I am a Pro-Life Woman. That may offend some. But it may also serve as a bridge to others. THAT – an opportunity to bridge a gap – is the reason I want to share my story. My experiences are not really about me. God has been with me through some horribly DARK moments due to my own choices. Choices that were made despite His opportunities to choose otherwise.
I exercised my “right” to an abortion. And it opened up a Pandora’s box of guilt, shame, remorse, flashbacks, and more pain than I ever imagined.
God brought me through. He has rescued me from a prison of guilt and shame. He has put my enemy under His feet. And He has brought me new life.
Imperfect. Still willful. But oh so grateful, and OH. SO. blessed. That is why I am a Pro-Life Woman!
I was 15 years old when my family moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Spokane, Washington in 1985. My dad was in the Air Force and we didn’t have a whole lot of say about moves where our family was concerned. The cool thing is that my parents did a great job preparing us for a move and encouraging us to make new friends and stay in touch with old friends at the same time.
But I was a 15 year old girl who went from a church of 2,000+ (so the youth group had a couple hundred kids) to a church of about 150. Youth group size: 5. And that included myself and my brother.
There were a lot of factors and choices in my life – choices made by me and choices made by others – that impacted my thinking at that time. The truth is, I got mad at God for taking me away from my friends and decided that I didn’t want to be “Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes” anymore.
So I started a relationship with a boy who was not the best possible option for me – but was one of the ONLY options. At 16, that made a big difference to me. I met him secretly and openly defied my parents. I’d been skipping classes and lying to my parents for months – and my attitude was pretty rotten. And I got pregnant when I was 17. It was the end of my junior year of high school.
I knew – and believed – that life started at conception. I also knew that my pregnancy would devastate my parents and ruin my reputation.
I had so hardened my heart to my parents, that I couldn’t even go talk to them and ask them for help. I was angry and ashamed and decided I would make the decision on my own and live with the consequences. So with my boyfriend’s encouragement & support, I scheduled the consultation and went.
After my pregnancy was confirmed, I demonstrated some ambivalence about the decision while still in the doctor’s office. It was VERY real to me that I was pregnant and that I was not just carrying a blog of tissue that could so easily be flushed away. The doctor brusquely informed me that I was already at least 11-12 weeks by his examination, and that there was little time to wait. I said I needed to think about it and would schedule an appointment. He informed me that after 12 weeks it was illegal to obtain an abortion, so I really only had about one week’s time to decide.
I eventually called and scheduled the procedure. I used a fake name and the cover of a cosmetology class during summer break to avoid discovery. I met with my boyfriend and he drove me. I was not supposed to drive after the procedure, but would have to in order to maintain my lie.
I changed into the gown and did the preliminary check – blood pressure, etc. The nurse handed me a little paper cup with 2 little pills. One was a sedative, one was a muscle relaxer, and I obediently swallowed them. Almost immediately, I began thinking that I could NOT do this. I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t want to make this choice, and I told the nurse that I was not going to do it. She was a little surprised but asked if I’d taken the medication yet. When I told her I had already taken it, she informed me that the medication alone could kill the baby and cause a miscarriage, and was likely to do so. I could leave, but it would be better to get it over and done with in a short amount of time at the clinic.
I did feel cornered. But there I was. I had made my bed and at that point thought I had to lie in it.
I rested on a cot in a small L-shaped room with 6 cots. I was the only girl there, but as I was drifting off, I could hear a girl somewhere screaming.
I remember a nurse waking me and wheeling me to the procedure room. It was a horrible sickly green/gray color. I got up on the table and the doctor came in. I remember counting backwards from 100 and then I was out.
The next thing I remember was the most intense, white-hot pain that felt like I was being ripped in half. I was not able to get away from it. It was unbearable, and then I heard the nurse talking to me telling me it was almost over and that I would be okay. She was soothing and shushing me and showing me compassion when I was scared and in such pain that I couldn’t remember where I was. Then I could hear the suction machine and remembered.
I was wheeled back to the same room and put into the same cot. I slept. I woke up and found a few cookies and a small cup of orange juice by my cotside. Another girl was in the room – she was very talkative and informed me that she was there for her 3rd abortion. I almost threw up. I couldn’t believe I had an abortion, and it made me ill to think about EVER doing that again.
My experience with abortion convinced me in my pro-life stance. Not your typical pro-life woman – but I’ve been there. I’ve faced the decision – the questions – the regrets – and I know that while I would never recommend abortion to anyone, I cannot judge anyone who ever considers or has an abortion…