For Isaiah and Joshua
I write this to you from the state that has been quoted as the "abortion capitol of the nation". My baby would have been 32 years old this month (March). I was 16 years old at the time and abortion had been legal in Kansas for only a short time but it did not take the abortion doctors long to set up an abortion mill here. I was sure I was pregnant before the primitive urine test could confirm. After three inconclusive tests at the local clinic, I went to my boyfriend’s family doctor who did a blood test. The result was positive, which was no surprise to me. By this time I was already about 8 weeks along. I only had 4 weeks to decide what I was going to do at which time the price would go up from $200 to $400 (a lot of money back in 1973).
My boyfriend and I decided that I would have and abortion. He offered to marry me but this proposition freaked me out even more. I thought that if I could only get my hands on a fake ID, then I could get this procedure done without my parents ever knowing.
I was raised a Catholic and while my mother was fairly liberal, my father was anything but liberal. If he found out I was pregnant, then a shotgun wedding was in my future. While I was not particularly ambitious, this was not what I had in mind for my future.
We set about to figure out how we would raise the money and get our hands on a fake ID.
Meanwhile, I was scheduled to have my wisdom teeth cut out by an oral surgeon. On the way to the Doctors office, my mother blurted out "You’re pregnant, aren’t you!" Shocked, by this outburst all I could think of to say was no in as firm a voice as I could muster. The anesthesia made me sicker than a dog and on the way home all my mother could do was pressure me into admitting my sin. Finally I admitted to her that she was correct in her assumptions which then prompted her into a name calling rage. I spent the evening fighting nausea and vomiting with no comfort from my mother.
After she consulted her sister she decided that it would be better for me to have the abortion rather than be forced to marry.
My boyfriend scrounged up the money and the day was scheduled. When I say abortion "mill" I mean it was like a cattle pen before the slaughter. We were packed into this tiny waiting room for what seemed like hours in what had been the old hospital for black people long before civil rights. It was now August and if it was air conditioned you could not tell.
I was finally called. I was told it would be virtually painless but that’s not how I remember it to be. I threw up while I was on the table, even though I hadn’t had anything to eat for about 20 hours. I briefly considered stopping it but they were very "supportive" and the procedure was started. It seemed to take an eternity, but finally it was over. They kept me in an ugly recovery room by my self much longer than they said they would until my mother became worried and asked about me. They said that I was either farther along than 12 weeks or I was pregnant with twins and the procedure was more complicated than they had anticipated.
On the way home I had to endure more name calling from my mother. Let me stress that I love my mother (departed from this world 12 years ago) very much and I know now that this was her way of dealing with the stress and guilt. At the time I was hurt and needed a shoulder to cry on. We never talked about the abortion, ever again.
That night I developed severe cramping and was afraid to call my mother for help and comfort. I held my stomach and cried all night long. In the morning the cramps had died down and I went on with my life, but to this day I can remember every thing about that horrible day and carried guilt deep down inside me all these years.
A few years ago God called me to be one of his children. The abortion I had was now even heavier on my heart. About a year ago I saw Jennifer O’Neill on Fox News Network and I had my name added to the Silent No More Awareness mailing list. Through this organization and the healing process that occurs after I became a child of God I can now live in peace knowing that I have been forgiven and have been able to forgive myself. But I will never forget that March is the month of my child’s birthday.
I know that being a part of the Silent No More Awareness campaign is one of the ministries that God wants me to be a part of. There are millions of women and men still out there that are hurting and I want to be there to help someone.
God bless you,