Sunday marked the 39th anniversary of Roe versus Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. If you’re one of my eight regular readers, you know that I am adamantly against abortion. I’m also pro-choice (the decision happens at the sex part, not the pregnancy part), pro-birth control, and pro-women.
My heart breaks for women that have had an abortion, and now have to carry around the weight of what they’ve done their entire lives. I wish I could take that pain away. Since my M.O. when I can’t think of something eloquent and perfect to say is to shove scripture at you (God always says it better than me anyway), I’ll just tell you what Psalm 103:12 says:
As far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
God loves you. And I love you too. And I have the deepest gratitude for the ladies that have come forward and shared their stories about how ending their pregnancies brought them anything but peace and freedom.
A good friend of mine, who has asked to remain anonymous, wrote the following. She is one of the loveliest women I know; strong, smart, capable, compassionate, a wonderfully devoted wife and mother … the list could go on. I cannot imagine her as this scared girl with how I know her today.
I hope that her story can change one mind about carrying to term. I hope that it brings hope to another post-abortive mama, that she is not alone in her sorrow. I hope that it brings perspective to anyone that condemns the mother instead of the culture in this pro-abortion era we’re living in.
Thank you for writing this, my beautiful friend.
I was 23. I’d just gotten out of my first serious relationship, which lasted 5 years and was very physically abusive by the end. Anyone who’s been through that will understand how I was left in a very emotionally weak and confused state.
I started a relationship way too fast with a really great guy who had baggage of his own. I was enjoying my freedom and finally sowing my wild oats. We were both responsible employees who worked really hard at our jobs, and we were playing hard on nights and weekends. Too hard. Less than 3 months into the relationship I was pregnant.
Maybe it’s a coping mechanism. Maybe I really have changed. Maybe it’s both. I can’t wrap my brain around who I was and what I did then. Not because it was so evil, but because it was so weak. Almost immediately, and without really considering any other choices, my boyfriend and I decided I would have an abortion.
The reasons seemed simple and valid on the surface, but I now see they were complicated and based in distortion. The reasons I listed to the few people I told (who happened to all be people I knew would tell me I was doing the right thing) were that I was worried the baby was already messed up from the partying I was doing before I knew I was pregnant (if I’d stopped then the baby would have been fine) and that I couldn’t take the time off work. I didn’t know how I would support the child.
I didn’t want to hurt my mom more than I already had. That turns my stomach now, and it’s why I remain silent. Not because she would judge me, but because she would love and forgive me, grieve for her lost grandchild and be mortified at the notion I did this for her. No, this secret will at least go to her grave.
Nevertheless, the reason I had an abortion has nothing to do with my uterus, my blood-alcohol level, my bank balance, my age or my boyfriend’s character. The reason I had an abortion is that I didn’t feel I was worthy or capable of motherhood.
I saw myself as trash, so I trashed my baby.
The truth is it would have been hard, but we would have been ok. I wouldn’t have lost my job, my family would have rallied around me and my first child would be where she belongs… with me. And if I didn’t have that support system she could at least be with a family worthy of her and I wouldn’t be haunted by the ghost within me. I would be MORE free, and I would be MORE empowered had I chosen life. I know this.
But that’s not what happened. What happened was one cold, dark January morning I prayed for the first time in a long time. I asked God to intervene if this wasn’t His will (what an absurd statement). Then I heard the familiar clunk of my boyfriend’s boots coming up the stairs to my apartment, followed by his knock. Those sounds usually brought a smile to my face, but they never would again.
We had to travel to another town. When we stopped for gas halfway his truck died. He had jumper cables, but the person we asked to help flat out refused . No one does that. No one does that unless you prayed for sign from God to not have an abortion.
They really are mills. There was a security guard at the front door where we signed in and showed id. It must have been a very important tooth I was having pulled. Then the regular clipboard paperwork. The waiting room was packed. Only one other woman had a male accompanying her. After a while I was called back for a blood draw, then sent back to the waiting room until the next thing and the next thing. I can’t remember the whole pre-op process, but mark my words — we were cattle.
I eventually got the “counseling” I had promised. I was handed pill after pill interrupted by a stack of waivers to sign. The administrator asked if I was sure I wanted to do this. I said, “I guess.”
I was sent to the waiting room one more time until the drugs kicked in. You’ll forgive me and probably be relieved I’m not going to go into too much detail here. A man I refuse to refer to as a doctor proceeded to suck my child and a piece of my soul out of my body with the shop-vac from Hell, then left. A nurse stayed. I think they gave me some more drugs and about a half hour later we were ushered out the back door.
I went home and watched Stella Got Her Groove Back. The next morning I woke up and returned to my life as if nothing had happened just like the pretty pamphlet said I would.
It worked for a while, but a couple of years later I just started unraveling. Reality hit me. What I’d done. What I’d lost. What was permanent. I was drinking way too much, and I sabotaged my relationship. At this point I had come to the realization that I had indeed killed my own child and would have to live with it for eternity.
Those who “supported” my choice were scarce and uninterested in what I was going through now. No baby, no loss. However, if I’d miscarried at the same stage of pregnancy the loss would have been valid. This is where post-abortion syndrome is born.
A post-abortive woman has the burden or karma of having to grieve for their child, but they often do it alone. On top of that they have to process their hand in it. These feelings are often attributed to the guilt the pro-life movement puts on post-abortive women, but when this started I was pro-choice and remained so for a long time. This is a real loss. If you care about women, if you trust women as George Tiller claimed to you won’t minimize it.
The last shreds of denial and escape were aborted when I married my husband and had my first child. Thank God something compelled me to share my experience with him early in our relationship. There are so many women carrying this around and NO ONE in their life knows. He educated himself on what I was going through and is still loving me through it today.
I finally found an online message board where I practically lived for over a year. I went through the grieving process just as if I’d lost one of my living children today. I will never go to a place that dark again, and yes, I considered suicide. I’ve now healed and forgiven myself as much as I ever will. I wish I could go back, but I can’t. There’s no place to go but forward, so I’ve done my best. I’m also loathe to give that darkness one more iota of time or energy.
The pro-life community provided hope and love and dried my tears, while the pro-choice community told me I was imagining things. Thanks for nothing, sisters.
Nowadays, I’m not so much concerned with winning the argument over when life begins and whether abortion should be legal or not, as I am that women are making serious, permanent decisions without knowing what they’re in for, be it physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.
Just a heads up for them. I’d give anything to go back and get one for myself.