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Women

Nobody said it would hurt so much

I was 13 years old and had been raped. I didn’t have any idea what sex or pregnancy was all about. I didn’t really know what abortion was but I knew it would get me out of telling my parents.

It was the most painful 5-8 minutes ever. When the doctor started the suction I knew it was my baby I was killing. Nobody said it would hurt so much.

At first it didn’t bother me, but after about one month I started regretting it. I wanted to have another baby and I was obsessed with baby stuff. I went into a deep depression and I was hospitalized.

I went through a year of therapy. It wasn’t until I became a Christian did the real pain go away. I work on a pregnancy hotline and I’m involved in the Pro-Life Movement.

I grew up real fast and I realized a lot. Without my own experience I might not have had a chance to open my heart to help others.

I was petrified to tell my parents

I was 19, dating a resident in podiatry. I loved him intensely. I became pregnant even though we’d faithfully used condoms. I was petrified to tell my parents who were Christians and didn’t even know I was sexually active. I was supposed to begin nursing school that fall. My boyfriend had been raised Catholic, never once offered to marry me. Because of all those factors, I chose to kill my child.

Physically, it was very easy. I was close to the end of my 1st trimester. They put me to sleep so I didn’t feel the pain. I remember being very frightened but I joked with the anesthetist and doctor before. I don’t remember the doctor’s name or anything about his face. I'd like to know so I could write him and tell him how devastated I eventually became years later.

I totally walled myself off from emotionally reacting to [the abortion]. I didn’t grieve, or cry or feel guilt, for 9 years after the abortion. But during that time, I was promiscuous. When I did find good loving Christian men who really loved me, I rejected them. I think I didn’t feel that I deserved their positive love. I broke up with the boyfriend who impregnated me.

In 1979, I became pregnant again. Everyone attempted to persuade or force me to abort. But I received counseling from some pro-lifers in Philadelphia and read a book on abortion techniques and I chose life for my baby. He is a precious 11 year old "A" student in a Christian school. I also became involved in the Pro-Life Movement in 1985 -- via education, lobbying, sidewalk counseling. I am now an expert on abortion.

[The abortion] gave me grief and sorrow beyond expression. I have committed the most heinous of all crimes -- I killed my own child. Yet, the Lord forgave me, just as he forgave Paul. Yet I will always regret what I did and will probably always feel grief. But I pray that my experience can somehow prevent other women from making the same fatal mistake. I’m a nurse now, so I wear my uniform to all the pro-life things I do! It helps.

Every time the vacuum was used I thought about how my baby died

How did you come to have the abortion(s) and who was involved?

I was expecting my 3rd child, fear of financial problems. My other 2 were in day care and I worked. I was married but we both worked and were trying to save for a house, etc. My husband didn’t want me to have an abortion. I was stubborn and thought that it would make life easier on everyone. I went to the clinic. They told me that it was common for women (career women) to have abortions and that I would be fine, that it would not be hard.

How would you describe your abortion(s)?

Very painful. I was very misinformed about the after effects, the emotional and physical complications. I was deceived by all I had read or heard in my medical referrals to have an abortion. It was a rough procedure. I bled a lot there and after I got home. I was hurried out the door shortly afterward. I knew as soon as my uterus was violated that I had participated in a murder. My spirit fragmented and the evil that was in that clinic came in all around me. I lost my mind.

How did your abortion(s) affect you and others?

I had a severe emotional collapse. I was thinking of killing myself. I cried every day for a year or more. I did not get along with anyone too well. I was not a very good mother. I had marriage problems that led to a divorce. I felt like I hated the world. I suffered nightmares, bad thoughts while awake. Every time the vacuum was used I thought about how my baby died. I wanted another baby. I did get pregnant approximately one year after the abortion and had a replacement baby. I grieved for years.

Please describe what you have done to deal with your abortion(s), and whether it helped.

I got close to God, prayed, asked him to help me. I started going to a church that deals with broken people, they prayed for and counseled me till I got my life back together. The early years I plain suffered and lived from day to day unhappy even after I had another baby. I called a hot line but it was not manned by Christians. It was secular and the advice they gave me was worthless. They said just to forget I ever had an abortion.

How do you think your abortion(s) changed your life?

It totally had my life wrecked for close to 8 years. Thank God, I got the right kind of help! I am now involved in a ministry that reaches out to the post-abortion victim.

They didn’t want the others to hear me

I was 19 years old and had lost my virginity the year before. I always believed abortion was wrong and that it was murder. I told my mother when I was 9 weeks and the whole family joined in on persuading me. My mother told me that if I didn’t have [the abortion] she would kick me out of the house.

