I grew up in a broken home and that broken home put me on a path to a broken life. I’ve had four abortions in my life. With each one, my conscience was seared until I became so spiritually blind and willfully ignorant that no teary eyed plea or pro-life message could change my mind. With every abortion, my anxiety, my fear, my anger, my sadness — they all grew. They grew into shadowy monsters that gnawed at my nerves. To quiet them, I drank. I smoked a lot. I used humor to feel sane and kept myself constantly moving and doing things to stay distracted. I pretended I was OK, but I was never OK. It was only when the Lord unblinded me and His Word convicted me that I could see the mess in front of me and connect the dots. Abortion is a monster. Unfortunately, it’s not just my monster.
My first abortion was at age 16. I now believe that this abortion was the one that completely changed the trajectory of my life. It truly robbed me of any innocence that was still left and calloused my heart enough to set me on the path for three more. I could tell you all the details about my first abortion — my ‘last second’ doubts and the sounds of the suction machine, my body jerking, the pink elephants I saw dancing above my head as the anesthesia started to wear off (to this day, I feel uneasy when I see pink elephants on clothing or decor). I was supposed to be fully unconscious during the procedure, but I was not. The pain and regret that followed seemed insurmountable at the time, but I had no choice but to put it behind me and move on.
I could tell you about my second abortion, which was where I first tried RU-486 (the abortion pill), which seemed largely uneventful.
But it was the next time I took the abortion pill that was truly the most horrifying and humiliating experience of my life. At 23 years old, I took it, expecting a “safe” and relatively painless at-home abortion experience. It was neither.
The man I was seeing paid for the abortion pills that I would later take home and administer myself. I just followed the directions given and lay down in bed, waiting for “tissue” to pass. Since I had taken it before, I expected it to be like my previous experience — not a great experience, but fairly quick. But this time, there was the quick onset of excruciating, mind numbing pain. It was so bad that I ran to the toilet, calling on my roomate, to stay there with me. I felt as if my entire abdomen was being squeezed, crushed and wrung out like a wet rag. The thought that I could possibly die during an abortion crossed my mind, and I became terrified. The pain was so bad that I began dry heaving, groaning and crying, saliva dripping from my mouth. I remember blood and pain, nothing else. The minutes seemed like hours, but eventually, I passed something (I don’t know what) and the pain faded. I can’t remember too much after that, but a few days later, I was back to work.
I was a cocktail waitress in a Las Vegas casino, so even a few days after my at-home abortion, I still had to slide into my short skirt and tights and walk for hours. I felt OK, so I kept at it. I was still bleeding, but was more concerned about making money than dwelling on what had just happened to me. As my work shift went on, the bleeding started to get heavier and heavier, and wouldn’t stop. I ran into the bathroom, changed pads, tried wadding toilet paper, but nothing worked. The blood was bright red and flowing.
At this time, I assumed I was hemorrhaging and tearily accepted help from some fellow cocktail waitresses who offered to walk me to the locker rooms. As we walked back, I could feel the blood rushing down my legs, for all to see. Once I got into the locker room, I locked myself into the largest bathroom stall and continued to pass massive blood clots. There was blood on the floor, blood on the toilet, blood on my hands. I can’t explain the fear. Through my sobs, my manager asked me if she could call an ambulance. I, of course, refused. How could I look anyone in the eye? I managed to clean up, wrap myself up in toilet paper and I drove myself to the ER.
Once inside and able to speak with medical personnel, I discovered the truth: “Not everything had come out.” I didn’t ask and I didn’t understand how or why it happened. Everything after is a blur. But my conscience became even more singed, and my heart, hard as stone.
My pro-life friend asked me why I lied to her, and why, after all of that trauma, I was still defending “my right” to abortion. I said to my pro-life friend, “You will NEVER change my mind.”
For many years after my abortions, I had very vivid and jarring nightmares. One that I still remember quite well still haunts me. I dreamed I was in a dark place with red and black skies and large empty buildings. There was just darkness and fear. All of a sudden, I was standing in one of these empty, dilapidated buildings, alone and scared; I looked to my left to see blood, flowing down the walls and onto the floor. As my eyes followed the flowing blood to my feet, there I saw her; a crying baby, covered in blood – still attached to the umbilical cord. Now, looking back, I believe this nightmare was a preview of Hell and the sin that took me there.
How did I get through all this without losing my mind? I don’t know, but I barely did. All I can answer is that God is infinite in grace and mercy.
I lied to myself and to doctors until I believed the lies. In 2011, I married my husband when our first child was nine months old. I dreamed of a better life for her and realized that I couldn’t go on without changing my ways. I desperately needed help and I knew it, but was at a total loss as to how to change. When my eldest sister confronted me on my lack of stability and parental “know how,” I was deeply offended but unable to fight anymore. I knew she was right.
Shortly thereafter, I took a leap of faith and purchased a Bible — the best decision I ever made, not only for myself but for my new family. I read for eight months, from beginning to end, until finished. In that time, I came to know who Jesus really is. To this day, I fondly remember the moment of revelation I had reading Matthew 9:10-17. I realized Jesus came to save sinners (like me). Not only to save their souls, but to heal and to restore. He came to lead sinners to repentance, and for once, I understood what truth is. I began to understand what selfless love is. THAT is when the change started.
Gradually, my whole worldview changed. I started to understand the value of life, the treasure of love and the gift of forgiveness. I could no longer reconcile my new faith with my previous support for abortion. When I realized how spiritually blind I had been, how much I had been manipulated and lied to by a society who accepts such dangerous worldviews, and how many irreplaceable children I had lost at my own hand, I wept.
Planned Parenthood didn’t offer me hope, help, counseling, or the truth. They took my money, took my children, and sent me on my way. Everyone needs to know that there’s no such thing as a safe abortion — because someone always dies.
I have found healing and forgiveness through Christ, but I cannot change what I did. I have to live with the haunting memories, the “what ifs” and the reality that I had ended the lives of four children. The only way I can think of to carry on without getting crushed under the weight of it all is to speak openly in hopes that others will not do what I did. My hope is that they will choose love over self, and peace through a mighty Savior. I also speak openly about my experiences in order to give a message of hope and forgiveness through Christ to those who have already had abortions. Abortion is part of my story, but by the grace of God, it wasn’t the end of it.
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