- Posted February 14, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
I couldn’t believe it. This couldn’t be happening to me. I was smarter than that. I wasn’t some dumb broad, I was a college-educated senior and this couldn’t be happening to me! I’m smarter than that. I think I was in shock.
My college roommate gave me the name of the university medical doctor who did abortions, pointed me in that direction, and I went. I was on “auto-pilot” going through the motions of living, not really thinking or feeling anything. I walked alone to the medical center, had a D&C abortion at 10 weeks’ gestation, and walked home, alone.
I thought everything was behind me. I felt great relief. I could finish college, get a job, and “get on with my life.”
Without changing my habits or lifestyle, I found myself pregnant again a year later. My boyfriend gave me half the fee, I drove myself to a nearby clinic and had another abortion. Again I felt relief. The “problem” and my relationship with that man were behind me and I could again get on with my life.
Dear Abby mentioned that “most women feel a sense of relief after an abortion,” and that may be true –as far as it goes. Unfortunately that conclusion is incomplete because the maximum time-lapse following abortion used in studies that came to that conclusion was two years. [Mary W. Armsworth, “Current Trends: Psychological Response to Abortion,” Journal of Counseling and Development, March/April 1991, Vol. 69, p.377.]
Immediately following both abortions, I felt relief. A few years later I married and settled in another state. We joined a United Methodist church and I became active in the women’s group. During a discussion of abortion in the early 80’s, I admitted, even bragged about, my abortions. What I didn’t mention were any of the details or how my thoughts and feelings were eating away at my insides.
As years pass, it becomes harder and harder to keep the thoughts and feelings stuffed down. Unplanned and unexpected moments – seeing a woman with a stroller during a walk in the park; an obviously-pregnant woman at the grocery store; a sister/friend/co-worker announces her wanted pregnancy, etc. – catapult the thoughts and feelings to her conscious mind. She can’t stop them; they just happen.
Some time after that women’s group meeting, I shared my abortion experiences, thoughts and feelings with a friend. From the outside, I looked and acted like any happy, well-adjusted, normal 30-something married woman. Inside, I was an emotional mess. I felt self-doubt. I believed that if my friends, husband, family or church knew the “real” me, they would hate and reject me. I hated me, and I was convinced that God hated me. For the first time, I spoke aloud of two major events in my life which had been stuffed down and ignored for years.
That kitchen-table conversation with a friend was the beginning of the healing process for me.
Since 1973, pro-choice advocates have loudly proclaimed their care and concern for the rights of women and the necessity of unrestricted abortion-on-demand. Pro-lifers are accused of being concerned only with the rights of the unborn, and of being callous towards women. Yet it was pro-life women and organizations who truly cared and walked with me through the healing process.
Today I have 2 more children (now adults) and I’m doing what I can to change hearts and minds on abortion. While Roe v. Wade was intended to free and empower women, its impact on individuals has been exactly the opposite.
If you recognize yourself in my story, call a Pregnancy Resource Center (or “SaveOne,” ARIN, Inc., or other pro-life organization) and talk to someone who has “been there.” There IS help and healing following abortion!