From Pro Choice to Pro Life: How Abortion is Failing Women

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Written by Alyce Auman
Contributor

How Come Many Women Seek an Abortion?

What happens to them afterwards? It’s not always as smooth as you think.  Supporters of abortion have made this into a Women’s Rights issue. In reality, is this the best way to support our women? You decide.

Here are a few personal accounts from woman who were faced with this life changing decision.

Alone and Scared

I was in a relationship with a boy from school and moved out of my grandmother’s home into his parents’ home with him for a couple of months, right before graduating high school.  We were supposed to be saving money to move in together. But I started noticing that money was coming in from sources other than his job (some of it stolen from family who owned a business, other just stolen altogether) and also had my $3,000.00 taken from him that I had saved up when I lived at home at my grandmother’s house.

Once we moved in together I noticed right away that he became very controlling. I wasn’t allowed to have any friends or go anywhere without him.  At the time I was going to college and working two jobs and he would show up everywhere randomly to try to “catch me” doing something wrong.

Meanwhile, he was constantly cheating on me and our roommates (his 3 male friends) kept coming to me telling me to run far from him that he was really doing me wrong and I would get hurt or catch diseases or something from him.  I would go to him upset about this information and he would tell me they are just messing with me and they wanted to have sex with me and I was stupid to believe them.

Eventually when I did catch him red handed, he started with the anger and the verbal degradation.  He said that it was my fault because I was fat  (at the time I only weighed 140 pounds and was very involved in sports at school, so I wasn’t a tiny petite girl, but I was not fat by any means). He also said it was my fault because I was too boring because I went to college and worked 2 jobs and was so tired all the time from sleeping 3-4 hours a day.

Mind you, I gave up sleep about every other day to maintain sex in our relationship so he was not without.  He became worse and worse with his mental abuse and it eventually turned into being told really scary stuff like how if he couldn’t have me, nobody would, and “watch and see” became a sentence I heard daily. Part of me kept thinking that if I tried harder, that he would see how awesome I was and change.  The other part of me wanted to run, but had nowhere to go.  I had no parents or support system at all.  I was on birth control since I first got with him, which was at 17 years old.  I took it regularly and was shocked to find out that 2 years into our relationship at age 19- just as I was gaining courage enough to try to leave and had set out on a plan to leave-that I was pregnant.

I was completely shocked because I was faithful that if I took my birth control every day at the same time and never missed it, that I would be protected from that. I was actually more concerned about getting a disease because I had lost my parents at the age of 10 years old to AIDS and I knew that he cheated on me all the time, but he said “it didn’t feel the same” and wouldn’t have it.  I went to Planned Parenthood after taking the pregnancy test.  The woman administered another test, came back in, told me I was indeed pregnant.  I just started sobbing.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had already experienced so much abuse and abandonment in my life and didn’t want to deal with this relationship anymore.  The doctor asked me what my situation was.  I explained it to her and she said that since I didn’t have parents she wanted to give me advice that I should have the abortion to get out of the situation that I was in with him.  I had told her that I grew up with a broken family and if I had the baby that I would feel enticed to stay with him to keep a family together, but that I was planning to leave because I was afraid of him.  The clinic that I was at didn’t do the abortions there, so I had to go home and make an appointment for another day.

I didn’t feel right going forward with it without telling him, but I also knew that he would use my wish for the abortion against me and be angry and try to get me to stay and have the child with him. He was an expert gas-lighter.  I made up an excuse that I didn’t want to have a baby now because I was working on exercising and getting my body right for him and that I wanted us to be able to be married and have a house before we had a child.  He bought it because to him, if I was talking about marrying him, that meant he still had control.  He took me to the appointment out of town the next week.

