"I come from a very, very traditional family. I felt so lonesome, scared. I knew my parents would kick me out of the house, and my partner ran away," one woman recalled.
One contributor related the experience of her sister, saying that while their mother hand handed down firm teachings against premarital sex, this only inflamed her sense of isolation and shame when she found out she was pregnant.
"I think we need a cultural shift in how we speak about sex and pregnancy so that women in these positions don't feel so ostracized and shamed into trying to undo the situation without anyone knowing," she wrote.
The results of isolation and fear are that women feel they have no place to turn, the contributor wrote. "I wish [my sister] had known about other pregnancy resource centers besides Planned Parenthood because they were all too willing to take her in and confirm her fear that her only option was abortion."
Others said they worried about social stigma or pressure to marry the father, even if they did not want to. In the end, the responses concluded, there were many different reasons why a woman might feel she must choose an abortion but they are "all based in extreme terror."
The survey also asked women about the lasting impact abortion had left on their lives. Many related the ongoing physical and mental health problems they had been left with, including damage to their womb, panic attacks, and grief over their lost children.
"I still think about my child every June when s/he would have been born. I should get help. I just pray for healing," one still-grieving woman wrote.
While the pain was still intense for many, others spoke about the support the had received from husbands, family, priests, and from the example of Catholic figures like Dorothy Day.
"I feel spiritually and physically healed," one woman wrote in response to the survey.
"Confession and joining the Church helped tremendously. What still hurts – I miss my kid. But now I have even more motivation to strive for heaven so I can meet my child!"