It was a nightmare. They strapped my legs down. I got very upset and kept saying I’m killing my baby and the doctor kept trying to calm me. They didn’t want the others to hear me. I lifted my head up and saw the jar and what was left of my 12 week old baby.

I gave my life to the Lord and with His forgiveness I can begin to forgive myself. That is the hardest part -- doing something and knowing how wrong it was. It was a heavy burden to carry. I have forgiven myself but at times I still cry tears over my baby.

It made me able to see that the situation a girl is in isn’t just black and white. I now volunteer counsel, trying to use my experience for good.

They discovered half of the fetus left in me

I was unmarried. I had just joined the Navy and I felt no other "choice". I went to a clinic and it was performed.

[The abortion was] very violent! Painful both physically and mentally. The worst experience of my life! I bled for 6 weeks after. They discovered half of the fetus left in me! Caused terrible infection, I almost died!!

For weeks I was so depressed I almost took my own life, I felt so guilty of what I’d done. No one else really knew or cared.

For years (I had [the abortion] ten years ago) I lived in a state of guilt until I became a Christian and confessed it to God. He helped me to heal. I then got involved in Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and the Pro-Life Movement. Helping others has helped me.

How has the abortion affected me? Well, where do I start? I had a crash course in adulthood. I did a lot of growing up. I came to realize how one decision can affect you for the rest of your life!

I’ve never known a feeling so bad

I was a 27 year old career woman and in great fear of pressure from the father of the child with whom I’d been involved for nearly 10 years. I was also afraid of hurting my parents and losing face.

I had no preconceived notions or ideas about what would happen (it was 1963). It was a depressing and lonely experience. When I went to this doctor he very quickly made arrangements, asked what were the reasons I couldn’t have "it", then told me to bring cash of $300, a lot of money then. Then my mind is blank except being slapped in the face to wake up after the anesthetic and given a cup of tea and told I could go. My boyfriend picked me up outside the place and I felt like fainting. I’ve never known a feeling so bad.

I am upset even now to think about it and bitterly ashamed. I am desperately sorry and just one word of support from the father would have just given me that straw I needed to hang on to. Although I was absolutely unaware until soon after the abortion how terrible it all was. It wasn’t a religious guilt -- it was just there. I’m very pleased now that the churches are coming out saying it is wrong because women must know that with whatever feelings they have before they have the abortion they can’t control the feelings after. My GP had been supportive but not strong enough encouraging me to keep my child. I blame him for that. I am now convinced that many illnesses of body and illnesses of mind in women stem from an unresolved abortion grief.

To Conclude: It is criminal for individuals or groups to pretend that abortion is a ten-minute non-consequential act. It is the worst thing a woman can do in this life and it is not related to her upbringing, circumstances or religion. It is an instinctive natural reaction to an unnatural act. I tend to relate a lot of bitterness in middle aged and older women to past abortion experience. If the law of any country does not uphold the protection of its citizens it is doomed and the obligation to educate the young is essential.

I finally confided in my next male friend in great sorrow about how this experience (which had not been so physically distressing as mentally so) after I broke off finally with the child’s father when I first realized I was pregnant, I was delighted, the rest follows.

From that day onwards after all those years with him my feelings changed towards that man. It was the saddest time of my life and I think it changed my personality from a happy woman (even if an insecure one) to a shell -- I lived my life -- but never recovered until some years ago.

When I next got pregnant it was to a lovely Naval Officer who has been my lovely husband for 17 years. I now have a gorgeous daughter (who again with all my previous woes came under threat because I had done it once and maybe it was the thing to do when cornered -- a certain mentality breaks through). Fortunately this second man was courageous enough to make a future for the two of us (which is now 4). Men must be made aware of their part in the abortion scene as women are very vulnerable then and, in my case, weak.

I don’t know whether God is looking after me but my third daughter looks the image of the first man -- blue eyes, blonde hair and the other two are dark and brown eyed. I would live well to think that God in His goodness knowing how sad I was, gave me back my original child. Is it incredible, who knows.

I am glad to offer you these true thoughts about abortion. The worst affliction to mankind today.

P.S. -- Do your best to stop this horrible practice. It’s too late when the damage is done.

