The Abortion Interviews

 

The following accounts are the result of interviews of aborted women conducted by Donna Wilson, B.A., M.Div, MALM. pastor of the Erie Street Community Church in Collingwood, Ontario.

 

Story 1 (March 2014):

I grew up in the city. My family attended church where my father was an elder. He held a particular stand on abortion. He believed women should make their own choice, but he was against the actual decision to abort a child.

As the oldest of four siblings, I grew up feeling a lot of pressure in this role. Our home life was very unsettled, and in my high school years, I began to act out. I was in a relationship with a boy when I discovered I was pregnant. I experienced morning sickness but would feel better during the day. I left on a school band trip, experiencing the same symptoms but no one seemed to notice. By the time I returned, I assumed I was pregnant. I could not tell my parents, because of my difficult home situation.

One day, while walking home from school, I saw a billboard which read, “Pregnancy Crisis line”. I tried the number at home, but unfortunately only listened to a voice on the answering machine. In my shame and guilt, I could not leave my name and number. I wonder if I had heard a real voice on the line, if my story would be different.

I had one option. I knew the stories in my family and felt I could go to my Aunt for help. My grandmother had been pregnant at age 16, birthed two children consecutively, and then married. Years later, my aunt became pregnant at age16, and because of her own experience, my grandmother had taken her to a clinic to have an abortion, to avoid repeating the same mistake in the family line.

I wrote a letter to my Aunt and in response, she picked me up and I spent a couple of weekends at her place as we contemplated the next step. In my aunt’s mind, everything had worked out following her own (her mother’s) decision to abort her baby. She had finished high school, had a family and lived a wonderful life since. I wondered if I would feel the same, but I agreed to let her take me to a nearby clinic.   The Doctor said it was early on in the pregnancy and the procedure could be done. I now question this, as I feel I was past my first trimester. Following this initial appointment, my Aunt suggested we give my parents an opportunity to know what was happening and be a part of the decision. Together we told my parents. They responded in anger. My Father was furious I was pregnant and he had not been involved in the decision from the beginning. In his mind, it was a little too late. He called me every name in the book and spoke to me little, only when necessary, for many months. I will never forget this night.

The day I was taken to the hospital, was July 4th, Independence Day in the US, but a date that would become a life sentence for me. My mother conceded to come with me to the clinic. I did not feel I had a choice in the matter and we kept moving toward the dreaded moment. I had been to the appointment and now it was time to carry it through. Everything felt very cold. I went in, was put under with antiseptic, and then sent home. A sadness came over me. I was numb. It was done.

I attended an alternative school. In that time, I disclosed what had happened to a teacher. I had reached out for help before when I asked my father if I could speak to our pastor. My father had refused, saying, “he was not going to burden the pastor with my problem”. The teacher listened to my pain, and arranged for me to speak with a Catholic priest. Surprisingly, he was very caring, and not condemning. He listened, and spoke helpful words to me. This was the start to a lifelong healing process. Although, this was helpful, day to day, I continued to live a carefree and reckless life. I just used more caution to avoid another pregnancy.

I met my husband while attending university. We married and I was pregnant at age 22. During this pregnancy, my aunt who had assisted with my abortion, contacted me and told me her daughter, my cousin (21) was pregnant. She wanted her daughter to have an abortion, and asked if I would speak with her. Waves of emotion flooded over me. I assured her, I would NOT be telling her daughter what she had said to me. I was not the same person, had become stronger in my faith, and was carrying a child myself. My aunt understood, but she still wanted me to speak to her daughter. I shared my secret with my cousin, and was honest about how it had affected me. I shared with her Psalm 139 “…you are fearfully and wonderfully made….I knit you together in your mother’s womb.” My cousin chose to keep her baby! This situation left a strain between my aunt and myself for years to come. We were not as close after my cousin’s pregnancy, and my aunt would express much delight in this grandchild.

