There is no typical abortion story for women who face an unplanned pregnancy and have an abortion. However, my story is like others coerced into an abortion or convinced it was their best option.
Before my pregnancy, my mother had kicked me out of the house, and I lived with my father. Additionally, I had an estranged relationship with my older sister. I just moved to a new state and school and was bullied severely. Three girls jumped me on my bus, sending me to the ER. My relationship had just ended after discovering my boyfriend had cheated on me. I was on antidepressants and anxiety medication. I felt incredibly alone, worthless, and lost.
When I discovered I was pregnant, I was immediately met with abortion talks. I remember my dad telling me he would support my decision; however, this “support” was also met with comments negating my potential as a mother, high school student, and person. I was told I would become another single black mom statistic, “dropping out of school, living in Section 8 housing in the ‘hood,’ and living off welfare my entire life.” People suggested that I could not complete high school, which is a lie too many young girls are told. No one was there to tell me I was strong and capable and could persevere, despite the difficulties ahead.
My Abortion Story
From the time I found out I was pregnant to the day of my abortion, only a week had passed. Throughout this week, I was numb. I never vocalized or expressed my thoughts, wants, and desires. The decision was made for me by my dad. We drove to Planned Parenthood in Columbia, SC, and there I was, given Tylenol and sat down in a waiting room with my mother. I remember some older women in the waiting room openly discussing this being their third and fourth abortion. The staff even seemed to know them personally.
Hours later, someone called my name, and I went to the operating room alone. They did not allow my mom to come in. I was not put to sleep or anything of that nature before my suction abortion. The doctor said nothing to me other than to “lay back” and that the insertion of the vacuum device may “hurt a little.” To this day, I can close my eyes and see, hear, and feel everything about that operating room. I felt everything throughout the procedure. I saw my baby travel away from me through this tube device. It was possibly the most traumatic event of my life. After, I was told bleeding was expected for the next few days, and I was sent home with Tylenol. That was it from the staff there.
The Lingering Effects of Abortion
After my abortion, my mom left to return to my hometown, four hours away. My dad never asked me how I was doing. In my numbness, I was left to process this experience alone. All I wanted was someone to hold me and let me break down about this entire week-and-a-half traumatic experience. Although I was not in Christ in my teens, I remember feeling deep regret. For years I felt like I would be punished with infertility. It became my biggest fear. I couldn’t watch anything with pregnancy or babies on it. It made me feel physically sick.
This continued until about two to three months after my abortion; I tried to kill myself. My sister heard I had an abortion and blasted on Facebook that I was a “baby killer” (ironically, she’s a pro-choice voter and always has been). My already depressed mental state worsened, and I felt I had no purpose at 16. After my suicide attempt, my dad didn’t ask how I was. This is very common in many black households. Mental health used to be a massive taboo for my dad. He already knew he wanted me to enlist in the military, so he didn’t want anything to prevent me from getting in. He cared for my wound at home, and I covered it for a while.
Every Story is Important
I share all of this because every abortion story is important. The enemy loves to tell us our stories are worthless and shameful, but the Lord wants us to share our stories. Our stories inspire others and tell them they are not alone. God can redeem anything. He can use all of our pain and trauma to show His glory. God was with me then, and God is with my child, who I have since named Nathaniel. God is and always was in my story, and it is through Him that I survived all those years ago.
The Rainbow after the Storm
Through God, I overcame the trauma of my abortion. I am a 29-yr old mother to four beautiful children with another on the way. I married an incredible, God-fearing man who encourages me always to be the best version of myself. After I graduated high school, I enlisted in the United States Navy and served for 3.5 years as a deck seaman and then a construction electrician. I obtained my paralegal degree upon leaving the Navy and am about to graduate with my pre-law degree. Both degrees, I pursued even during pregnancy when others would say, “it’s too hard,” but it wasn’t. I know now without a doubt that if someone encouraged me back then to keep Nathaniel, I would have graduated high school. Being a mother is a motivation for success.
The lack of woman-centered care was a huge part of what attracted me to Save the Storks even before I began my current internship. This is the only pro-life nonprofit making a national impact focusing on the mother first and building her up–true empowerment. As the saying goes, “your passion is born out of your pain.” This is why I am full of ideas and highly passionate about the work we do here. Today I work to fight this culture of lies about abortion and to encourage women- to uplift them truly.
READ: Black and Pro-Life