Cheryle had been dating her boyfriend for a year when she became pregnant. However, her boyfriend’s parents were furious about the pregnancy and didn’t want her to have the baby.
“Unfortunately, I was not what his parents wanted for their son, and to say that they were upset about the pregnancy would be an understatement,” she explained. “They were furious. His mother told me that she would never acknowledge the baby as her grandchild, and I would never receive any support from them financially.”
At 17, Cheryle didn’t know she had any recourse. She didn’t know about paternity tests or child support or any of the options that she had. “After hours of listening to the screaming and threats that were being hurled at me, I finally gave in,” she said.
Cheryle described what happened at the abortion facility:
[I] followed a lady into a room and climbed onto a cold table. I began to weep as I lay down. The lady standing beside me asked why I was crying. My weeping turned into hysterics as I told them I had changed my mind. I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to keep my baby. The “doctor” instructed the nurse to strap me down. She tightened the straps that held my legs and one on my arm and before I knew what was happening, they had administered anesthesia. It was over.
The doctor and the abortion worker forced Cheryle to have an abortion against her will. She was given no choice. They both knew that she didn’t want the abortion, but the abortionist ordered her to be restrained, then did the abortion anyway.
“I woke up in recovery to the sounds of crying and weeping all around me. Pitiful moans from others who shared in my regret,” she said. “I got dressed and very slowly walked out into the area where my boyfriend was waiting. We walked out in silence.
Like countless women, after the abortion, Cheryle suffered from depression and an infection. Antibiotics helped her to improve physically, but she was struggling with her mental health. “I put a smile on my face, went back to school, and tried to forget everything,” she said.
The relationship with her boyfriend “deteriorated” and they broke up. Many years later, Cheryle got married, but her abortion haunted her. “I struggled for over 30 years with the guilt and shame,” she said. “It affected my relationship with my husband and the way I parented my children.”
Cheryle suffered trauma for half a lifetime due to an abortion that was committed against her will. The same is true for many women who have undergone an abortion. A study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that 73.8% of women who have undergone an abortion experienced some form of pressure to do so. Additional studies have found high rates of coerced abortion. In addition, abortion puts women at a higher risk of depression, drug and alcohol use, and suicide.
Source: Emily Berning Shout Your Abortion Too (Fort Wayne, Indiana: Let Them Live, 2019) 153, 154
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