I was fifteen years old when my mother took me to get a pregnancy test.
I can’t remember why I called her. I wasn’t living at home. I had run away to live with my boyfriend who was physically abusive. He would beat me out of jealousy every time another man even spoke to me. I felt afraid and vulnerable, but when I found out I was pregnant I was happy. I think I thought his behavior towards me would change. The pregnancy test was positive and my mother said
“You need to have an abortion. A baby would ruin my life and yours.”
I ignored her comments, I had no intention of having an abortion, or so I thought.
Some weeks later, my boyfriend was next door drinking, something I could not do now. Playing cards with our rent money. I felt alone, very angry and afraid.
The twelve week deadline for a legal abortion in 1975, was approaching and the deadline tormented my mind.
“How long has it been, since I had my last period? How far along am I?”
I was experiencing nausea and morning sickness, but I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I had taken my pregnancy test. My stomach ached so badly I felt I was losing the baby. I began beating on the wall and they began laughing, this made me so angry, that fearful thoughts came in to my mind.
“What do you think you are doing? How do you think you will take care of a baby?”
We lived in a studio apartment with cockroaches and sometimes he went to the store to shoplift for our food. We were barely able to pay the rent each month. How would we buy diapers, where would we put the baby? All these fears attacked me. The next morning, I called my mom and said
“Schedule the abortion I can’t have a baby”.
“ I worried, how could I bring a baby into this relationship?”
My mom and dad came to pick me up that day. We were ushered into a room at the facility with the doctor, who proceeded to inform us of all possible physical consequences that could happen. They never mentioned any emotional or psychological trauma that could result from the abortion. I do not remember the specifics of what was said. I only remember what my father shared later. However, I do remember being in the bed alone, waiting and watching the huge clock on the wall. It was a sunny day and the sun seemed to wash all color out of the room.
Time seemed to stand still. Tick, Tick, Tick the clock sounded. I was alone and afraid.
The nurse came in to get me ready for the procedure and panic struck my heart.
“What are you doing?” I asked her.
She said “I am getting you ready for your abortion.”
Recognizing the panic on my face she said “It will be over quickly and it will not hurt”.
“Besides all your papers have been signed and we are going ahead now.”
I felt I no longer had a choice and tried to ready myself for what came next. I did not know what to expect… trusting her words. I laid down on the cold table and she told me
“Lie very still, it will hurt and there will be a lot of blood, but it will be over soon.”
I remember when the doctor came in he smiled at me and that is all I can recall until I was lying in the recovery room, painfully cramping, cold and bleeding. Initially I felt relief, possibly for hours; my mother observed that I laid on the couch for days, in a fetal position, sucking my fingers. That is when my mother realized, the truth. What a women experiences when she has an abortion is not what it is represented to be-a simple, safe, painless, and
quick surgical procedure for an unwanted pregnancy. The truth is abortion is very painful, and it will last a lifetime. It doesn’t solve the crisis it creates a new one.
This was the point at which denial began to set in for me. I simply couldn’t process what had happened. If the abortion solved my crisis, why did I feel so full of pain and loss. The resulting emotional pain was not what I expected or what they told me. Not knowing what to do, I got pregnant again three months later. I had planned it. I wanted this baby so much, but I miscarried. I was heartbroken this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Although I did not realize it at the time in retrospect now, I realize I had attempted to replace the baby, I aborted.
After my abortion I began to live a life of self-destruction. I lived so recklessly and I didn’t realize why. I was a danger to myself and everyone around me. Drinking, drugs, sexual promiscuity and whatever, I didn’t care. I used anything to numb the pain. A year after my abortion I got pregnant again and had my beautiful daughter. When my daughter was four I got married. After my marriage I became desperate to have another baby. I didn’t realize I had developed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which caused me to have two ectopic pregnancies and one miscarriage. I had no idea the abortion had anything to do with these physical infertility problems. This increased my suffering greatly. I spent years in depression.
Every month when my period came, I often fantasized about killing myself. I would lay on the cold bathroom floor trying to figure out how I could kill myself in such a way that it wouldn’t be too upsetting to my husband and daughter. I would cry out and tearfully ask God,
” Why won’t You forgive me? What do I have to do?”
I believed God had not forgiven me for my abortion, since I couldn’t get pregnant.
When I was unable to decide on the method of killing myself, I would get up and take a long hot shower and begin another month. Finally, I gave up the vigil and accepted that nothing would change.
My pain-filled journey lasted twenty-seven years, until I found healing that came through a Bible study. Forgiven and Set Free by Linda Cochran. My healing came when I looked at the truth about my abortion and found the forgiveness that set me free.
After an abortion, many women isolate themselves, believing there is no help, no healing and no forgiveness. Healing and forgiveness are available for women who have had an abortion when they allow God’s Word into their hearts.
“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things.
Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the
unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of
the unsuccessful, of those who have failed.
Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives,
and there is no bruised reed that Christ
cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty.
He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and
make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise.
He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.”
J.R. Miller Streams in the Desert
Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Online Bible Study for Women
Fridays April 7-June16, 2017
7-9 AM, Eastern
Bible Study Leaders: Nicki Cornett and Saradawn Samuel
Disheartening numbers of women have undergone an abortion–and they need help to heal emotionally and spiritually. This study was developed out of Linda Cochrane’s own experience of being freed from the bondage of guilt and grief that followed her abortion. Forgiven and Set Free guides suffering and hurting women to bring their emotional scars from abortion “out of the dark past and into his holy light,” where true and lasting healing can take place. Appropriate Scriptures help women deal with issues such as relief, denial, anger, forgiveness, depression, letting go, and acceptance.