I was just beginning my senior year in high school when I discovered I was pregnant. I didn't think of anything except that I could not have anyone find out about this. Over the few weeks it took to get the money from my then boyfriend to have an abortion I grew more concerned that I was doing a bad thing. I kept saying that this child could be someone important, that it was wrong but I was also telling myself that it is legal so loads of people get abortions. The only friend I told set up the appointment at the clinic and drove me that morning. The clinic never had anyone talk to me about my decision - not that in my state of mind I would have changed my mind about the abortion. I had no support from my family who was not close - my older sister got pregnant at 18 and was treated badly by my family. I was embarrassed to be in this position but never took responsibility for having sex in the first place. I was a mixed up girl who was angry and insecure. After my abortion I felt immediate relief. However, that was short lived. I began to feel extremely badly about myself for having sex and subsequently having an abortion. I began a decade of depression and self hatred. I kept track of how old my child would be at the passing of the date I aborted her (don't know why but I always feel that it would have been a girl). I knew I wouldn't have been a good mother but I kept wishing some adult would have told me about other options like adoption. I wish there was alternative housing for me while I was pregnant because I knew my parents would not support me through this pregnancy. But there was no adult to help or guide me - no discussion at the clinic about my decision. Even though I battled depression I was able to go to college and then on to graduate school. I met and married my husband during graduate school but didn't tell him about the abortion until we were married for some time. I thought he would divorce me but he was wonderfully understanding about it. I worried that I wouldn't be able to have children because of the abortion but thankfully I was able to become pregnant very easily. After my second child was born I saw an advertisement for a local group for those who regretted their abortion. I had never known anything like this existed - I went to the group which was a structured process of healing through lessons, readings, and prayer. (I have always been a christian) At the end of the course we had a service with a priest at a church who prayed for the souls of our aborted children and our souls. I can't begin to tell you how much that group helped me. I don't think I can accurately put it into words. I have since been in therapy which continues to help me. I feel strongly that we are a nation that hates to make hard choices but we need to stop abortion because it may give relief for the short term but we suffer for the rest of our lives. Nine months might feel like an eternity at the time but I wish I had put up with the hell of those nine months so that I didn't have to go through a decade of terrible self loathing and depression. I continue to think about what I am missing by my decision to abort my child instead of giving her up for adoption. I daydream that I made a different choice and now have a relationship with my child. I know it isn't true and I know I will have the rest of my life to think of that decision and regret it. There is no getting out of it now - no one can change what I did - but I hope that we as a nation decide to be a nation of life, a nation in which people have to suffer the consequences of their choices like getting pregnant at 18, and we become a nation of life. We can't hid the fact that this is killing a potential life. It is easy to get an abortion but it isn't easy to forget.
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