In a book about post-abortion trauma and healing, Sam tells her story about becoming pregnant at age 15. When Sam’s mother found out, she demanded Sam get an abortion. “The word [abortion] hit me like an explosion,” Sam said. “What? An abortion? That had never entered my mind.”
Sam’s mother tried to convince her abortion was the right choice, emphasizing what a burden a baby would be:
Mom kept trying to get me to see all the things I would miss out on if I were to have a baby. All the parties and dances at school. All the fun. But when she asked, “Who’s going to take care of it? Me?” I didn’t know how to answer her.
Sam’s father also wanted her to have an abortion. Over the course of the next few days, both parents, but especially Sam’s mother, pressured her. Sam says, “It was like finding out that not only was I outnumbered, but I was on the losing team.”
Due to the stress, Sam broke out in hives from head to toe. She was even more hurt when the father of her baby also told her to abort:
Secretly, I had wished he would want the baby. Somehow, we would make it work. Instead, he only thought of himself. He didn’t want to be saddled with a baby. He never asked me what I wanted.
Didn’t he care about what this would do to me? To my body? To my heart and mind? Didn’t he care about the baby?
After telling her to get an abortion, her boyfriend abandoned her. He cut her completely out of his life, ignoring her phone calls. It was clear she’d get no help from him. Desperate to find someone who’d support her wishes to keep her baby, Sam turned to her best friend:
I called Marsha to tell her about the pregnancy, hoping to get some empathy for my situation. Instead, she said it would be crazy to try to have a baby at 15. How would I ever take care of it? I didn’t know the answer to that, but I knew abortion wouldn’t be right. Why wouldn’t anybody listen to me?
The next day, Marsha came over with one of Sam’s other friends. Her mother had called them and asked them to help convince Sam to abort. Sam’s parents and her two friends all pressured Sam:
They all ganged up on me, immediately shooting down all my objections. They insisted it wasn’t a baby at all… just a clump of cells. That didn’t sound right, but I was so tired of it all. I couldn’t fight it anymore. Without anyone on my side, I finally caved.
Sam didn’t have a single person supporting her. Everywhere she turned she was pressured to abort.
Sam said that when she arrived at the abortion facility, “I wanted to hide – just become invisible and walk out of the place undetected. But I didn’t have any superhero abilities, and what would I do then? There was nowhere for me to go.”
The abortion “counselor” lied to her. Sam said, “[E]ven though I would have been about 12 weeks along, she assured me ‘the pregnancy’ was just a blob of tissue.” But in truth, at 12 weeks, Sam’s baby was fully formed. His or her heart had been beating for months. He or she was already right or left-handed, could suck her thumb, and had her own unique fingerprints.
The abortionist treated Sam in a dehumanizing way:
[T]he physician never even looked me in the eye. The only time he spoke was when he told me he was turning on the suction machine, and then as he was leaving, he said I would have some pain and bleeding. He had just touched my body in such a violent and intimate way, yet he remained completely detached. It was like I wasn’t even there. To him, I was merely a body – a receptacle to be emptied.
After the abortion, Sam began drinking heavily and using drugs to block out the emotional pain. A partier before the abortion, her self-destructive behavior and substance abuse increased dramatically afterward. She said:
I sunk into the quicksand of guilt and shame, hating myself. It was my fault my child had to die… I began to consume larger amount of alcohol and drugs. Anesthesia, to keep the memories at bay.
Soon, she dropped out of high school.
Eventually, Sam married, but her trauma continued. She would wake up “shaking and sobbing” from nightmares about her abortion. Sam had a child, and her emotional trauma made taking care of the baby difficult.
After many years of suffering, Sam found healing through a post-abortion Bible study, and eventually began volunteering at a pregnancy resource center helping other post-abortive women.
Source: Jenny A Farrell Ribbon of Redemption: True Stories Offering Hope & Healing After Abortion (Rock Island, Illinois: Testimonies of Hope Publishing, 2016) 195-205
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