When I was 18, I became pregnant. When I first found out, I never thought of having an abortion as I knew it was wrong. I thought I would give the baby up for adoption. I phoned one of my sisters. She was shocked, of course and said she would tell our older sister, who called me later and suggested I think of having an abortion. She said it would kill mom if she found out and that I wouldn’t have the heart to give the baby up for adoption as I loved babies so much. She said she would set up an appointment with her doctor. I asked her if it was wrong because it was a baby. She told me that the fetus wasn’t a baby yet, it was just a blob of tissues and plasma. Feeling scared and trusting her statement that the fetus was not a baby yet, I let her arrange everything. I flew to [another city] to see her doctor and a gynecologist. I remember the gynecologist’s clean hands and cold manner. He made me feel so stupid for becoming pregnant. About a week later, I went [back there] for a week, lying to my parents about why I was going.
I would describe my abortion as the worst day of my existence. My sister drove me to the hospital and left after I had changed. A nurse took me to a bed to wait. Lying there waiting, I wanted so much to get up and leave. I didn’t want to go through with it. The nurse came and gave me something so the anesthetic wouldn’t make me sick. She asked if I knew why I was there. I said, "to have an abortion." I really wanted to say, "to kill my baby." I remember saying the sign of the cross over my tummy as if to baptize my baby. In the operating room, I remember them putting my legs in stirrups and commenting how long it was taking me to go under. Finally, I woke up after with terrible tummy pains and threw up several times due to the anesthetic. The nurse brought me some pain killers. My sister picked me up. She asked me if I felt relieved. I said, "I guess."
After I returned home, I kept to myself. I didn’t get out with my friends. At college, I did homework in the locker room. About 2 1/2 months later, I visited the father. After spending a few days together I asked if he ever wondered what I had been up to in the last 5 months. I told him about the abortion. He felt bad and said he should have been with me. After that visit, we never really stayed in touch. That summer, I went a bit crazy and sent him pictures of aborted fetuses and what 11 week old fetuses looked like. I included an epitaph, "In loving memory of Stewart Maureen, Jr., October 7-December 11". Looking back, I can’t believe I did that. But I wanted him to feel as bad and guilty as I felt. I think my sister felt bad about what had happened as she had introduced me to the father that summer. My other sister, I’m sure, felt we did the right thing. She supports abortion. No one else in my family knows. (Parents, two other sisters and a brother.)
Right after the abortion, I went to the priest in another parish (I’m Catholic but this has little to do with my feelings on abortion). I felt so bad and guilty. I explained what had happened as my confession. I was so afraid that God would never forgive me. The priest was very understanding and told me that God did forgive me. As contrition, I was to read a book about why abortion was wrong. Despite what the priest said, I felt God had not really forgiven me because I had not forgiven myself. Throughout the years, whenever something hasn’t worked out or gone right for me, I tell myself it’s my punishment for what I did. And I suppose, even today, I have never really forgiven myself. I’ve tried to rationalize it, saying it was for the best, but here was no excuse for the abortion. I even wrote a poem to the baby:
FOR MY LITTLE ONE
I am sorry my baby, my little one.
You were killed by the one who loved you the most.
For the months I carried you,
Flesh of my flesh, flesh of his flesh.
I felt your every move, I could feel you ….
But I was too young, I did not know.
Your father, my little one, did not know you.
You are a boy, a man like him.
I call you Stewart William, like him.
You have curly, brown hair like him.
Your face is his face.
I love you like I love him.
I have no excuses.
I saved you from a world
Where babies are killed by the ones
Who should love them the most.
You are safe with God now.
If I should ever have another child,
You must remember that I will always love
You the most, my first baby.
Sleep well, my little one.
Very few people knew what happened. My parents and the rest of the family still do not. I wish I could go public and tell of my terrible experience but then it really would have all been in vain. The past few years, I have become a strong pro-lifer. I have read much on the issue including the arguments put forth by pro-choice. Not one of these arguments has convinced me that what I did was right. It was wrong on all accounts. I killed another human being and I must live with that for the rest of my life.
My abortion, at the very most has given me a respect for life. I know that life begins at conception. This is a medical fact. My involvement in the Pro-Life Movement has helped relieve some of the guilt. I created a button that is becoming quite popular. It’s a picture of an 8 week-old fetus with the saying "Keep your laws off my body." I enjoy making pro-life slogans from pro-choice ones. It makes the pro-choice argument look awfully stupid. Three years ago, I became pregnant again (I was/am single). The nurse at the hospital was ready to fill out an abortion form when I said I was keeping it. I would not hear of an abortion. I told my two friends I would kill myself before I killed another baby.
The first family member I told was my older sister, as I knew she was pro-life and would help me. My parents took it hard at first but they did survive and love my son to pieces. Ironically, my due date was December 11th, the same date as the abortion. He was born two weeks early though at 11:12 p.m. (11th day of the 12th month -- Dec 11th) I sometimes wonder of the significance of this coincidence. Though I am single, my life is great. I have a wonderful son who is the most precious person in my life. I was so worried that I would miscarry or he would die of SIDS as another punishment. But he hasn’t. He is a beautiful gift.
I am presently completing my Bachelor of Education degree. My son and I live with my parents and will do so until I finish school. Whenever the abortion topic is brought up, I speak up and give my strong and well-supported arguments. I feel/know that there are no good reasons to abort. Adoption is the only alternative to those who don’t want the baby. No one has the right to kill another human being. Because I have been through both scenarios. I feel I can make this statement. I know how it feels in both cases. Having my son, giving him life, has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I support all women who are faced with an "unplanned" child. Abortion is wrong and is an act of selfishness, greed and vanity. No woman should have to live in a society that makes them feel they have to "choose" abortion. The very fact that no one likes to discuss their abortion is proof enough that abortion is a terrible event in a woman’s life.
Printed with permission from Priests for Life.