We pulled up to a bunch of women holding signs, screaming at us, hitting the car. I got out, and this woman yelled “MURDERER!!!!” right into my face.  I’ll never forget it.  She didn’t understand the torment that I was going through!!!  I didn’t believe in abortion, I didn’t want to do it, I just wanted to not be tied to this horrible situation anymore and didn’t know what to do.  We finally made it in, and went through with the procedure.  They told me that after it would be like having a period and that I should just think of it as a miscarriage and that would make me feel better.  I woke up after the procedure and was in immense pain. The doctor told me (after) that I was about 13 weeks along, when Planned Parenthood near my house had told me I was about 7 weeks along.  My boyfriend was sitting next to me, looked at me, and whispered in my ear “there, are you happy? You just killed our child.”  I couldn’t believe it.  I started to get up and the doctor said you have to lay there for a few minutes to regain your strength so you aren’t dizzy.  The doctor left the room and my boyfriend continued to degrade me.  “I hope that you are hurting, you deserve it…… “I can’t even look at you, I can’t believe I let you talk me into this, those women out front were right, you’re a murderer…. I might make you walk home for what you did.” (We lived 1 ½ hours away).  The doctor came back in and said ok, you can go now.  We started to leave the clinic; I opened the door to go out, and the women were there with the signs.  The woman who had screamed into my face earlier came back up to me again and said “I hope you burn in hell… murderer!!!!” I was barely able to walk to the car physically, and my emotions let loose and I just started to sob.  I got in the car and listened to my boyfriend further degrade me the entire way home.

I waited for him to leave later in the day, I laid on the cough and sobbed.  I called into work the next day.  I was considering just killing myself to end the pain.  Life had kicked my ass and at the age of 19 I was ready to just give it up.

A friend of mine who was close to the family that was like a mom to me happened to randomly call me that day (before cell phones) and I wasn’t able to see who it was.  I had to answer the phone because if it was my boyfriend and I didn’t answer, I’d have hell to pay.  I answered and she said “Hey sweetie, was just thinking about you and how you are doing?  I haven’t heard from you in a while, I was worried about you.”  I don’t know what told her to call me, she had no idea what was happening.  I let it all out and cried and told her everything that I had been dealing with and what I just did (the abortion) and that I wanted to die.  She came to my house to get me and made me come to her house and stay with her. I slept on her couch for a week.

She knew the boy that I was with because it was a small town.  She assured him that I wasn’t feeling well and she wanted to make sure that I was okay.  He was very pissed off about it to me, but didn’t want anyone else to know he was controlling so he happily agreed to it with her just to appear like it was no big deal.  I got my physical strength back and left him the next week with the help of some friends.  I still to this day experience immense guilt over what happened and it was almost 20 years ago.

Lied to and Haunted

I was perhaps 21 years old when I took my first pregnancy test. I missed my cycle, took a pregnancy test, and I tested positive. I was on birth control at the time, and thought I was perfectly safe. The man I was married to was abusive and determined to make a living making money through immoral methods.  I couldn’t fathom bringing a child into a relationship like that. We went to a clinic that advertised a rather inexpensive procedure. When I walked in, the clinic was crowded with destitute looking women, and had a dark, oppressive feeling to it. The feeling immediate terrified me, and I couldn’t go through with it. A couple weeks later, I forced myself to go back because, at that time, I was pro-choice only through the first trimester, and the timeline from my first missed period placed me well within that window still. I was sedated, had the procedure performed, and while still heavily under the influence of sedatives, I remember asking what the baby’s sex was. I was not told, but what they did tell me was that I was roughly five months along. It was then that I learned that periods are still possible during a pregnancy, and that I was probably at least around three months along when I took my pregnancy test. If the clinic had performed a sonogram prior to the procedure, I would have known, and my decision would have been different, despite who would father my child. I was devastated, and heavily depressed for weeks after the abortion. Nearly two decades later, it still haunts me. I would have a child now who would be getting ready for college, but all I have is a ghost of that child that forever lingers in my psyche.

Numb and Remorseful

I grew up with a very controlling mother. She was kidnapped when she was 3 and molested for years. So my childhood environment was always making sure I covered up my mistakes, so not to disappoint her.

I’ve had 5 abortions. The first was an ugly lie. I was newly married to an airman. He was stationed in Korea and our marriage was not good. I cheated on him and found out I was pregnant. I lied to my sister and told her I needed a D & C (Dilation and curettage) and had her take me to get an abortion. I never admitted the truth to her; it would have killed her.