They didn’t give me any other choices

I was 19 and thinking I was so grown up, able to make my own choices and of course I would never, couldn’t get pregnant. Well, I did. I don’t even remember how I even thought I was pregnant, but I went to a woman's center -- they no longer are there -- and the test came back positive. I often wonder how accurate their tests were because until this day I have to have blood tests to find out for sure if I’m pregnant, urine tests do not come out positive for me! But in that case, the urine test came back positive. I was in shock. They didn’t give me any other choices, just when would you like to terminate. I did inform the father, he was in as much shock as I was. But he was young, we thought there was no other choice.

The second time around, I couldn’t believe me. I had been using the diaphragm routinely. Although there was one time and I thought I was in a relatively safe time of the month. Well, I was royally wrong. However this time I wanted to A) get married and have the baby or B) have the baby and put the baby up for adoption. But at the cinic neither of these made anyone smile. You should have seen the looks on their faces when I mentioned adoption. The clinician I was talking to got very cold and the others turned to stare. On top of that, they had no information on lawyers or any adoption agencies to get in touch with.

I justified the second abortion -- too much Valium one night (after being robbed at gunpoint); and advice from friends and the father.

Both of these situations were relatively incident free. The doctors were competent, the clinics seem to be clean. The second one was worse because I knew what I was doing was stupid and from experience I knew I was killing!

I’m not sure how my abortions affected others. I since have married the father of the second aborted baby. We never talked about it As for me, there’s not one day when I’m not wondering what those babies would be like. I could have made 2 families very very happy and complete. Sometimes there is such a depression.

I have not done anything to deal with this. I have tried to cover them up. My mom knows of the first and not the second. My husband, knows of the second but is not aware of the first. I wonder sometimes what to do, then I wonder if I have enough money to go through a therapy program.

I don’t know how the abortions changed my life . I’m not sure what my life would have been like. I do know that somewhere, somehow, something has to be worked out.

It was then that I realized the horrible mistake I had made

I was 18 years old. I had just graduated from high school. The father of the baby was two years older than I. We were high school sweethearts. He enlisted in the Army that summer and was overseas when I found out I was pregnant. I never told him about the pregnancy, but I did tell another man whom I was seeing, he was almost 20 years older than me. He referred me to a doctor who performed abortions. In order to pay for the abortion I went to the Social Services department and applied for medical. After I received the medical benefits I was counseled by a person from Planned Parenthood. I had my abortion in a hospital. I was approximately 10-14 weeks pregnant.

I can remember that the new man I was involved with was all I really cared about at the time. He was the love of my life and he wanted me to have the abortion and I wanted to please him. I didn’t give much thought to what I was doing and I didn’t ask many questions. I was just told everything was going to be alright. I was never informed about how the abortion would be done and I do remember being told that I wasn’t killing life because a fetus isn’t considered to be a baby.

My mom was very hurt. She had tried so hard to raise four children all by herself. She was a nurse and now her oldest child had killed her grandchild. I will never forget her saying that to me. I was a self-centered naïve teenager, who at the time didn’t give much thought to what I did. I just wanted to have fun and do my own thing. After the abortion, I did get on birth control pills and continued to have sex.

I have repented and asked forgiveness. I have rededicated my life to Jesus. I was born again but fell away [the following year]. I rededicated myself to the Lord and I am attending a good solid church. I feel that the fellowship with other believers has helped a bit and also just knowing that God loves me and has forgiven me.

After becoming a Christian and reading about what the Bible says about children as a gift from God and how in Ps 139:13 "For thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst form me in my mother’s womb." 139:16- "Their eyes have seen my unformed substance." It was then that I realized the horrible mistake I had made. I can’t change the past. I just praise God that he has forgiven me of this hideous sin. I will never forget what I did. The memory still haunts me. I hate the person I was; it’s hard for me to accept that I could do such an awful thing as to kill my own child. Children are such a precious gift from God. I am sorry for what I did and I feel so thankful to be blessed with four healthy children. My oldest is 17 years old, a daughter, who I hope will never have to face with I did. I could be a help to anyone who may be considering an abortion. I would do everything in my power to persuade them to keep the child or to give it up for adoption. Having a skeleton in your closet is something that can never be erased from your past only God has wiped my slate clean, praise God.

Men

I was her boyfriend of just a few months

At the time this happened I was her boyfriend of just a few months. We found out she was pregnant and quickly decided to have an abortion.

I took her to the abortion clinic and paid for the procedure. No one at the clinic really talked to me about the procedure, they just took the money.

There were no immediate effects. However, 7 years later after we eventually married, she began to feel very guilty and depressed over the abortion. It made me think that maybe we had done the wrong thing. Our parents got involved after we had told them what had happened.

