This is my personal story. I have only told a few people this story. It is very painful and shameful for me. Despite the accusations from the pro-choice groups, not all pro-lifers are religious fanatics who only care about the unborn while disregarding all other life. Some of us are not really that religious at all and have come to the pro-life stance through our own experiences. Some of us know the truth behind abortion and struggle to expose it every day.
Judge me if you want, but I ask you to read my story with an open mind and understand that I am in no way proud of my past and suffer a tremendous weight of guilt every day as a result of it. So…here goes…
When I was a teenager, I went on a wild streak after leaving the strict home of my father to live in the home of my absent mother and alcoholic step-dad. In my dad’s house, I was always kept on a very short leash which didn’t allow me to do anything away from home including the movies, spending the night with friends, or even school dances. At the age of 16, I decided I wanted to live with my mom again. When I got to my mom and step-dad’s house, Mom was running the streets as a prostitute to earn money for crack and my step-dad was a very hard-working construction boss, but an alcoholic. In my step-dad’s house, there weren’t many rules and my curfew wasn’t enforced because he was passed out by 9pm every night. After only a few months, I had dropped out of high school, started dating a 23-year old man, and become pregnant. My dad attempted to straighten me out by making me go back home with him and my step-mother, offering me a stable home and support if I would just cut out the baby’s father and give my baby up for adoption or abort. I was young and “in love” so I couldn’t have imagined my life without my boyfriend and giving up or getting rid of my baby was not an option. I chose to marry my baby’s father at the age of 16 and have my baby in what I thought would be the perfect life of marriage to the man I loved without the heavy hand of my father pushing me to do what he wanted.
I stayed with my husband for 7 years, having another child during that time, before finally leaving the abusive relationship to be on my own for the first time in my life. I had never been independent since I left a controlling father for a controlling husband before ever having the chance to be an adult. I had managed to get my GED, decent administrative jobs, and learned how to pay bills but I hadn’t really learned responsibility.
I was only on my own for about 6 months before I was on the verge of eviction and getting fired. One night, I was drinking heavily, as was my routine on the days that my two kids were at their dad’s house, when an Army recruiting commercial came on the television. In my drunken stupor, I decided to call the ‘GO-ARMY’ number and leave my information for someone to contact me. I had completely forgotten about it until I got the call a few days later from a man stating the local Army recruiting station would like to sit down with me to discuss my interest in the military. At first, I laughed off the recruiter. Me? Join the military and give up my drinking and partying lifestyle? But, after awhile I considered the road I was on in my life. I was irresponsible, undisciplined, unhappy, on the verge of homelessness, and losing the support of family and friends. Maybe the Army could help me be a better person. A better mom.
A month later, I left for Basic Training as a future soldier of the U.S. Army. I left my children and everything I had known in order to make myself a better person for my kids. That was my main driving force; my kids. I completed Basic Training and went on to AIT (like college for soldiers to learn their jobs).
In AIT, soldiers get many more freedoms compared to the previous weeks of absolutely no freedom. Once again, I went from being controlled on a daily basis to having more opportunities to be independent. I was a good soldier during the week and a binge partier on the weekends. I mean, why not? I had worked so hard and given up so much for my kids. Why couldn’t I have a little fun on the side? This led to many sexual encounters with multiple partners over the course of the 6 months I was in AIT. But hey, I deserved it. I wasn’t hurting anyone, right?
When I graduated from AIT and went to my permanent duty station, I found out I was pregnant. I was fairly certain of whom the father was but had no idea where he was stationed now. I knew that my military career could be ruined if I went through with a pregnancy before I even had the chance to prove myself as a soldier. I felt I had no other choice but to terminate. I believed that I would be forced to leave the military or be labeled as one of “those females” that arrive to their duty station already pregnant. All my hard work would have been for nothing.
In the days following, I had contacted my step-dad, asked to borrow money he didn’t really have and convinced him to come to my Army post in Georgia and drive me to Florida to have the abortion. Georgia did not have abortion services but I could drive a few hours to Florida, no questions asked.
