When Crystal was 18 and her boyfriend was 22, she became pregnant and soon found herself undergoing an abortion against her will. “Before I knew what hit me, he was driving me to the abortion clinic,” she explained in the book, “Shockwaves: Abortions Wider Circle of Victim,” adding, “I was never asked what I wanted to do about the baby, he decided for me.”
Crystal was told an abortion would cost $600 and anesthesia another $600. Since she didn’t have enough money, the abortion workers told her they’d abort her 13-week-old preborn baby with no anesthesia. At first, they refused to let her see the ultrasound screen. She said:
I had to beg and plead to see the monitor screen, which they refused to let me see until I argued with them for over 15 minutes. Finally, they turned the screen toward me. I could see my BABY, not a ball of tissue or clump of cells, but my BABY moving around. Face, hands, and even the heart beating. I got to see the tiny child turning somersaults in my belly.
Crystal began having second thoughts. She argued with her boyfriend, who promised her they could have a child together in the future. He said he loved her, but, said Crystal, “He told me whatever he had to in order to make sure that I had that abortion….” She also recalled she was “given one sided opinions, no medical facts” during her abortion “counseling,” saying, “I was lied to! I was told that there were rarely any side effects. ‘Most women go out that night,’ I was told. ‘It’s really no big deal. It will all be over soon…’ After filling my head with lies, they took me to a cold room for the procedure.”
On the operating table, Crystal changed her mind and told the abortionist she didn’t want the abortion. He ignored her and told the abortion workers to hold her down. She yelled at him to stop, but he committed the abortion anyway. She explained:
As I lay back on the bed, I started sternly saying no several times. That’s when the doctor had the nurses hold me down. He clamped the tenaculum on. That is a metal device with huge pointy teeth that go into a woman’s cervix to pull it down and open. When that clamped on, I yelled, “STOP! I can’t do this!” That is when the doctor told me, “Don’t scream, you’ll scare the other patients.” I felt violated and threatened, both physically and emotionally.
The pain of the abortion, done without anesthesia, was horrible. “It felt like they were cutting and scraping my insides out,” said Crystal. “All I could hear was a loud, continuous sucking noise. This excruciating pain lasted several minutes. I was drenched in sweat.”
After the abortion, Crystal suffered an eating disorder and began drinking heavily. Abortion can result an increased risk of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide. “I stopped eating, drank all night every night to numb the pain and fill that empty void,” she said. “Abortion took my soul, and now I didn’t deserve happiness. I felt unlovable. I hated myself, and I was unworthy of forgiveness. I deserved to be punished for what I did. I murdered my baby!”
The abortion was so traumatic she was unable to endure any kind of medical care that reminded her of it. “For years, I couldn’t even get a Pap smear without passing out, because I would have physical flashbacks,” said Crystal. “During a Pap smear, my body was actually feeling the physical pain of my abortion all over again.”
She had many gynecological problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and pre-cervical cancer, and had to undergo surgery to remove scar tissue from the abortion. But the emotional trauma she suffered was even worse. “I felt I deserved jail time for murder, or even worse: eternal hell, which was exactly what I gave myself,” said Crystal.
Shortly after her abortion, she dropped out of school. She lost so much weight due to the eating disorder that she weighed only 82 pounds by the end of the year. She got back together with an abusive ex-boyfriend and explained, “I punished myself by marrying him because I felt that was what I deserved.”
Another lifelong effect of her abortion has been anxiety regarding children. Twelve years after her abortion, she still has difficulty being around babies, children, and pregnant women. She said:
I avoid babies, pregnant women, and families every chance I get. Do I deserve kids? Could I be a good parent? Would a child cause resentment? Could I bond with another child? Could I have a healthy relationship with a child? Would I be good enough? I don’t feel I deserve to be a mother, so I remain 30 years old and childless.
Crystal sought help through a post-abortion recovery Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, which brought some healing, but the emotional scars from her abortion remain.
Source: Janet Morana Shockwaves: Abortions Wider Circle of Victims(New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2017) 72 – 75
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