I had some complications with my early pregnancies. One night, the Lord helped me come to a personal acknowledgement of my wrongful choice, years previously, and I found myself weeping in sorrow. As I cried out to the Lord, I felt a strange tug in my stomach, and felt God heal my womb. I no longer had complications during subsequent pregnancies.

Even though I have experienced physical and spiritual healing, the emotional pain is still there and July 4th comes every year. I experienced a miscarriage several pregnancies later. I felt the pain of loss, but it was different this time. It felt like God was in control and my loss was not the result of my own choice. Yet I know, in both situations, my babies are in heaven and I will see them again.

By sharing my experience with other women who are at risk, I have been able to offer choices and support. As my children have grown older, I have shared my experience with them, to keep them from living the pain I have endured.

 

Story 2 (March 2014):

 

I was in my early 20’s when I had an abortion. I discovered I was pregnant, and I told my boyfriend and we were both elated. I then told my mom. Here reaction took me by surprise. My mom had been the mother figure, when any of my friends had been in crisis, but this was not her response to me. She told me my life would be ruined, and I would always be in poverty. I would be out on the street and would not be able to support myself and the baby. I was extremely surprised and hurt by her words. My boyfriend was very hurt too. I was in absolute shock and feeling the initial emotional pain, that would remain with me until today. My boyfriend and I were devastated. We did not stay together.

When I was 8 weeks along, my mom took me to Toronto. I remember we had to push a button to go in the unmarked building. Then we went in another door. It was a rigorous admission process. I went through three interviews. Along the way, I lied and said it was my choice. In reality, it was not my choice but under the pressure, I did not feel that I had a choice. Either I abort my baby or I would be disowned my mother. In one room, I had an ultrasound with the option of seeing my baby and knowing how far along I was. My mother was in the first room and then I proceeded to the other rooms alone. I was in a waiting room waiting to be called in. There were magazines, and though there were other women in the room, no one talked. Silence. When I was called in, it was a very cold procedure, much like having an annual exam. The doctor performed the procedure and then immediately left. I was then moved to a recovery room and was feeling sick. I felt very sad. The nurse handed me anti-anxiety pills on our way out, as if it was a normal part of the procedure, with the expectancy of the anxiety the day would conjure.

I do not share this experience with anyone My mom does not talk about it, and unbelievably, she has suggested the same advise with subsequent pregnancies. I do not respond to her, because I do not want to talk about it, but her suggestions makes me sick. The pain never goes away. I always feel my little one with me. Last year, I experienced a miscarriage. I was sad about this new loss but it was not the same. I knew it was God’s choice, and not mine. I did not murder this child.

 

Story 3 (March 2014):

 

I grew up very much pro-life. Unfortunately, it was not long before pro-choice entered my world. In our early adult years, my brother and his girlfriend discovered she were pregnant. Going against my brother’s choice, his girlfriend aborted their baby. I was young, but was aware of the situation. It was a helpless feeling. This baby was my little nephew or niece but we could not protect them. It was very hurtful to my brother and our family.

Years later my cousin disclosed to me she had an affair, and was pregnant with her partner’s baby. Her husband of many years, had a vasectomy, and their children were getting older. She was heartbroken and had come to me, but I didn’t know what to say. Under the circumstances, there did not seem to be any other option. I had no words for her. I listened, as she told me she would make plans to abort the baby. Against my own personal values, I chose to walk this journey with her so she would not be alone. We went to a clinic, and I was in the room. As the procedure took place, the technician, said “It’s done.” It was a moment, as simplified as a pap test. My only thought was should there not be more to this? A life was just taken. I felt sick inside.

We left. We have never spoken of this incident since. My cousin made this choice to save her marriage and family, however, they eventually split for a while. I wonder what her future would have held if she had chose to keep her baby. I think God would have made a way. Before this incident we were close, but since walking through this brokenness with her, we have grown apart. I am a painful reminder of the path that was taken.