In a book that collects the stories of women and men who have experienced abortion and its traumatic after-effects, a woman named “Karen H” wrote about being pressured into an abortion. When Karen found out she was pregnant, she wanted to keep the baby. But then she talked to her boyfriend:
The first words he said to me were, “You can’t have it.” And I said, “What do you mean? I want to.” That’s when he said, “You have to get an abortion.”
I told him I didn’t want to do that, that I wanted to have this baby. But he was adamant that I could not. It would be damaging to our relationship, he said. He acted like there was no other choice; that I had no other choice, this was what I had to do.
Karen was afraid her boyfriend would break up with her if she didn’t abort. Sadly, she chose him above her baby. She said, “I was very sad and tearful. No part of me wanted an abortion. But I was scared. I was scared that he would break up with me if I didn’t do it.”
When she went to the abortion facility, there was no counseling, and the abortion workers used euphemisms to refer to her baby. Karen said, “The only information I remember them telling me was the type of abortion procedure and then saying, ‘The products of conception will be removed from your uterus.'”
The abortion workers gave her no information about possible post-abortion trauma. “Before my abortion, no one told me I would have regrets,” she said. “No one told me I could be potentially traumatized emotionally for the rest of my life. No one told me that it would be the biggest mistake of my life.”
She also says the facility gave her no information about her preborn baby, writing, “No one told me that at 11 weeks and three days gestation my baby already had a beating heart, that she could suck her thumb, that she swallowed amniotic fluid, that she ‘swam’ around in my uterus. No one told me anything.”
Karen felt immense regret the moment her baby was aborted. She wrote, “My life had become a living nightmare in a matter of a few hours. My regret was immediate. My sadness and pain were immediate. There was never a moment when I thought what I had done was the best thing to do.”
She stayed with her boyfriend for a while, but their relationship eventually fell apart.
Years later, Karen experienced another unplanned pregnancy. Her situation was extremely difficult. She was single with two young children, was living with her sister and her sister’s family, was struggling financially, and was trying to go back to school. She seriously considered abortion, and even went to an abortion facility. She was so distraught that an abortion worker sent her home. In the end, she decided to keep her baby. She said:
I thank God that I didn’t have an abortion with my son. He has been one of the greatest gifts in my life. He is a kind soul, loving and giving. He is a wonderful son, husband, father and brother. I cannot imagine my life without him… Every time I think of the fact that I almost chose abortion a second time, I thank God that I didn’t. Never have I had a single moment of regret about choosing life.
But I regret the abortion I had every single day of my life.
Fortunately, Karen didn’t make a second mistake. But the abortion she did have haunts her to this day, many years later.
Source: Emily Berning Shout Your Abortion Too (Fort Wayne, Indiana: Let Them Live, 2019) 119, 121, 122 – 123, 125
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