About one week later, I was sitting in the clinic on an exam table with an intra-vaginal ultrasound, being used to verify my pregnancy, inside of me. The sound was muted on the ultrasound monitor at my request because I couldn’t bear to hear the heartbeat of the child I was about to kill. The doctor was pleasant and accommodating as I’m sure he had been with many other women. He had to have heard that request before, right? Who could hear that and still go through with it? I kept my eyes averted from the monitor and tried to think about how my life would go back to normal after it was done. Everything was going to be okay. Would be like it never happened.
About 15 minutes in the room where the procedure was done, in a half-asleep state but still aware of what was happening, and I was no longer pregnant. Just like that. One heartbeat again.
I was escorted to a recovery area to wake up and drink a cup of juice. Juice is great for abortions, apparently. As soon as I entered this room and sat down, I began to sob uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe what I had just done! Had I, the mother of two beautiful sons, just murdered an innocent life for my own selfish reasons? Because of my own actions and inability to deal with my own issues, I destroyed a life that I had created in a drunken act of unsatisfying sex with a guy I didn’t even know by anything other than his last name. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks. But it was too late. I had already gone through with it. You can’t ever take it back.
I just sat in the “recovery room” crying and trying to come to grips with what I had just done. Nobody checked to see why I was crying. My emotional state was of no concern. One brief “How are you feeling?” and then I was left to sob again. I can’t even remember someone asking if I had someone to be with me afterwards. Fortunately for me, I did.
After about 30 minutes, I left the room to find the comforting arms of my step-dad. He didn’t judge me and even tried to console me with assurances that I had “no choice” if I wanted to follow through with my goal to be a more responsible person for my kids. How’s that for irony?
Back then, life was unbearable if I did not have a man to depend on. It’s no surprise that no more than a month later, I had already met a guy who I thought was easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable about myself. I was quick to confess what I had done only weeks before as if I was trying to convince him to not like me. It didn’t work. We were married a year later.
I gave birth to my third child at the Army hospital on post within the next year. Her birth was bittersweet for me. I knew that I never would have had her or met my husband if I had not made the decision to abort. That helps a little.
The whole point of me revealing this horrible truth about my past is not to defend abortion but instead to show that it is possible to have gone through the actions and decisions that lead to having an abortion and regretting it with every fiber of your being. I wasn’t pro-life or pro-choice before my abortion. I didn’t have an opinion on the topic at all. I discovered that the act itself had made me pro-life. How could so many women justify doing what I had done?
Does having had an abortion and being pro-life make me a hypocrite? I’ll let you make that decision.
Maybe it happened so I could tell people. I know what goes through the mind of many women who decide to abort. I know that the decision is a selfish one. It’s not about the baby or the life the baby may have if the mother is forced to keep it. The decision to abort is almost always about the woman and what her life will be like. It’s almost always about how her plans and dreams will be changed or destroyed. It’s, most times, about how much money kids cost.
Abortions are not about the baby; they are about the “mothers”.
Abortion is the free-pass.
What is the point of teaching our kids to learn from their mistakes if we are allowing them the option to make the serious mistakes over and over without repercussions.
I am a woman who exercised my “right to choose” and regrets it every day of my life. I am a woman who made the choice to abort and as a result, became pro-life. That is what you get from abortion; the all-encompassing pain of the knowledge that you killed your own child because you couldn’t face the consequences of your actions. At least that’s what women with consciences feel.
Not only did I made the mistakes that led to my visit to the clinic back then but I made the mistake of thinking that decision was all about me and what I wanted. I made the mistake of ignoring the heartbeat. I was a coward.
We should not be advocating for any woman who makes a mistake to seek out abortion as the answer. This is not an acceptable excuse to end a life you have created.
We have to stop the campaign for abortions to be more easily accessed with even lower costs. If we don’t, we are ignoring the seriousness of the decision and how it will affect those involved for the rest of their lives.
Thank you for reading this story. I hope I have made it clear that abortion is not to be chosen on a whim just because it’s your right. It’s not the easy way out. Trust me.
*I believe that abortion should be available for medical reasons. In non-medical cases it should be rare and not an option more than once unless a woman can provide a reasonable cause for having multiple abortions in her lifetime.
**Studies show that once a woman has an abortion, she is more likely to have another. Most abortions are performed on women who have had one or more previous abortions.