When I was 19 I found out I was pregnant. I had been with my boyfriend for about a year. He was living with his parents and I was living with my grandparents. My mom had been living with us for a while but had recently started using heroin again and was back on the street.
I felt scared and alone. My biggest fear was having my grandparents find out. I thought they were going to be mad and they were going to think that they would have to take in my child, too, and tell me I was just like my mom.
My fear and worries took over. I didn’t know anything about fetal development. My boyfriend didn’t offer any support to keep the baby. I told one of my closest friends I was pregnant and her immediate response was “You need to get an abortion.”
Everyone else seemed to be silent on the issue and they were just willing to let me make my “choice.” My friend’s mom drove me to Planned Parenthood. I was supposed to work the day of the abortion and I called my boss and told her I couldn’t come in because I needed to have an abortion. She was irritated that I wasn’t coming to work but didn’t say anything to me about the abortion I was about to have.
Not a single person I told encouraged me to keep my baby or warned that it might be a bad choice to have an abortion. I was driven by fear, ignorance, and lack of support to choose life for my baby.
They put me to sleep and when it was over I woke up and they wheeled me into the room with all the other women who were now “post abortive” just like me. There were a lot of women there that day. The room was full.
The first thing I did when I got to the car was vomit. Then that entire night I had the worst pain of my life and was bleeding a lot. No one in my house knew what had just happened and I just kept it to myself and stayed in my room all night.
I had a surgical abortion with anesthesia. They told me I was a little over a month along. In my lack of knowledge I thought that my child wasn’t a baby yet and that it was just cells or tissue at this point. Now I know there was already a tiny human being with a tiny heart beating inside of me. A human life since the moment of conception. My child. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a pregnancy center or shelters for pregnant women.
I remember that day often. I have flashbacks—imagining myself making a different choice that day, leaving the abortion clinic, and keeping my baby. The most painful thing is not being able to go back and change it. Abortion is permanent once it’s done.
I tried to move on with my life after that, but I felt dead inside. I had no energy—I would go to work, be miserable all day, and then come home and go to sleep.
The doctor told me I had become anemic, probably from all the blood loss. I was getting migraines frequently. I actually started longing to have a baby very soon after I had an abortion. In my body and in my heart I knew I was supposed to be having a baby. And the doctor told me now I probably never would.
I felt like I wanted my life to just pass me by and be over. I was like that for a long time. At times, I would get so angry and it seemed like there was no outlet for my anger or my sadness. I couldn’t stand my boyfriend, either, after the abortion. I broke up with him about a year later.
Soon after the abortion, I wasn’t feeling well and was in pain. I had to go to the ER. The doctor told me I had an infection that was common after an abortion and that, because of the damage done, that I would probably never be able to have children. I had no idea having an abortion could damage my body. I know now that many women are unable to have children because of the damage done to their bodies in an abortion.
I decided that maybe I could just numb my pain with drugs and alcohol, and I started drinking really heavily and using cocaine. I would take whatever random drugs I could to numb myself. I couldn’t stand to be sober or be alone with my thoughts. No matter how numb I was, though, I would still think about the abortion. My life was spiraling out of control. Using all these drugs and alcohol was causing me to make more bad decisions and causing more problems.
I met my husband during this time of partying and once we were together we both started to slow down with the party lifestyle. Despite distancing myself from these destructive habits, I began dealing with anxiety and depression. Over the next five years or so we moved a lot and I quit a lot of really good jobs. It was like I was trying to run from myself.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the many emotional symptoms and the heavy drinking and drug use, were all symptoms of post abortion distress, which is a form of PTSD that millions of women are suffering from.
Even after I had accepted the Lord into my heart, I still had deep rooted pain from my abortion. I tried to bury it deep but I would still feel the stab in my heart whenever the word abortion was said.
We tried to have a baby and I finally got pregnant only to have a miscarriage. After the miscarriage, it felt like I really would never have children, just like the doctor had told me before. I didn’t even want to be around kids or other people with kids because it was a reminder to me of my loss because of a “choice” I had made. A choice that should’ve never been put into my hands to make.
One night I just sobbed uncontrollably and kept telling my husband we will never be able to have kids because of me—it’s all my fault! He had no idea what I meant; he kept asking me how it could be my fault. I still couldn’t bring myself to tell him I’d had an abortion before I met him and that we’d probably never have kids together because of the damage done to my body from the abortion. At this point, we had been married eight years.
A few months before that I was so tired and worn out from my life and my husband said, “We need to go to church, I know of a good one.” I was ready to surrender my life to God. I had really made a mess of it doing things on my own. We went to Calvary Chapel.
It felt really good and I could understand the word of God for the first time. I felt hope. I went home that night and I gave my life to the Lord and accepted Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I finally felt true peace and joy for the first time in my life. I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders and the love of God. To know that God had forgiven my sins, that His Son Jesus Christ had paid taqhe penalty for me through his death on the cross and resurrection and that I would be able to go to heaven, I can’t even begin to describe. My life changed forever that day.
About 5 months after my miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant with my son. He’s almost 4 now. My pregnancy had complications and I went into preterm labor, which I know now can happen to women who’ve had abortions because of damage done to a woman’s body. But the Lord heard our prayers and my son ended up being delivered right at his due date, completely healthy.
During my pregnancy with my son, I learned all about embryology. It amazed me how early and quickly a baby develops and what an amazing gift from God every child is. It was bittersweet, because I was so happy and excited about my son, but I now knew the absolute truth that my baby who had been aborted was not a clump of cells, but a human being that had a heartbeat already before I had even known I was pregnant.
It has been a blessing to me to help other women who’ve been through the same thing as me. I know firsthand how much abortion hurts women—not only how it’s affected me, but how much it’s hurt other women. So now with God giving me the strength, guidance and courage I need, I will do what I can do to help women who’ve been through this and to get the truth out about abortion.
I never want another child to die in an abortion or another woman to ever know what it’s like to feel the regret and pain in her heart of abortion. Three years ago, my church offered a post abortion class called Forgiven and Set Free. In the class, I was able to go through the grieving process and receive God’s healing from the pain of my abortion. I was able to see the scriptural proof that my babies, both the one I aborted and the one I miscarried are in heaven.
Romans 8:28 tells us “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
If we allow Him, He will use the mistakes of our past for good. He can turn our mess into a message that could save lives and save women from a lifetime of pain and regret. Those of us who’ve had abortions can’t bring our children back to us, but we can try to save other women and children from the tragedy of abortion. We can let women in crisis or unplanned pregnancies know about pregnancy help centers and shelters for pregnant women and tell them the truth about abortion.