Guest Column

Don’t listen when they tell you to just ‘abort and try again.’ My abortion left me devastated.

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My husband and I had been married for years, and we wanted a baby. I already had two sons from a previous relationship. When my husband and I finally got pregnant, everyone was so excited.

I was 21.5 weeks when I went in for genetics testing. The doctor told me coldly that my child was a boy, and that he had spina bifida. He stood the chance of major birth defects. I asked the doctor what we should do, and the doctor said it was up to us. I didn’t even think about abortion until my brother’s girlfriend suggested, “Just abort it and try again.” She had recently miscarried a baby, and she was bitter.

I called a number for a pregnancy center but hung up, so my brother’s girlfriend called an abortion facility in Little Rock for me. They were more than happy to see me right away. But I had doubt. I felt like it wasn’t right, but was so torn about the health of the baby. The clinic told me I had one day to decide, due to how far along I was. It would be a two-day procedure –and it would fall on my birthday. I chose to abort. They gave me a pill and put a seaweed stick in my cervix on the first visit to dilate me. I was scared.

READ: Pro-choice reporter becomes pro-life after witnessing parents’ post-abortion grief

At home, I remember thinking, this isn’t a good idea, but something in me kept going foward. The next day was my birthday and the day I would abort my baby. Outside the clinic, there were people with signs and cameras trying to convince us to not go in. My dad was driving, and he kind of told them off.

Inside the clinic, I noticed I was further along than any other women there. I was so scared. I took a second pill and laid on the table in my paper robe and began to cry and shake violently. I remember hearing them say, “She is going into shock.” They covered me with an old, itchy blanket. Gas was placed over my face and I heard the doctor say “double the gas” before I passed out.

I woke up groggy and dumbfounded. What just happened?? I stood up, and blood poured out from me all over the floor. I remember the nurse saying, “It’s ok, I’ll clean it up,” and I was shoved into the waiting room where everyone stared at me. I got into my car and drove off with my brother’s girlfriend. It was over. I could “try again.”

But my real pain began that night. I started crying in the shower and cried for the next six months. I would just burst into tears. I started drinking and having panic attacks. I cried on my birthday and on most days. I was a drug abuser as well. I knew something wasn’t right with me.

Later, my family and I started going to church where we all got saved together one day. And at church, I learned how God detests abortion. I felt so ashamed and scared. I thought I wasn’t going to make it to heaven. But then I talked to someone who encouraged me to go to Options Pregnancy Center in Cabot, Arkansas, where I found out I am not alone. I am post-abortive and have many symptoms of post-abortion trauma, which can include: guilt, numbness, emotional coldness and unresponsiveness, anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug use, nightmares, eating disorders, loss of interest in sex, avoidance of baby reminders (like baby showers, baby stores, etc.), control issues, over-protectiveness toward living children, resentment toward those who were involved in the abortion decision, “anniversary” syndrome (an increase in symptoms around the time of the anniversary of the abortion or due date of the child). 

READ: Research shows post-abortion trauma is very real, and women aren’t alone

I spent time in a “Forgiven and Set Free” Bible study with some close friends at a pregnancy center and learned God is a forgiving God and He still loves me and wants a relationship with me. My baby is waiting for me in heaven.

I still have post-abortive struggles… the ones that I’ll never shake off. The ones that remind me I’m a mommy of five sons, not four. But now I spend a lot of my time volunteering at a pregnancy center, helping girls in my same situation. I have had wonderful success with saving babies! So many of the girls are lost and looking for something, and I enjoy pointing them to God.

If you are hurting due to a previous abortion or thinking about abortion please call your local pregnancy center. They can help you.

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