Becky, Michigan

I was raised in a Christian home and a very strict, fundamentalist church.  I never got into any real trouble growing up or throughout high school.  It wasn’t until I went away to a Christian College that I strayed from my beliefs and upbringing.  There I met a guy and thought I fell in love.  I was also somewhat naive.  I really believed people who went to a Christian college went there because they were Christian.  I was wrong.  He was only there because he had received a basketball scholarship.  I'm Caucasian; he's African-American.  When he started pursuing me, I resisted because I knew my family wouldn't approve.

He was very charming and nice, or so I thought.  I enjoyed his company, so I gave in and started dating him.  He knew I believed in remaining a virgin until I was married, but he kept pushing and pushing the issue of sex.  After going with him for only about three months, I gave in to his persuasion and my flesh and we started having sex.  At first he used condoms, but then he told me that, as a side effect from a suicide attempt, he was infertile.  He told me that he drank gasoline which caused the infertility, and I foolishly believed him.  It ended up being something he just said because he didn't want to use the condoms.  I found out that he was sexually involved with many other girls, and I would catch him in lies constantly.  He manipulated me into buying things for him all the time, letting him use my car whenever he wanted (which would often strand me), and he even stole from me.  I found out later he would often take other women out in MY car.  He would always make some excuse, apologize all over himself, say it would never happen again, and swear his undying love to me.  I know it was stupid, but I would always take him back.  I think because he was my first and I thought since I slept with him, I had to stay with him.  I had to make it work somehow.  I also thought it must have been my fault, that I must be doing something wrong or he wouldn’t have treated me that way.  Now I believe the whole relationship was nothing but a game to him, to wear me down to have sex and to get whatever he could out of me.

It took about a year before I ended up pregnant.  I had always had irregular periods and would skip a month here & there, occasionally even two.  So between that and him being “infertile,” I didn't give being late a second thought.  I started having mild cramps so I thought my period was coming.  Then I got a splitting headache and was sick to my stomach 24 hrs a day.  I was taking Tylenol and stomach medicine, still never thinking I could be pregnant.  I had a friend at school that had previously had a miscarriage and I finally asked her what it felt like to be pregnant.  Her story was a little different than mine, but similar enough that I bought a pregnancy test.  I woke up early one morning before classes and took it right there in the dorm.  I was in shock and couldn't believe it when it was positive.  I went through my morning classes and chapel numb.  After chapel I called him and told him I wanted to come see him.  He said he was sleeping.  I begged and told him I really needed him, and he finally agreed, and we spent the day together. He never once bothered to ask me why I needed or wanted to see him.  It wasn’t until near the end of the day that I finally told him I was pregnant.  The very first thing that came out of his mouth when I told him was, "I better have myself checked out."  That’s how I learned the infertility story was nothing but another of his many lies.

I told the friend I mentioned earlier that I was pregnant.  She directed me to a Crisis Pregnancy Center.  I met with a girl there who confirmed my pregnancy.  I told her the situation - interracial relationship, prejudiced family, harsh church, absolutely no support.  There was a lot of fighting in my family and I was told I was a disgrace, etc. just for dating him, not to mention having sex with him and now being pregnant by him which they knew absolutely nothing about.  Anyway, she told me she would help me by finding a family I could stay with during the pregnancy, and if I wanted, I could then give the baby up for adoption.  How I wish now that had happened, but I NEVER heard back from her again.  When I left the center that was the end of that.  I really thought then that there was absolutely no one out there who was willing to help me in any way.

When I went home for spring break, I confided in another "friend" who suggested abortion.  My boyfriend agreed.  I knew my family would disown me, so I took that friend's advice, called the clinic and made an appointment.  He went with me to the initial meeting, but said nothing as I recall.  I don't even remember what I was told by the people running the place except that they had some people who had 6 or more, so it was safe.  They expected him to pay for it, but I was the one who paid for everything.

