by Andrea from Pennsylvania
I had an abortion because…
When I was 14, I found out that I was pregnant. The father and I were very excited! We couldn’t wait for our baby to arrive, or at least I couldn’t. He acted excited and pretended to care for 3 1/2 months, although he did not let me tell anyone. I could not even tell my mother, from whom I kept nothing. We went shopping for baby clothes, and I bought some adorable outfits. I was already starting to show. I was so “in love” with the baby’s father. I was so happy that I was going to start a family with him, but he didn’t have the same plans that I did. I knew I was young. I was fourteen and he was seventeen, but I didn’t care. I had always taken on more responsibility because my father was never around, and my mother was an alcoholic.
Two weeks after we bought baby clothes, we were parked in front of my house. He was dropping me off from taking me home from school, and I held his hand and told him that he would be a wonderful daddy. He looked at me and said, “We can’t keep it.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He told me that I had to choose either him or our baby. He also told me that we could have another baby when we were older and more mature. I was beside myself! How was I to choose between the love of my life and my unborn child? Of course, I became angry and slammed the door. I ran into my house and cried (I later found out the baby would be our son.) I skipped school the next day to think. I walked to the parking lot of the school, and I placed the letter on his car and left. A couple of hours went by, and I went back to his car and removed the letter. To this day I wish I had not removed it, but I did.
He picked me up and we talked. He just repeated how his mother would disown him, and that my family would hate me. He said that we could always have another one when we would be more stable. I started crying, and he lost it. He said, “Look, it’s either me or the baby because you can’t have both”. I hugged him and said, “I pick you.” I wish I wouldn’t have. But I did.
My mother had grown suspicious and assumed I was pregnant. She bought me a test and made me take it. I knew what the outcome would be. And there they were, the two lines staring at both of us. Before I could even say anything, she started jumping up and down, happy. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was only fourteen, ready for the typical Lifetime movie reaction of an angry mother finding out her teenage daughter is pregnant, and I got the total opposite. She ran to the phone and called my aunt, saying how she was going to be a grandmother.
My eyes immediately filled up with tears. I told her “Mom, I’m only fourteen.” She responded, “Oh…oh, yeah”. I said, “Mom, I can’t keep it.” By this time, I was convinced that I was making the right “choice.” She kept asking if I was sure, and all I did was nod. She did not know, and still does not know, that he would physically abuse me constantly. He already caused massive trauma to my abdomen for refusing an abortion the first time.
My mother’s friend, who is a registered nurse, came with us to the clinic. The baby’s father came with me to the first visit. The consultation was just a bunch of paper work. There was no asking me if this was what I wanted, or if I had second thoughts. It was just strictly how I would be paying.
He didn’t come for the procedure. He wanted to. The whole ride down there was silence. Nobody wanted to mention what we were on our way to do. My mother’s friend had the new James Blunt CD at the time playing on repeat. The song “You’re Beautiful” was the only thing I heard for the two hour drive. To this day it brings on flashbacks.
When we arrived, angry protesters were there, holding up signs and screaming. I was escorted inside rather quickly. I was there sitting around all of these women, some who went to the clinic regularly. It was a very cold office, and it just screamed “get out of there!” Of course, the protesters that called me a murderer and were throwing trash at me helped with that.
I went back to see the doctor. It took me by surprise that he was a guy. They gave me an Rh shot, and he “examined” me. He told me that I was eight weeks pregnant. (The “cut off” time for abortions in their office was eight weeks. However, I knew he was lying to me because I had kept track. I didn’t speak up). He didn’t use a sonogram or anything to be sure; he felt inside of me and made up a number. He then made me go back out in the waiting room. I wanted to read the information in the office, but no one would allow me. They kept saying that at the age of fourteen, I was making the right “choice” and didn’t need to read anything that would be “upsetting”.
When I was called back, I started to cry my eyes out. I asked if my mom could come back with me, but they said that wasn’t allowed. I started losing it. They took me to the “procedure” room and told me to get undressed and lie down on the table. I did. They gave me no pain killers, and I was awake for the whole thing. To help me, a nurse held my hand.
