When I was only 15 years old, I met a man who was four years older than I was. His name was Joe. He would talk me into skipping school, so I missed a lot of days from school that year. I knew that I would fail the ninth grade. Joe asked me to marry him, and since I knew I would fail the ninth grade, I said yes. I didn’t love him but I had too much pride to repeat the year.
I changed my birth certificate to 1955. My mother lied to the judge about my age. She told him I was 16. In 1972, you could marry at 16. So I married Joe and we moved into his parents house.
I went to the doctor to get on birth control pills, but I was afraid to take them. I became pregnant after only being married for three months. In November, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Then, in 1975, I gave birth to another baby girl. In 1976, I became pregnant again with our third child, and I was only 20 years old.
My husband didn’t like to work; instead, he drank and smoked marijuana every day. I wasn’t happy, and I knew that our marriage was not going to last to much longer. So we decided to get an abortion. I was eight weeks pregnant when I had it done at a hospital.
When I woke up, it was over, but I was very depressed and I felt as though someone had sucked my soul out of me. I didn’t tell anyone else about the abortion. I cried most every day and I felt great guilt. I never expected this to happen. I could not tell anyone how I felt. I decided I would keep it to myself.
I didn’t know anything about what a fetus looked like at eight weeks along. At the time I had my abortion, there was no way to hear a heartbeat or see a sonogram. I had nightmares for many months and I felt empty inside. I regretted what I had done. After six months of being depressed, I just hid my pain and put it deep into myself.
In 1978 I divorced my husband. I had always desired to be a nurse, so I entered college and began my studies. In 1981, I graduated from nursing school. I was very surprised to learn how an eight-week-old fetus looked and to learn that the heartbeat began at 16 days after conceiving.
I was heartbroken.
I went to work in obstetrics after graduation. I would not think about the abortion again. Until recently.
When I found out that some states want to allow full term abortions, I was appalled. I then watched a video about women sharing their abortions and how they felt afterwards. The feelings about my abortion came to the surface of my mind and heart. I cried for days and grieved the loss of my baby. He or she would be have been 42 years old had I not aborted the baby. I wonder what my baby would look like and the person that he or she would have been today. I know how much my two grown daughters mean to me (I remarried in 1982) and grieve that I took a life.
I prayed to the Lord for His forgiveness and I longed to hold my baby that I killed. I relived it all over again — the heartache and the empty feelings that I had experienced over 43 years ago. I prayed that I could forgive myself as well. I told my parents about what I had done and they cried with me, and I also asked for their forgiveness. I told my two daughters about the abortion as well.
Today, I feel forgiven and very determined to help anyone with my story. I have signed up for the pro-life march in Richmond on April 3rd, and I want to march as many times as marches are held. If I can help anyone from telling my story, that would help me so much.
Abortion is wrong and, to me, immoral. I take hope in seeing my baby in heaven someday. Abortion hurts women rather than helping them out of an unplanned pregnancy — it hurts the soul and spirit. I never thought for a moment that I would have such a delayed reaction as I have experienced. Women need to know this can happen. Instead of relief from an unplanned pregnancy, it causes pain that no medication can heal or relieve.
This personal story was submitted to Live Action News by Gloria M.
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