In a book written to help women and others who have been hurt by abortion, a woman named Janet shared her heartbreaking story of having been coerced by her father into having two abortions as a teenager.
After learning that Janet had become pregnant by her boyfriend Greg, her father insisted she have an abortion. Janet explained:
I didn’t think my dad would be happy about the pregnancy, but I wasn’t prepared for how angry he was. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. He said he wasn’t going to let me ruin my life. He said I was too young to have a baby.
I tried to tell him that Greg would take care of us and that someday Greg and I would get married. But Dad wouldn’t listen. He said I was going to have an abortion so I could finish high school. I told him I wouldn’t have the abortion, but he said I was going to have it anyway – that it was for my own good.
Despite her protests, Janet found herself at an abortion business two days after her father found out about the pregnancy. “I cried the entire time,” she said. “My dad was calmer by that time, and he tried to make me feel better. He kept telling me he didn’t want me to have to struggle like he did. He wanted me to get a good education and a good job.”
Despite Janet’s despair, the workers at the abortion facility committed the abortion anyway.
“After the abortion, I went home and cried myself to sleep,” said Janet. She continued her relationship with Greg and became pregnant a second time. This time, she tried to hide her pregnancy in the hopes that by the time her father found out, it would be too late for her to have an abortion. But sadly, her plan failed. She said:
[W]hen I started throwing up, my dad suspected something was going on, and he took me to the doctor. He was furious when the doctor confirmed I was pregnant again. This time he told me that if I didn’t have another abortion, then he’d have Greg arrested for statutory rape. What could I do? I loved Greg. I didn’t want to get him in trouble!
Janet didn’t reveal Greg’s age or their age difference in her testimony. It may not have been a healthy (or legal) relationship. But Janet was devoted to Greg and her father’s threat to put him in jail was enough to make her give in and reluctantly agree to a second abortion.
Afterward, she tried to put the abortions behind her but couldn’t. Like many women who suffer the trauma of abortion, she began abusing drugs and alcohol and became suicidal. “I cried and I drank and I started experimenting with drugs,” she said. “I hung out by a lake when I was wasted. I thought about my babies, and I cried. I stared at the water and thought about how I was dead – dead like my babies. I thought about walking into the water and drowning myself.”
Even though Janet’s father insisted she abort in order to graduate from high school and secure a good future, Janet didn’t graduate and didn’t get a good job.
Abortion didn’t help her advance in life at all and actually caused future struggles. Janet’s relationship with Greg eventually fell apart and at the time of her testimony, she was on her second marriage. The abortions led to struggles with addiction, alcoholism, and emotional despair.
Source: Michaelene Fredenburg Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience (San Diego, California: Perspectives, 2008) 72 – 76
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