I've tried to find someone who could help us with these feelings. She started attending a group and then went on to weekly therapy. I went to some of the meetings, including speaking with a VERY understanding Priest. It's been over a year of therapy and she is feeling even better, but we still have some sad days.

This one mistake will probably change the way we think for the rest of our lives together. I may not have actually had the abortion (being the boyfriend, and now husband), but I will always feel the effects of it and my own thinking and opinions on abortion have changed. I have also learned a lot from my wife about the entire issue.

I was a coward

My wife and I had two children. We'd been having sexual difficulties. After a long period of sexual avoidance, we spontaneously and mysteriously enjoyed each other fully. Conception occurred at the time. Fearing that the new life would upset for good the long-awaited renewed intimacy, we "reluctantly" decided to have the abortion.

I accompanied my wife to the hospital and waited. I have very little memory of how I spent the hours waiting. I'm sure I've blocked it out. It's been over 11 years now.

My wife still maintains she did what she had to do at the time to preserve her mental health and so not have a child who might have been unwanted and grown up feeling those effects. While she seems matter-of-fact even now, I notice she gets uncomfortable when the facts about abortion come up and she often leaves the situation. She brushed aside any possibility of counseling for herself (for abortion) even though she looks chronically depressed ever since then, complains of always being tired despite many physical evaluations that disclose no objective illness. She often looks sad, restless and unsatisfied. (I know our marital relationship and also a serious injury to one of our children also adds to this). She gets angry when I admit we did something terribly wrong. She wondered whether, later on, God was punishing us in the injury of our child, for the earlier abortion. She has sought psychological counseling.

My reaction as Father: I think I have been far more in touch with my grief and deep sorrow for the life I helped to end. I think of my child that will never be on earth. I hate the self-deception and the falsehood I bought into. The pseudo - "enlightened" argument I groped for has actually proven to be the DARKEST moment of my life, filling me with unending ache and remorse. Hardly a day goes by that I don't shudder and almost weep again for the murder I helped to bring about. Quite often I even wake up in the morning thinking painfully of the undeniably selfish act I did over 11 years ago - STILL! I know I overrode in my core being my conscience (dulled at the time) and my Fatherhood instinct. No two ways about it: I acted - no, I was a coward. My action, despite my confession and repentance before my Creator - continues to rob much of the joy from my life. Were it not for my renewed faith in God's love and mercy toward me, my loathing for what I did would likely long ago have caused me to take my life - but that would only compound an already abominable sin. I would do anything (if God would accept the bargain) to reverse that fateful mistake. In all sincerity, I would ask God to take my life now in order to restore my unborn child's life on earth. Even though assured of God's forgiveness, I am still trying to forgive myself. The pre-existing problem with marital intimacy - far from getting better - has worsened over the years. The abortion has added a new twist, which is that my wife's body does not seem so inviting and nurturing and I also feel I don't have the "right" to enjoy the pleasure love-making once brought. The estrangement is hard to fix and my wife can't seem to share with me the horror and grief I still feel - She thinks I'm trying to instill guilt in her (but I wonder what she had done with her guilt feelings as a mother.) She refuses to attend even a Project Rachel meeting for women. I got her to see a clergyman with me which probably helped her toward some place, but difficulties remain.

I sought and received God's forgiveness, after which my faith re-awakened and deepened. Became active in a pro-life movement as volunteer and contributor in trying to save pre-born persons. I've become a less selfish person, giving my time and efforts to forgotten, marginal persons in our society because their lives DO have value.

... Plus, I am sadder, wiser, see myself more honestly and know more than ever that any good I do comes from my cooperation with God's action and grace in me. I know how radically selfish I'd be without God. I am more forgiving and merciful (I hope) only because God has treated me so kindly.

I wasn't strong enough to get up and walk out

My wife found herself pregnant at 20 years old and we decided we both weren't "ready" to have a child.

We had it done in Oakland in 1975 at an old hospital converted to an abortion clinic. We were there almost six hours waiting. I had a lot of "second" thoughts during that wait. I knew deep down inside that what we were going to do was wrong, but at the time wasn't strong enough to get up and walk out.

I feel a great loss for the child I could have had. That decision I made about the abortion has definitely affected my present life. I have, by the grace of God, dealt well with my feelings of guilt but the sorrow and loss of a child will always be there.

The main thing I did was realize that my sin was forgiven by God and that one day I will see the child I could have had on this Earth.

I realize that there is a baby in a pregnant mother and that the baby is there as a gift of God. It might not seem like that when you are going through a crisis pregnancy but years later that truth becomes apparent.



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