- Posted February 13, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
14 days to Life
When I was 17 years old, I became pregnant and had an abortion. It was the worst decision I have ever made and not a day goes by that I don’t think of my unborn child. I recently shared my story at the Maine Pro-Life convention. I have enclosed it below for you to read.
I started dating Jace at age 16. It wasn’t long after we started dating that we became sexually active. We kept this private, because we both come from very conservative families who believe strongly in waiting until marriage.
One night our contraceptive failed (I was not on any type of birth control, we had only been using condoms) This had never happened to us before. I knew about the Plan B pills, so I took those thinking I would be ok.
A few weeks later, I started feeling sick. I was nauseous all day long and I had completely lost my appetite. I didn’t think that a pregnancy was possible because I had taken those pills to prevent it. When I missed my period, I decided to call the local Women’s Clinic to schedule a pregnancy test.
When we arrived at the clinic, I took the urine test and we waited. Shortly after, a clinic worker entered the room and told me I was 5 weeks pregnant. My heart jumped into my stomach. “Abortion or adoption are your best options, but just remember that if you choose adoption, it is going to be very hard to give the baby up” she said. I remember telling her “I am a Christian, I do not believe in abortion”.
I had to face the music and tell my parents. I will say this; there is nothing scarier than being 17-years-old and telling your parents that you are pregnant. They were furious. My Mother wanted me to have an abortion; my father did not agree. I was shocked that my Mother was ok with me having an abortion! We went to Church, we believed in God, and hear she was telling me it was ok because I was too young and it wouldn’t be a big deal as long as nobody found out. I knew in my heart that it was wrong, but I wanted to please her. At the end of the day, I was the one who had a decision to make; I was the one who got myself into this “mess” When we told Jace’s parents about the pregnancy, they begged me not to have an abortion. They even offered to adopt the baby if I promised not to terminate the pregnancy. I remember telling them “This is my body, my life, my choice!”.
Every day for two weeks prior to the abortion, Jace would beg me not to do it. I refused to speak with him about it, and he eventually gave up. I wasn’t thinking of the baby; actually, I didn’t believe it was a baby. I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be a baby as long as I had an abortion before I started to show.
On January 19th, 2009 my child was aborted. At the time, I believed that my 7 week old fetus was nothing but a cluster of cells. My sister drove me to the clinic that day. I remember the waiting room was so crowded that we had to stand at first. There were around 30 women waiting to have an abortion that morning. I watched as the other women went into rooms with counselors, to discuss their decision and make sure that it was what they wanted to do (when the abortion was scheduled, the members of the clinic told me that counseling before an abortion was mandatory, to make sure that I was ok with the decision, and not being forced. “We also want to give you the chance to talk about your feelings” one clinic worker said) When my name was called, they skipped the counseling.
The nurse escorted me to a room where she told me to undress from the waist down and wait for the ultrasound tech. She left the room and I did as she said. The ultrasound tech entered the room with a man who was about 30 years old. He was in street clothes so I knew he did not work there. I did not remember being told that a student, let alone a man, was going to be present for my ultrasound. The man stood behind the tech during the procedure, but he had a direct view of my private areas and I was mortified. I looked away from them and stared at the ceiling. It was all I could do to keep from having a meltdown. I saw the man move closer to the picture of my ultrasound. The ultrasound tech was extremely rude and in no way compassionate towards the sensitive situation, which made me feel worse.
The abortion itself was painful, even with the drugs they had given me. I remember my sister holding my hand through the whole thing, and I was cracking jokes about things not related, trying to ignore what was really going on. When it was over they gave me a glass of Ginger Ale and a heating pad. I sat in a comfy chair with a blanket. I had a terrible headache and cramps. All around me were women who had just had the same procedure. Some were crying and some were sleeping. After an hour had passed, I was released and we drove home.
I can’t say that I instantly felt regret for my abortion. At first I felt relief. I was free. I remember the members of the clinic telling me “This will all be over soon, and then you can forget all about it and get on with your life” It was about a 2 weeks after the abortion that it hit me; what have I done? I sat in my bedroom and cried for an entire day. After that, things started going downhill. I became so depressed that I stopped eating and I lost about 20lbs. I couldn’t be around pregnant women or women with children that would have been the same age as mine. I started drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and acting obnoxious. My friends did not want to be around me anymore, a few of them decided that I was crazy and even I started to believe it. I was missing a lot of school and work because some days I didn’t want to get out of bed. On top of that, some people were harassing me about my decision. I was called “murderer” and “baby killer” by people who I thought were my friends. Someone even drove by my house and screamed horrible things out the window. I didn’t feel worthy enough to be loved by anyone, especially God. I felt like a monster. Jace would not speak to me. I was so in love with him and he was so disgusted with me. He told me he could never forgive me for murdering our child. One week after my High School graduation, I reached my breaking point and I tried to commit suicide. My mother admitted me into Spring Harbor Hospital where I spent 4 miserable days trying to convince the doctors that I was not crazy. The doctors convinced me that what I had done was ok and the best thing for me. I accepted this for my family, but secretly still felt the pain. I wanted to put on a front for them. I dint want to be the crazy girl anymore. I spent months trying to justify my abortion. I even joined Pro-Choice chat rooms; I thought it would make me feel better about my decision. Nobody wanted to talk to me about my pain; I was expected to get over it and move on. So, I buried it.
In March 2011, 2 years after my abortion, I had reached another breaking point. One day I just had a complete melt down. That’s when I decided to seek spiritual help. I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. I thank God every day for the women at Rachel’s Vineyard. I was able to make peace with God about my abortion, and I didn’t have to do it alone. Finally, someone would listen.
Today I am 21 years old. I have been married for 2 years and I have a beautiful 1 year old daughter. I never knew it was possible to love someone so much until I held her in my arms for the first time. She has opened my eyes and taught me the very importance of life. Although I am at peace with myself and with God, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my abortion. Because of my decision to abort, a father lost his child. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins lost a family member. Abortion hurts everyone.
There is much more I could share if I had room