- Posted February 8, 2013 by
La Joilla, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
"What is wrong with her?" my husband's friends would ask.
The good thing that came out of my friend's suicide is that I finally acknowledged my abortion. It took 30 years of pretending it did not happen to get to a place where I went to a retreat (after signing up and cancelling 3x). At the retreat, with other women who has suffered the effects of abortion, we acknowledged the loss of our babies, we wrote them letters, we named our babies and we baptized our babies. We became close to our babies and we apologized to them. I finally have closure after 30 years. I now know why I get depressed in the fall and now, instead of getting depressed I plant flowers for my baby in the fall. I will have a quiet mini birthday party for her in the spring, just for her where I will plant flowers for her and maybe I'll make a cake for my family. My family does not know, except my husband. He now understands my fall sadness and our whole family is so much better off for it. I feel forgiven by God, who has always been a presence in my life. I now volunteer for Birthline, an organization in my town that helps moms who choose to have their babies. The moms live in poverty, but they are happy and I am so happy to be able to help them out. I did not consider my options, but if I had a do-over, I would have gone through with my pregnancy and given my baby up for adoption or maybe raised her myself. I do not know, but I do know that our society sends women the message, that abortion is like having a tooth pulled. There might be a little down time,but you'll be glad to be rid of the tooth that is causing you problems. No so with a baby, Babies are not teeth. When I was 19 years old and pregnant, at no time did anyone pull me aside and give me options. I looked to the health care system for help and spent no more than 15 minutes with anyone.
For the past 30 years I have been a Planned Parenthood supporter and prochoice. I am still prochoice, but I think there needs to be a gate within the walls of Planned Parenthood. A gate that allows women are are being coerced into having an abortion an opportunity to go back out. A gate that tells women their options and asks them if they are entirely sure of their decision. A gate that opens for them to walk back out once they are fully informed of the fact that they are more likely to suffer from depression and the rate of suicide goes up after abortions. One women in the retreat I attended was a successful 40 year old lawyer, surprisingly pregnant for the first time. Her boyfriend coerced her into having the abortion. She told the nurse at Planned Parenthood that she hoped she would die on the OR table so that she could be with her baby after she had the abortion. Is this not a red flag! This is one statement that ought to open the door of Planned Parenthood and send her back home to give the abortion some more serious consideration. After the abortion she became suicidal. She and her boyfriend had heated arguments that turned violent. This too happened to me after my abortion. The man I loved suddenly became a source of pain and suffering and we argued to the point of violence. This had never happened in my life before. This poor women lost her appetite and got down to 90 lbs. The day of her baby's intended birth was painful for her. I am trying to be a support to her and in the process I see so many flaws in our societies methods of terminating pregnancies. I truly hope that my bringing my store to light and sharing it with others, that women will be fully informed that having an abortion changes you. You will never be the same and our entire society suffers as a result. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story so others may learn from my misunderstanding.