When Abortion is Exposed
The Little Pink Plus Signs
I was sitting curled up in an overstuffed recliner when he came back from the store and silently handed me the box. I had no idea how much my world was going to change in the next five minutes – with those two little tests and the little pink plus signs, my life would never be the same. I had just turned sixteen one week prior and now I was the mother of a seven-week old unborn child.
She already had a heartbeat, eyes, legs, hands and brainwaves. She had all of this before I even knew she existed.
But there was a problem. My boyfriend was eighteen and my small growing child was testimony to the fact that I was below the age of consent by six short weeks when we got pregnant. She was six weeks too early. I was six weeks too young. She was evidence of statutory rape.
Abortion has always just been there. I am a member of Generation Roe. You see, even for the most pro-life of our generation (of which there are a lot of us) we have grown up in a world where life is expendable. We are only alive because someone didn’t abort us, and although we may not vocalize this thought even once in our lives, it is certain that this takes hold of our subconscious.
Our mothers have missing children, we have missing siblings, friends, and cousins and now, now we have missing children too. One out of four pregnancies today end in abortion and I – well, I am all too aware of this figure.
Four weeks after my sixteenth birthday I was told to make a decision – decide between the man you love or the child you’ve never met; decide between spending your time learning to drive or the unwed-teenage mother who is still too young to even go to prom; decide between this clump of cells that exists only as a little pink plus sign or the dreams you have envisioned since you started dreaming at 17 weeks in the womb.
When it was put that way she never had a chance; we never had a chance.
Now she had lips and fingernails and eyelids. Her little toes, complete with toenails, were scrapping up against me as she kicked and swam. She had every organ in place and her individual tiny fingerprints were reaching out to leave their mark in my womb.
But I did not know this. I could not see her or feel her or hold her or fathom how much I would miss her when she was gone.
The reality of abortion was exposed in my life all too late for my daughter who died at the hands of an abortionist almost five years ago. This June she would turn four years old, and though there would surely be difficulties in our lives, I cannot tell you how much it would mean to me to watch her sleep at night or comb her hair in the morning.
The abortion facility ignored the fact that I was a victim of statutory rape. They said nothing to me, nor to my knowledge, my boyfriend, about our illegal relationship – more importantly, they said nothing to the police, as they were legally required. A protective law was on the books in the state where my abortion took place that requires abortion facilities to inform parents of minor children before they have an abortion. My parents were never informed, nor was I ever given a chance to involve other responsible adults in this part of my life. If either of these things had happened I may have had the opportunity to make a real decision, with the support of others, about my life and the life of my child.
See, the reality of abortion was exposed in my life all too late, but let me now expose it for you. After the abortion, the relief that “my problem” was gone lasted only as long as the pain meds, which were supposed to decrease the physical pain of the procedure. It was at this point I realized that not only was I still in a relationship that was way too mature for my age, not only were my parents still absent, abusive and unable to care for me, but now I had paid someone to take my only child from my womb.
My child was not my problem as so many wanted me to believe. She was a blessing; she still is my pearl. No, the only thing the abortion did was to compound my difficulties and drive me deeper into despair and loneliness.
Priscilla Coleman outlined many of the reactions that I had to my abortion in her overview of post-abortion research . These reactions are common for post-abortive women to experience, yet I was never told about them either before or after my abortion. For me, the guilt, anxiety, numbing, depression, alcohol abuse and nightmare flashbacks seemed testimony to the fact that something was wrong with me.
I did not know that these were the kind of things that women like me experience everyday (for more on Coleman’s research go to www.abortionresearch.us).
Now, I cannot help but think how I deserved this information and how every mother considering abortion should be told the real story.
Hope for the Hopeless
Like many woman who go through this, it was a long journey from where I was to where I am now. It took a long time for me to find it, but there is hope after abortion. I felt alone and worthless, confused at why it was bothering me so much when it “was not that big of a deal.” I thought there was something wrong with me and I just needed to get over myself.
But when the truth of abortion was truly exposed, I also learned the truth about recovery.
If you or anyone you know is hurting from abortion, know that you are not alone.
When abortion first became legal in 1973, post-abortive women were silent for so long. Our parents did not know that there were others out there, struggling with this decision and hurt by the way they were deceived. Women now are coming out saying that they were hurt by abortions they had 20 or even 30 years ago. But our generation does not have to wait that long.
Although there are many opportunities for post-abortive men and women to seek out healing, Rachel’s Vineyard (RV) is a loving ministry that is available all over the world. RV is a powerful weekend that allows those of us who have been hurt by the loss of a child to safely seek healing. It can be terrifying to take the step into one of these retreats, but once you are there you will find love and understanding like you can find no where else. When I took the step to participate in this weekend I was a scared and hurting girl, lost in the grief of my decision. The weekend was one of the best opportunities of my lifetime and although I still had a lot of work to do when it was over, I found the hope I thought I had forever lost.
If you are hurting from abortion, male or female, young or old, reach out and seek the healing you deserve. Call the national Rachel’s Vineyard hotline at 877 HOPE 4 ME. Reach out to your local pregnancy resource center or pro-life group. Talk to your priest or minister.
It can be a scary step to reach out for this healing, but once we step out and take hold of this healing, no one can silence us, and we will expose abortion for what it really is.
Coleman, P. (2008). Abortion Mental Health Research: Update and Quality of Evidence. Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change Research Bulletin, 20(2), 1-12.