The second one was when I tried to keep a man who was breaking up with me. We went together. They leave you in the room with the ultrasound monitor and I turned the screen around to see this little baby moving around. I still let it be sucked out of me into this gallon tank with a plastic hose.

I’m getting sick telling this.

The next 3 I numbed myself to. I don’t recall a lot about them. They hurt physically and I still deal with immense guilt. I ruined my body because there was so much scar tissue.

I almost died giving birth to my son because of the damage that I had from the previous abortions that I had. When I had the abortions, I kept minimizing it saying my babies were angels and were never meant to have me as a mother because I was such a terrible, messed up woman.

Fear lead me to abort them. Fear of being responsible for someone. I couldn’t even get control over my own life.  My mind is still very distraught over it. I know what they look like and how alive they were and each time their little limbs were ripped out of me. I felt all the pain on purpose because I felt that I deserved to suffer for what I did. It has taken me years to forgive my actions.

I’m still making up for it; overworking myself for others beyond exhaustion.  To this day I have insecurity issues. I’ve just recently overcame my issues with dependency on men. I never felt in control of myself. I constantly second guess myself and have very bad anger issues. I named each of my babies and asked their forgiveness. I still think of them as lingering somewhere and feel that I would have ruined their lives.

Young and Guilt Ridden

I was 16 and was with a 34 year old man who told me he was 24 years old. He also told me that he had one kid. He actually was married and had 5 kids. When I got pregnant, apparently he knew that would most likely mean jail time for him and he would be considered a pedophile, so he demanded that I have an abortion or he would leave me alone and sign off his rights.

My father agreed with the abortion because he didn’t want me to ruin my life and he thought my boyfriend was only 24 and could accept that, but 34 was a definite abuser situation that his daughter was experiencing. I called a place and they said it would cost about $400.00 and would be “just like having a period”. I miscarried the day before my appointment was scheduled and have always felt like the baby knew my plans.

I sobbed and bled for 3 hours and hated myself. I can’t imagine how I would’ve felt if I had gone through with it. I probably would’ve committed suicide. I was already on anti-depressants shortly after that.

Young and Mislead

I was 15 when I found out I was pregnant. I had been in the relationship for 13 months. He was 17, and was living with me in a small cramped trailer with my mom, stepdad, and older brother. We were all living a party lifestyle, and relied greatly on pills and alcohol. I cried when I found out I was pregnant, and an overwhelming feeling of needing to fix this problem came over me.

I was always more concerned of what other people would think, that I never stopped to think how I felt. I never thought of the life growing inside me as a baby, I thought it more of a parasite. I feel disgusted and weak now for having had those feelings. I was raised in a “pro-choice” family and the only person to propose that I could keep the baby was my pill head stepdad.

I was scared to be pregnant and so young. I was scared to raise a baby in the environment I was living.

It was the day before my 16th birthday. I remember a conversation a mom was having with another mom explaining that she simply could not keep the baby because she had too many kids already.

I remember receiving an ultra-sound at the abortion clinic and cringing when the technichian asked if I wanted to see the picture, but I declined to look at my baby who I was prepared to kill. I remember laying on the operating table and being put to sleep, and waking up in a daze. I remember living my life afterwards as though nothing had happened. I pretended like I hadn’t made a life altering decision, but I had!

Abortion affects you for the rest of your life! After having 2 children with the same boy that I had an abortion with all those years ago, I understand the miracle of life. The choice I made to abruptly end my first pregnancy because of societal taboos is wrong and immoral. I had no right to end a life because of my age, environment, or any other reason I could come up with. There’s never a reason to kill your child. I urge young girls to educate themselves, and be strong! You are strong. Don’t let a moment of weakness ruin your life and your baby’s life. If I had one thing to change in my life, it would be to understand that I was killing my baby when I chose to get an abortion.

For the record this is what an unborn child at different stages looks like:

Heartbeat at six weeks :

13 weeks of gestation:

State Laws for abortion:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/18/us/politics/abortion-restrictions.html?_r=0

 

 

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