I was 17 and preparing to graduate high school when I found out I was 3 months pregnant. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I felt stuck. I wasn’t ready for a baby yet. I had my whole life ahead of me. I felt ashamed and angry for getting myself in the situation in the first place.
I thought about getting an abortion to “take care of my situation” but wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not. So I told my mom about it. She wasn’t angry but suggested that I get an abortion so that I don’t end up like her and my older sister–left alone to raise the child on my own.
My sister suggested that I do the same. She had a child at 16 just like our mom. She married the baby’s dad but he abused my sister so badly that he put her in the hospital. They divorced shortly after and she raised my nephew on her own.
They both predicted that my boyfriend would do the same to me. When I spoke with him about it, he was excited and didn’t want me to get an abortion. He was extra sweet toward me, which was the complete opposite of how he normally treated me. He was normally abusive, but no one else knew.
When I noticed his attitude had changed, I was more confused about what to do. Maybe he would treat me better than before. At the same time, I agreed with my mom and sister. I began to believe my boyfriend would do the same thing to me that happened to my sister.
I was so scared and confused! I didn’t want to end up like them.
Needless to say, I made the decision to get the abortion. It seemed to be the easier solution. My mom suggested that my boyfriend pay for it. He tried to talk me out of getting it but I was set on my decision and wouldn’t budge. After all, I had my future to think about and this wasn’t in my planned future.
I didn’t even consider his feelings about it. I was very selfish.
Since I was three months along, I had to get the abortion right away, before graduation. I tried to make it for afterward but in 1991, abortions weren’t done past three months. If I didn’t have it within a week, it would have been too late.
The day came and my boyfriend and his friend drove me to the clinic. People were picketing outside of the front entrance. I didn’t care though. I had made my decision. I didn’t want to become like my sister. As I walked into the clinic, I just ignored them. As my boyfriend and his friend waited outside, I headed to the front desk to check in.
When I began the check-in process, my boyfriend’s friend came back inside a few minutes later and asked me to leave. He said the people outside were saying that abortion is murder and told him to go back in and try to change my mind.
I didn’t listen though. I was certain that this was the best decision. After all, just as the pro-choice advocates say, it’s my body and my choice, right?
After I checked in, it seemed like I was there for an eternity. The whole process was set in stages per room. I remember the first room was where they did the ultrasound and they had the monitor faced opposite of the patient so that we couldn’t see the ultrasound picture of the baby. I lay on the table wondering what she saw on the monitor and wanted to see too, but was afraid to ask.
Years later I heard the reason they don’t show you the ultrasound is because they don’t want the patient to change their mind about getting the abortion. The next room was a changing room with lockers. I had to change into a hospital gown and lock up my personal items. After that I went into a third room where some other patients were.
This was the waiting area before going into the last room to do the abortion procedure. I vaguely remember about 4 to 5 ladies in the room with me. They were all discussing their reasons for getting an abortion. One lady complained that she already had too many children and didn’t want anymore; that the one she was aborting wasn’t planned. Another lady expressed how she wasn’t ready for children and that she could do what she wanted with her body.
All of the ladies agreed that the decision was their own. I kept quiet and just listened while I grew more anxious and scared to get the procedure over with.
Then it was my turn.
They called me into the last room. It was prepped like a room for surgery. All I remember is that they told me to lie on the table. I was so scared and began to feel it was a mistake after all. My mind was racing and I just wanted to get out of there. I felt frozen. What would I say? How would I say it? Would they get angry? Would they force me to stay in there?
I wanted so badly to say something and back out of the whole thing but I was too afraid to say anything. Then they put the mask on me to sedate me. It was at that moment that I realized I should have said something, but it was too late.
They woke me up after it was all over. I was numb, not physically though. I was in a daze. I didn’t know what to think. I seriously just felt nothing. Just emptiness. All I wanted to do at that point was forget about it and move on to graduating high school.
It wasn’t until 3 years later that God made me face this tragic experience again.
As I look back now, I can’t help but think how foolish and self-centered I was. I do believe that if I had been influenced to keep my baby that I would have done so. I do not blame anyone for my actions. I know that my mom and sister were just trying to help me make a good decision and didn’t want me to go through what they endured but it wasn’t the best advice or decision.
Three years later, I found myself married with a new 2 month old baby. My then husband (the same guy from high school) was in jail for domestic violence. I had just moved out of our little apartment and into my mom’s house. While I was there I was trying to figure out if I should stay with him or file for a divorce.
I was newly saved and was attending a Christian church. I didn’t know anyone personally. I tried to seek counsel about what decision to make regarding my marriage but my attempt had failed.
I didn’t have anyone to turn to for guidance or advice.
I felt so alone, confused, and scared. All I could think to do was pray for God to help me. During this hard time in my life I came across a pamphlet about abortion at the church. It looked interesting enough to read so I took one. When I finally read it, I couldn’t stop the tears.
It explained that abortion was the ending of a precious life that God had planted within me. God opened my eyes to what I’d truly done!
Before I became a Christian I saw things differently than God. I was blinded by sin and selfishness. After salvation through Jesus Christ, He opened my eyes to the truth. He showed me what I did was wrong. It was sin. My heart sank! I fell to my knees and begged God to forgive me.
At that moment, He reminded me that the day I accepted Him as my personal Savior He had forgiven me of that sin and all of my sins.
Knowing that God has forgiven me of the abortion doesn’t change the void and regret in my heart that I now have for my aborted child. My regret is deep–it has cut to my heart and soul. I will never know what my life would have been like with my first child and it’s all because of one decision that I made.
I will never know if my child was a boy or a girl. My three daughters will never get to meet their sibling.
The deep regret, hurt, and anguish of this decision will never go away. The main purpose for sharing my story is to help others that may be contemplating abortion. If I could convince anyone not to get one, I would do it in a heartbeat, because a heartbeat is what will end when you have an abortion.
This story was submitted to us by Kimberly Gatlin.