“Why so silent?…Don’t you have anything to say?”
I still think about him almost everyday.
It’s been a very long journey of forgiveness for myself, but the pain, regret, and mostly the guilt and shame has not gone away.
I was pregnant at 15. My parents had just divorced, and my father had taken off. He disappeared and wasn’t paying child support to my mom. I had never had a good relationship with my mom, and I didn’t want to add anything more to her already full plate, so I didn’t tell her. My boyfriend didn’t even consider keeping the baby. He was at the clinic when we found out I was 12-14 weeks pregnant. I really don’t recall there even being a question of whether or not I would have my baby. It was just assumed I would have an abortion.
Things were happening in a hurry. The appointment was made, and a few days later we were off to Madison, WI. The clinic was drab and the people working there were unsympathetic. I was taken into a old rather drab looking room with a lot of equipment that I didn’t understand. Nothing was explained to me as I was told to undress and lay on the table. All I felt after that was pain and tugging and horrible sounds for what felt like hours (but it wasn’t). It didn’t take that long. I could feel a lot of pain and pulling when the suction would seem to stop. Clogged. Like you had just vacuumed up a sock.
The conversation of the medical personnel is the most vivid. Almost as if I were not even there. I heard this:
“More like a 16-18 week fetus;” “This one’s not going to go smoothly;” “We probably shouldn’t be doing this THIS way”…
I didn’t know what that meant.
After the suctioning had stopped, a nurse was cleaning me up. She sat me up, helped me dress, sat me in a chair, and gave me some juice to drink and some crackers. I could see across the room. A very large glass jar was full of blood and tissue. I heard this:
“I have both arms, but one is missing a hand;” ” Oh here is the other hand;” “Torso intact;” “Both feet and legs accounted for;” “It was a boy; “No wonder we had a hard time…look how big it’s head is!”
They were putting my baby together as if he were a jigsaw puzzle. Piece by piece. Tears silently streaming down my face, I was led out to my boyfriend and we began the long drive home. I was in so much pain, but I never made a sound as I continued to silently weep the whole way home. The pain and bleeding lasted for many weeks. I though it would never end.
You may wonder if you’ve read this far…where is the emotion? Where are the feelings? There weren’t any…I believe I had been in shock since I had first heard the words, “You’re pregnant.” My voice had left me with those words. My mind had swirled with a million thoughts, and at the same time, no thoughts at all. I killed my son. I let them rip his tiny body into pieces – or “products of conception” as they called it. I prayed he didn’t feel pain. I prayed it was over quickly for him. It was NEVER over for me. It NEVER will be.
By Karilynn, from Illinois.
(Dedicated to all the young girls who weren’t given any time to decide.)
I Used To Be Pro-Choice
I used to be pro-choice. Very much so. I considered myself pretty hardcore on the topic.
I had an abortion in 1987 when I was 28 years old. The baby belonged to the man I would marry two years later. It was selfish, all my reasons were selfish, and I was only concerned about what I thought was best for me. I bought into the notion that it was nothing more than a blob of tissue. I went along in life doing fine, so I thought.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second son that things started to change. My husband and I had never planned on having children, but God had a different plan. Our first son completed us, and now I was pregnant again. I was scheduling another trip to the abortion mill.
That’s when God started speaking to my heart. He opened my eyes to the truth that this was not a blob of tissue but a human being:
The first time I saw what a 7 week old fetus looked like, I was reduced to tears. It wasn’t tissue – there were fingers and toes!
Nine years later I organized the start up of a Pregnancy Resource Center, which is still open today. As long as there is breath in my body, no woman will walk into an abortion clinic uninformed of the truth. I wasn’t told the truth by the abortion counselor and woman today aren’t told the truth.
Our center also offers material assistance as well as education for our clients. We had a save last week for a girl who had an appointment for an abortion the next day. We have several saves.
It gives me tremendous hope to know that if a hard pro-choice heart like mine can change, then anyone’s can change.
I’m so blessed that even tho I never planned on having children, God had a bigger plan. My sons are my biggest blessing.
By Tami Fane, from Illinois. Tami is 60 years old, has been married 30 years, and has 28 and 20 year old sons. She does accounting/HR work for a small company and volunteers as a Client Advocate at a Pregnancy Resource Center. She also serves as Treasurer on their Board of Directors.
My Only Son or Daughter that I Never Knew
My girlfriend and I were young and it was around the time that abortion was legalized. She didn’t want to have a baby, I wasn’t thinking clearly about it, we went ahead and had the abortion.
I’ve often thought about the son or daughter that I never knew, imagined what they would be like, what they would be doing, being with him or her now, what he or she would have meant to our parents and the rest of the family, the children that they would have had. It’s very painful and I’ll never recover from the loss. I believed what was being said at that time, that we were only getting rid of “tissue”, no one at the clinic talked to me about the reality of it or about adoption or other options. I married much later and have no children now…
Anonymous, from Illinois
The Best Gifts Come in a Small Package
In my early 20’s I was told due to medical issues, I would never be able to have a child. Boy, was that doctor wrong!
I was married at 23 years old and divorced at 27. I had been dating my boyfriend on and off for a year. We were in the process of breaking up for good and just by chance I took a pregnancy test. To my surprise, it came back positive. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was scared, happy, nervous, happy, sad, and had a roller-coaster of emotions going on. I contacted the baby’s father. He said he would be there for the baby no matter what, it was my choice. I had ALWAYS wanted to be a mom and I was having the baby regardless!
His mom called my mom, even though I was 29 years old and living on my own, to say I should have an abortion. Her son was not ready to have a child. My mom said, “She is having the baby.” I went through my pregnancy with the loving support of my friends and family.
The best gift I EVER received was born on January 4th. My best friend was my labor coach, who stepped aside to let my mom be in the room during my C-section. My daughter has brought joy to my life, that I would have missed out on. Her father chose to pay child support and not to have visitation rights. He missed out on all the wonderful happiness a child can bring.
My daughter will be turning 21 this January and she has brought PEACE to my life. That is why I chose the name Olivia.
There are many people who will love and support you. You are never alone! You have someone very special in your heart!
By Mary, from Illinois. Mary has worked for the Diocese of Joliet Respect Life Office for the past 12 years.
(In dedication to my daughter, Olivia)
It’s Not Just About Refusing Abortion
My dad wanted my mom to have an abortion. She refused and he left her. My mom moved in with my grandma and I was reminded every day that I was unwanted, that Jesus didn’t love me, that I was destined to hell. My life choices reflected those sentiments for a long time. I was in my late 20’s before I was told that Jesus loves me, too. It helped to find out about 2 Catholic saints who were illegitimate. I’m sharing this to remind people that it’s not just about refusing abortion; it’s about making every child aware that they are loved by Jesus and previous in His sight.
Anonymous, from Illinois