From the very second the pain began, I held back my screams. He told me that I couldn’t move or else I would never be able to have children again. Some screams exited my mouth from the amount of pain. The nurse put her hand over my mouth and told me to be quiet because I would scare the other patients. I squeezed the nurse’s hand so tight that it started turning purple. My body had a rush of heat go through me, and then I was freezing. As he was cutting through my cervix and scrapping my uterine walls, the sounds that I heard will never leave my memory. This took about fifteen minutes.
After he was finished, I felt so sick like I had to vomit. I couldn’t believe what I just had done. I wanted to stop it. God, how could I have listened to “the man I loved?”
They had me stand up, and I almost blacked out, catching myself on the stirrups. I looked down, there was my baby. The remains of my child were lying in a bucket right there for the entire world to see what I had done. It was like time stood still. That image was burned into my mind. I saw that the “clump of cells,” my baby, was my son.
They took me to the “recovery” room where there they gave me orange juice and stale cookies. Other women were in there as well lying down, some crying, and others just curled up in pain. After thirty minutes or so, they had me go change myself because of the blood. As I went to do so, blood just started gushing out of me. I tried to catch it with my hands, but the blood filled them up in seconds flat. It was pouring over my hands and down my legs, soaking my socks and onto the floor. I was frozen and in shock. A nurse knocked on the wall and asked if I need assistance. I said very faintly, “Oh my God, help me, please, help me, God, please help me.”
She came in to help me (there was only a privacy curtain), and she knocked the curtain off the wall. She let all the women there see me with my blood and my child’s blood overflowing my hands. She helped clean me up, and I passed out from the loss of blood. They tried to stop the hemorrhaging, but it wouldn’t let up. The nurse wrapped me in a blanket and told my mother to take me to a hospital. My mother started panicking, asking why an ambulance couldn’t be called. The nurse replied, “For business purposes.” We started leaving, and we were told we were not allowed to leave through the front doors because of how I looked. We were shown the back door and left for the hospital immediately.
When I arrived at the hospital, they informed me that the abortionist that I went to (Earl McLeod) had killed several women in the past for not getting them proper medical attention. They stopped the bleeding, gave me a transfusion, and discharged me. On the way home, the procedure felt like it was still going on with every bump or groove in the road that we went over. Little did I know that that pain was only the beginning.
After the abortion:
The boyfriend left me. He wasn’t there for any of the anniversaries. He didn’t even stay with me a year after the abortion.
I had a psychotic breakdown from the abortion and the guilt I felt. I attempted suicide and was a self-medicating, self-harmer for quite some time.
I felt regret from the moment my abortion happened.
I am now pro-life. I was from the moment I saw my child’s remains, and I use my own experience to help others who are “pro-choice” see what it actually does.
I now have a three year old son, and it was hard for me to bond with him because of the past. I actively sought help for that, and I continue to this day to struggle. Our bond is much better, but it’s hard to look at him and not feel guilty. The “what ifs” never leave my mind, and it’s a constant, everyday reminder. When I was nine months pregnant with my son, I went back to face the abortion clinic for the first time. I wanted to step foot on the property and leave still pregnant.
I am with a wonderful man who supports me in everything I do, and he is a wonder father. He also attends pro-life rallies and conventions with me regularly, as well as humanizes my aborted son with memorial services each year on the anniversary. He is also 100% pro-life with no exceptions.
I have found healing and forgiveness in so many places. It was simply not one secular thing that helped, but a collection of things. Talking to others who understood what I was going through, and turning my pain over to God saved my life. Helping others the same way I was helped continues my healing path.
I counsel other post abortive parents, both men and women, and I have talked nine other girls out of going down the same road I have. Even after that I have kept in contact with them. Every one of them has thanked me.
It was the worst experience of my life, and I strongly advise against it, knowing now what I had not known then.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my baby boy.
*Jay Aries Baker* 1-4-06
To those of you thinking about abortion, please get all the information before doing so. There is always adoption, and the aftermath is horrific. It is something they don’t tell you or warn you about.
I do not want others to become me. I do not want them to feel the way that I felt, or experience the trauma I have, and that is why I am silent no more.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published by Silent No More and is reprinted here with permission.