This article was in the newsletter for A Blessed Beginning crisis pregnancy center here in our hometown. It touched me to hear a first-person account of a woman who had had an abortion. Sometimes this is so remote to us Plain folks and it is good to be reminded of the sanctity of life that we uphold and also to pray for those who suffer the after-effects of abortion. God is a God of mercy and forgiveness to those who appeal to Him.
I received permission from Sherry Bushnell, the director of the pregnancy center, to post this article on my blog. She also said the author of the article wouldn’t mind it shared as well. Sherry has a website for her birthing center Lavender and Roses at lavenderandroses.org. And you can also receive updates on Facebook.
“I Had An Abortion at Age 17”
I had an abortion when I was 17 years old.
My parents weren’t together and my mom worked all the time. My father drank very heavily and would be around just long enough to clean out my mom’s bank account, and then he would leave again.
I took care of everything at the house, including my brother, who was chronically sick with strep throat. I worked all the time, and I also took care of a lot of the food, clothes, etc. I guess I thought I was pretty grown-up. No one told me what I could and couldn’t do.
When I found out I was pregnant, I remember feeling both glad and scared. I told my mother I was pregnant, and immediately she took me to Planned Parenthood to confirm my pregnancy. My mother looked at me when my pregnancy was confirmed and said, “You’re getting an abortion.”
I remember thinking, “Yeah, right.” My mother is very pro-choice, and she would say, “No one can tell you what you can and cannot do to your own body.”
We had very little religion in our life. However, there were neighbors who were wonderful and took me to church. When my mother and I got home, after my appointment at Planned Parenthood, she had me call some of the abortion clinics to get more information and set up an appointment. The clinics told me they had to do it (perform the abortion) at 12 weeks – I did not understand why at the time.
I made the appointment regardless. I think I did it just to shut my mom up and hoped it would give me time to talk my mom out of the abortion. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t budge an inch on the idea. She kept saying things like: “I’m not ready to be a grandmother,” “You are too young,” “You have your whole life ahead of you,” and “It’s not even a baby yet, it hasn’t developed into anything at 12 weeks – so it’s OK to do it then.”
My friends were no help either. I think they would have had an abortion too. I remember my aunt telling me I should not get the abortion ……I did not know what to do – I had no money, I felt sick all the time and tired, and I didn’t have anywhere to go.
I would have fantasies about nuns taking me and letting me have my baby and help me raise it. I figured it was silly to think about, there wasn’t a “real place” like that. I felt like my time was running out. Therefore, I gave in to my mother’s wishes even though it didn’t make me happy – I kept waiting for something to happen that would save my baby.
The “procedure” required two visits to the clinic. The first visit, the doctors put something in my cervix to dilate it slowly. Doctor didn’t speak to me much, except to say I was 12 weeks and everything “looked good.” After the procedure to dilate my cervix, the doctor told me not to pull it out because it wouldn’t stop the abortion and told me it would hurt.
I spent the night crying and holding my belly, trying to think of a way to pull it out. My belly had grown, along with other parts of me. I would stare at my body and wish I could see it big and full of baby.
The next morning, I was taken to the office. It was early in the morning and it was also Christmas Eve. No one asked me much except some procedural questions. If they asked anything else, I don’t remember – I really didn’t pay attention to them.
The doctors told me to bring in music to listen to during the procedure so I wouldn’t hear the machines. They hooked me up to the IV and I remember being very tired and then dizzy – I could hear the machines.
I started to scream for more medicine. I remember hearing singing way far off, yet it kept getting louder. I couldn’t get away from the music.
My head was spinning and I was tangled in my ear plugs. A nurse came in and untangled me, and then she sat me up straight. I was so dizzy and feeling sick. They let me sit there and rest a little while, then they told me it was time to get dress – and, “Go home.”
I felt terrible the whole way home. My mom put me in bed and fed me tomato soup, which made my head feel better. She kept telling me I did the “right thing,” and she said she was proud of me for taking responsibility for what I did.
I couldn’t see it that way, as soon as I woke up in the morning, I knew I had done something terrible. My whole self hurt deep inside – not just from the pain of the abortion – just an empty feeling that felt like it could go on forever.
Christmas came and went. I don’t really remember too much about the next week or so, except that I couldn’t quit crying. I would stare at the television and not think about what I was watching at all.
One day, I walked into the kitchen, pulled out a big knife from the drawer and slit my wrist. I don’t remember thinking about it beforehand, I just picked up the knife and cut myself.
I started screaming, and my mom came in the kitchen. I know she bandaged my wrists. I remember my dad was there and he was yelling, although I’m not sure what he said ….everything was just blurred together.
I felt dead inside – all I wanted was my baby back.
After I slit my wrist, my life just kept going downhill. I hated myself, and nothing could make my heart stop hurting. I couldn’t feel anything but the pain.
A few years later, a friend told me about Jesus and I accepted Him as my Savior. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and some very amazing sons. I thank Him every day.
It has taken more than 20 years for me to find some peace. I had never talked to anyone about the abortion. Because I’m a Christian now, I have been embarrassed. Christians don’t get abortions! I guess I was afraid if someone found out, they wouldn’t be as forgiving as Jesus is.
Some women may be stronger than I was. If that is the case – keep the baby. Or at least have your baby and share it with someone who can’t have one. Think about how lucky you are to be able to have a baby, when there are so many women who cannot.
Think hard about ending your baby’s life ….. what seems like a quick solution is not a quick fix. It is is a decision that hurts. The “what-ifs” never go away.
Later on, when I was pregnant with my third child, I started bleeding when I was about six weeks along. I had an ultrasound – the ultrasound showed my 6-week-old baby. It had little arm-buds, a head and a big heart pounding away! The baby was alive and well. It’s not just a “glob” of cells even at 6 weeks. It is a baby!
This letter is part of my healing process. I want to warn women who are considering an abortion. The pain and guilt, if they choose abortion, does not go away – except with God’s help. Now God is making something good come out of my pain. Thanks for letting me share my story with you.
I don’t know if the author of this little article will ever read it posted here, but I want to say “thank you.” I still can’t read this without crying. What would we do without the blood of Jesus to wipe away the sin and guilt?
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