My Second Abortion
I was dating a guy. We had been dating for about a year. I was on birth control. One day I wasn’t feeling well, did a test and it did confirm that I was pregnant. My instinct was, I’m going to make this go away. The first time I did it it was pretty quick and simple. I managed to try not to think about what actually happened. It wasn’t until the second abortion where it was really upsetting and painful to me. This time it was more real. It’s not like I was too young, couldn’t support it. It was kind of crazy that I made that decision. It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t on my terms, and it wasn’t planned. It wasn’t supposed to be here. I went through with it because I thought it was what everyone else wanted me to do. It made me a little bit of relief that it was over, but I felt after that, it’s just the pain of both abortions came on at the same time and emotionally I was spiraling down, doing things that were just not me, irresponsible, reckless decisions, drowning in my own grief. I would feel real physical pain just like I did when I had the abortions. It was like a flashback. I feel like sort of moments when I blacked out. Not allow myself to feel real joy or real pain. I wasn’t fully alive. I would be in a joyful situation, and I couldn’t even enjoy the situation. I was kind of looking through a lens that was dirty. I was really hurting two lives. When I had an abortion, something died inside of me. I wanted to volunteer at a pregnancy resource center so I could help people who were in the same circumstances that I was in. When I got there one of the requirements was to do post-abortion recovery. Everyone was in a circle talking about their baby girl, their baby boy, all these babies had genders. When it came to be my turn, I started crying, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you all are talking about.” I was a mess. It was like a flood of emotions. I called my husband, and I was like I don’t even know if I can make it home. I’m on the highway, and I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. I was afraid I was going to get in a wreck. Oh, my gosh, what have I done, I have taken a real life! Just imagining what I missed out on. Just going to the park and watching them play sports, that’s what I regret, that I can’t physically hold them and tell them I love them. Those two people deserved life. I took that away from them. I was committed. I felt that God carried me through the program and it was totally doable. Once you have healing it’s like being resurrected and feeling like God can use this mistake and turn it into something beautiful. You can look in their eyes and say, “Don’t do this. You are going to regret it. It’s going to hurt you more than you have any idea.” But people don’t want to hear that. They want to do what they want to do. I feel like that never works. I feel like God has to speak to that person. I believe that forgiveness brings healing and repentance brings healing. I was truly sorry for what I had done, and I feel like God healed me.
I was Alone and Desperate
That day I knew I had taken the life of the only child I would ever carry. I was twenty-five and running wild when I learned I was pregnant. The father of my baby had moved away, and I was alone and desperate. I told no one except my best friend who drove me to the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Nashville in 1984. I chose the easy way out, so I thought at the time.
I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. The room was cold as was the staff. There was no empathy, counseling, or personal medical attention. I felt like a piece of meat on an assembly line, as girls were shuffled in and out of the room. They offered me no anesthesia, no medication, or even a hand to hold. I knew I had made a mistake as soon as I heard the sucking sound of the vacuum, but it was too late to change my mind. I remember looking over at the jar and seeing it filling up with skin, blood, and tissue of my baby. I told the nurse I was going to throw up – and she told me, “Just be quiet.” I was never the same again.
A few days later while at work, I began cramping, bleeding, and running a fever – all due to an incomplete abortion. I had to leave work immediately to seek medical attention. Parts of the baby were left inside of me, resulting in a major infection, and then an emergency D and C to scrape out the remains in my uterus.
A year later around the date of my abortion, panic attacks began. I thought I was losing my mind. I became very depressed and tried to kill myself by taking an entire bottle of pain pills, and I was unconscious for three days. I was home alone. A therapist worked with me for a year, but never touched on the painful experience of the abortion.
After years of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex, I knew my life had to change. I moved out of the city, married a wonderful man, attended church and we gave our hearts to Jesus. We started trying to get pregnant, but something was wrong. The fertility clinic determined I was sterile due to the tremendous scar tissue damage from the abortion. I wanted to die. I could not be around babies or go to any baby showers. I felt like digging a hole and dying. I was in a deep clinical depression. No one told me I would ever feel this way.
I refused to consider adoption until one day I was crying at the altar and a two year old little girl put her arms around me and told me she loved me. At that moment I knew I could love someone else’s child as my own. The healing began … God was not through with me yet. One night at a women’s conference, God purged me and freed me of all the guilt and shame. He gave me freedom and forgiveness, removing me from my personal prison. After the spiritual metamorphosis I returned home to a call from the adoption agency, and my beautiful five-month old bi-racial daughter, Arabella, came home to live with us. The joy was indescribable. I came to realize that in God’s amazing sovereignty, He sees the big picture when we only see the snapshot.
Soon after my healing I became a crisis pregnancy counselor, and I am now the leader of the post abortion recovery ministry in Murfreesboro, TN. I want to tell those who are damaged by abortion, there is hope. God wants to heal you and set you free.
I Believed That I had No Other Choice
On a rainy, windy day in March 1978, I was lied to by an abortion facility in Atlanta. I was informed that I was too far along in my pregnancy to have a D and C (dilation and curettage) abortion and that I would have to deliver a dead infant. As I was leaving, having changed my mind about the abortion, I was told that they had made a mistake – they could take care of my “problem” and I could be on my way shortly.
Several weeks later when I called the abortion facility because I was bleeding heavily, I was informed that this was normal. Then Women consent to abortion because we are deathly afraid and we lack information, concern, and wise counsel. We are afraid to tell our parents or husbands, afraid we can’t support a child, afraid our marriages will fail, afraid we will have to drop out of school or give up a career, afraid our lives won’t continue as we had planned.
Like many women, I believed the lie that abortion is safe, quick, and will make the problem go away. I believed that I had no other choice. I made the desperate “choice” of abortion as a last resort – not because I really wanted an abortion. The terms used by an abortionist are very misleading. Words like pregnancy termination, menstrual extraction, products of conception, and blobs of tissues. They only contribute to our confusion. All of these terms dehumanize what is being destroyed to deceive us, and so we can deceive others. Abortion hurts, deceives and destroys!
When going to the dentist to have wisdom teeth pulled, we are told of the possible complications that can occur. I was not told about the possible physical health risks, lifetime of depression, fear, anxiety, grief, guilt, and remorse or shame. I was not told of complications that could cause infertility.
It took me over 24 years to allow God to teach me how to forgive myself. I didn’t feel that I deserved to be forgiven. I deserved a lifetime of punishment. After completing a very intense Bible study, I learned how to start healing. Make no mistake – the road to healing can be long and hard. I made the choice and I paid the price, but Jesus Christ bears my burden now. After 24 years, I am free. Christ is the answer for grieving women to be free from the past. He is in the business of taking broken lives and making them whole. I now know there is peace and healing for women hurt by abortion. I am now deeply concerned about other women who feel forced to do what I did. I will be “Silent No More.”