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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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After the Abortion, I Woke Up and Grabbed my Stomach
Carissa
New York, United States

I thought I may be pregnant but could have been wrong; a neighbor or two told me I looked pregnant so I took a test. The same neighbor came back and confirmed the test and I fell to the floor because I knew that people were concerned about how this would impact my life. I kind of felt if I had the support I needed, maybe I could do this. Maybe I could have asked for more or walked in faith. I needed to have confidence. The strange part is that I imagined the child as a human and when I knew I was going to do the abortion, I thought I had no other options. I had already given him a name - Angel Christian. I named him hoping that God would accept him and to clarify that he is a Christian despite what I am doing wrong. In my head, I must have known it was wrong but I gave him a name anyhow. I also felt that if I wasn’t able to confirm if it was a boy or girl that Angel Christian worked as a name either way. 

I had an argument with the father of the baby because I called him before the pregnancy test was confirmed to let him know I could be pregnant because I was already getting morning sickness. We had an argument - he didn’t believe that I was pregnant. I was crying; he was freaking out and we both probably said things we didn’t mean. I know now that he probably wanted me to think about it after the argument because he realized that argument was not good for either of us. I was afraid of getting more attached to the baby which was shortsighted in hindsight. There’s no way to become more attached to someone who is already inside of you that you love – you don’t want to lose him. 

At first, I thought the father of my baby wanted the abortion since he wasn’t comfortable that I was pregnant. I also think I wanted the abortion. He asked if I was sure about wanting an abortion, I said yes. The government would take care of the kid, not you was what went through my mind. I had once had an argument with my dad when he was drunk about needing government help because of my disability. Furthermore, I was receiving pressure from friends, and thinking at the time that the father wanted the abortion, but I was not sure he really wanted it. Maybe he just wasn’t sure at the time after the argument and maybe he was afraid. 

A lot of his friends told me to go through with the abortion because it was selfish and unfair to him. My friends were telling me the same thing. Why would you bring a kid into the world when you cannot provide for it without assistance? My fears and sadness and my past and from people currently in my life at the time shaped my decision. There was a lot of abusive stuff in my childhood that I thought that would impact my parenting. 

I didn’t want to disappoint my parents not knowing if they would help. In hindsight, my mom said my dad cried like a baby when he found out because he said I was his only chance and he wanted a grandchild since I was the only child. My father felt the decision was pushed and coerced, if she [me] would have had more yesses than no’s from the people in my life. she wouldn’t have done it. My dad was afraid I thought I wasn’t pleasing my parents or anyone else. 

I called the abortion place the same day I got the results of the pregnancy test. I went in maybe 4-5 days later. It was towards the end of January, and I had the abortion on the 28th. 

I walked in and it was very dark; there were no lights in the front area. It was like an ugly building with a ramp and not inviting. It was gross. I felt very dark and depressing. They sat me down at the first check-in point which is a couple feet from the door. They asked me where my boyfriend was, what was making me do these things. She asked me all these questions, how old are you, married or single, why I walked the way I walk, about the disability, did paperwork, took me back, blood test, blood pressure, screened me for something, then they gave me a gown to change into and they sent me to the back. There was a big waiting room but it felt like although it was big, it seemed like a place where you go in and never come out. You go in, but those images don’t leave.

I didn’t ask or want to see the sonogram that was done, and it was not shown to me. After I was done changing into a gown, I was still crying throughout the process. The hysterical people were separated from the calm people. After the abortion, I woke up and I grabbed my stomach and there was another somebody who was there. “It’s gone, it’s gone,” I choked out. The tears started. She said, “don’t do this to yourself,” and put her hands on my shoulder. I got up quickly, they gave me some water or juice or something and they immediately gave me my clothes which is weird with all the pain. They had me get dressed and told me to leave. Gave me two different medications, and then they told me to go. 

I couldn’t wait inside; they made me sit outside to wait for a cab. I think my neighbor came in the cab to get me thinking I couldn’t walk. Other than the abortion thing, he was always a good friend. I got in the car, went home, went upstairs and stayed at his house because I was scared and crying. There was a separate place for me to sleep with privacy. He ordered Chinese food. I’ve been sick two weeks prior to the abortion with morning sickness, so I ate the food, and there was no morning sickness. Then I was upset that my brain liked the food and that there was no morning sickness – a reminder about the baby. I started crying all over again. I didn’t want to eat any more food. Friends consoled me then I went to bed.

There are times I would see Father Frank Pavone on TV talking about Rachel’s Vineyard. I wanted to go but income was a problem, I was concerned about my wheelchair and simply didn’t know if it was an option for me. Then after 9/11 and what this kid would have seen, tried to say it was maybe a good thing. But then it really wasn’t. During covid, there was no mass and I wanted to go back to church, but didn’t think I could. I had left religion all together for a different religion, a really horrible religion without Christian values and that does not worship same God. I didn’t know it was an option to come back to the church. So. I looked for masses online, and found Father Frank Pavone. So I started watching Fr. Frank.

A couple years before that, I started supporting pro-life issues. Want to debate abortion so others don’t go through what I went through. I may cry but I’ll still say it’s wrong. There is healing. One day I pulled the trigger and said I would call the Rachel’s Vineyard hotline and they tried to place me in a restart in Pennsylvania via Zoom. I told the lady no, I don’t want that, I want to go live in person. I want to do the healing, to feel the tears. This is the only way I can honor my child. So, the people I called said okay, we can find you another retreat and they did in New Jersey. I went and the counselors took it on, and the only issue was how would I get there. What would I do with my service dog at the time? We left him behind. A wheelchair cab was very expensive so they found a volunteer that works with the Archdiocese of New Jersey to pick me up and bring my wheelchair. The whole weekend they took turns walking with me. The only thing I couldn’t do at the retreat was get in the shower, but it was worth it to me to be there. The priest was amazed I was there as swollen as my feet were. The last day, they knew I was getting tired, but I went to the altar where I put the baby back in the crib and I wanted to kneel like everyone else. The leaders said that was fine though they were hesitant because of the pain I was in, but they let me and helped me get down to put the baby in the crib and say what I wanted to say. Then the leaders helped pick me up off the floor – or maybe I crawled back to my seat, I don’t remember which. Either way, they brought me communion in my seat. They never had a disabled person at the retreat, but they accommodated me well. It was worth it to honor my child because it was for him.

My advice for families: words matter. What you say impacts others. If there are matters of alcohol or abuse, please deal with those issues because those important issues or topics will play into abortion decisions. For the person thinking about the abortion: listen to the positive voice, that life matters, the one who is going to help you versus the ten who are against you. You will be surprised that at least maybe half of those people who are against you, it’s their own pain and their own experiences, it isn’t about you. If no one is there for you, somebody will help you, there is help, your child matters. Your child won’t stop mattering. He or she won’t stop mattering just because you murder him/her. You can’t take that back. You have to listen to the best most positive voices and if you don’t have any, get help, don’t listen to people telling you that abortion is the answer because it never has been and never will be.




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