The day of the abortion, he went with me. When I went into the second waiting room, I saw another friend of mine from the college.  I was surprised.  She had had an abortion a week or so before and was there for a check up.  I went into the room and noticed a butterfly mobile on the ceiling that was supposed to be a comfort. A woman held my hand through the whole thing, but the doctor didn't say a word as I can remember.  I could hear the machine and I didn't make a sound.  Once it was over I broke down and started sobbing.  The woman holding my hand said, "She does have feelings."  What a terrible thing to say.  I went into the recovery room and I couldn't believe how many girls/women were in there.  No one seemed as upset as I felt.  There was even one girl there with her mother sitting beside her.  They were both talking and laughing just like it was nothing.  When I left recovery and went out to the waiting room, he wasn't there, but my friend from school was waiting for me.  I was glad to have her there for me.  I asked if she had seen him, but she had not.  She walked out with me, and we found him sleeping in the car.  I stayed with him at his mother’s home that afternoon and evening until I had to be back at the dorm.  At one point I asked him to go get me some Tylenol because I was having some pain.  He complained about having to be bothered to go out and get it, but he finally went.

He never changed his cheating and lying ways.  I finally reached the end of my rope, had all I was going to take, and left him after two more years.  The "friend" who suggested the abortion and I stopped talking within two months of the abortion.  I was to be her maid of honor, but she called me up one day out of the blue and said I was too obsessed with my boyfriend and my own situation. I hadn’t been there for her, and she didn’t want me in her wedding anymore.

I was a complete coward in going through with it.  I know what I did was wrong, I knew it while I was making that wrong choice. I never even thought about there being a baby at the time.  All I knew was that I was pregnant and shouldn’t/couldn’t be.  I was so afraid, alone, and desperate that I just felt I had to get out of the situation somehow.  At first I was relieved it was over and felt badly about not having much guilt.  Over the years, I have come to regret it immensely and now not a day goes by that I don’t think about it in one way or another.

I have never had a child.  I have a wonderful husband now of five + years whom I adore more than anything, but we cannot have a baby due to reasons unrelated to the abortion.  Even though it's not a result of what I did, I still feel like it's punishment.  Like God is saying, "I gave you a child once.  Look what you did.  Why should I give you another one?"  Other women have gone on to have children afterward, so I can’t help feeling that mine must be worse somehow and that’s why I’m being punished like this.  I don’t mean the circumstances leading me to make the decision were worse, but that my actually going through with it must somehow be worse.  I’ve been told it’s not punishment, but I don’t know how to make myself believe that.

I really don’t blame anyone but myself.  I know the final decision was ultimately mine, but I still have so much hurt and disappointment with the others involved, whether directly or indirectly. I have so many questions.  Why was my ex such a liar and why was he unfaithful?  Why is my family so terribly prejudiced?  Why didn’t the girl at the CPC ever call me back?  Why didn’t I call her to see what she had learned?  Why did my friend dump me instead of talking to me?  Why did my church have to be so harsh?  I can’t remember his exact words, but I remember the disgusted sneer the pastor had on his face when preaching about people having sex outside of marriage, the women who found themselves pregnant and how they had no morals, etc.  Not once did I hear him say we could come to him or another staff member for help if we ever found ourselves in that predicament.  Why couldn’t they still call sin, sin, yet also say if you stray and get in trouble, you can come to us?  That same pastor has had the same look of disgust when speaking of a woman who has had an abortion too.  So I could never go to them after the fact either.  I’ve been so ashamed of the fact that I was a Christian when I did this.

It took me over 17 years to finally seek some help and begin a Bible study for post-abortive women called Forgiven and Set Free.  In doing so, I’ve learned that I’m not the only Christian to ever commit the sin of abortion and that there is hope and true forgiveness.  I hope to someday be able to prevent others who are facing a crisis pregnancy from making the same horrific mistake I did and help them see that abortion is never a solution.

Becky