Dear Pregnant at Harvard Student,
I read the anonymous letter you submitted to your school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, sharing your personal abortion story. I wish I knew your name. I wish that instead of writing this letter on my laptop computer, I could be sitting with you, looking into your eyes and saying these words to your face. Sweetheart, you are valuable. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being brave enough to write down the details of your romance, breakup, unplanned pregnancy, abortion and the painful aftermath.
You deserved more than you received. You deserved a hand to hold, an ear to listen to your fears, a voice to tell you it would be okay. You met a boy you adored. He told you he loved you and talked about marriage. You felt safe and special, and you gave your virginity to him. Your heart was soaring because he appeared to be your perfect match. Then something between you changed; he said it was you. He said you weren’t the girl he fell in love with and he left. Then you found out you were pregnant.
Beautiful girl with the heart wrenching story, I have something to share with you. You are loved and you are not alone. I know you never imagined your time at college would include such heartbreak and pain. I know you trusted someone and found yourself rejected. I know you think your abortion is a secret you will have to hide from the ones you love. I want you to know there is hope.
I work at a pregnancy resource center in New England. I’m just one of thousands of people across our country who devote their time to helping women in situations just like yours. I help women even younger than yourself who’ve experienced heartache, unplanned pregnancies, and even those who deal with pain after abortion.
You went to the abortion clinic alone. I don’t fully know what you experienced or what you heard. Perhaps you heard that the most common emotion you’ll feel after an abortion is relief. If you did, you may be wondering why you feel this way and if something is wrong with you. Abortion affects women in different ways, and for some, it can be emotionally devastating. Your pain is real and shared by countless others. In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Susanne Babbel wrote:
No matter your philosophical, religious, or political views on abortion, the fact of the matter is, the actual experience can affect women not only on a personal level but can potentially have psychological repercussions.
You said it’s hard because you believe there is no one to help with your pain. Just five miles from your school, trained client advocates are waiting to listen with compassion and support you through your journey. Boston has a non-profit organization called Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices. Their services are free and confidential.
In addition, there is a program called P.A.C.E. (Post Abortion Care and Education) near your community. You can call 978-342-4244 to learn more about it. You don’t have to live in this pain and suffer in silence. You can receive healing.
If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone in person, visit www.hopeafterabortion.com. On this website you can read stories from other women who’ve experienced negative physiological reactions after abortion. The site also offers great resources for healing, including book and DVD recommendations, articles, and post-abortive healing retreats.
Beautiful girl with a broken heart, there is hope for you. Know that this is not the end of it. May you find the healing you need, and in doing so, help others who’ve walked a common road.
Editor’s Note: If you have had an abortion or are considering an abortion, the following resources are available: