get over it". It is an unbearable witness to see play out.
I did attempt a couple healing retreats, but it wasn't until Rachel's Vineyard that I experienced the deeper healing I very much needed. It was acknowledging my child exists and publicly apologizing to him that helped me that weekend. My healing continued as I prayed during 40 Days for Life campaigns. The first time I did that was on my birthday. I broke down, knowing I had a birthday to “celebrate” when at a facility like this I removed the possibility of my baby having a birthday. It crushed me to think of that. At the same time I was comforted by seeing these men and women coming out on a Saturday morning to pray for young women and men in crisis, and especially to pray for the pre-born babies.
I have continued praying at Planned Parenthood with 40 Days for Life, now year-round. I am involved in the Respect Life ministry at my church and a pro-life group year-round in my county, blessed by the spiritual direction of a local priest and led by a beautiful mother of three. I have support of friends in the pro-life ministry, including friends who, sadly, are also post abortive mothers but who are finding healing and forgiveness, too, acknowledging and praying for their little ones.
Aborting my only baby is an indescribably deep pain. Yet through this I have been able to receive much consolation and healing thanks to God's unconditional love. I know that through the sacrament of confession and through my deep contrition of what I did, I am forgiven.
After YEARS of suffering in silence.... I am seeing the fruit of opening up, of acknowledging my child and sharing his existence with others. God put priests, people, and support on my path to help me find the deeper healing I needed (and continue to need and receive). I am definitely a work in progress. Yet now, I experience more, the strength that I lost. I cannot change what happened. I cannot bring back Luke. But I can know God's love, mercy, and forgiveness. I can love and share the truth. I can use my voice to speak it. I am silent NO more!