It’s been a little over 40 years ago now that I had an abortion at the
age of 20. Since that time, the politics surrounding abortion haven’t
changed one iota. It’s my hope that telling my story will encourage
other women to come forward and share their experience as well.
Before I proceed, I would like to reference a newspaper article that
I’ve kept for three decades or more. I didn’t note the exact date,
however, it is titled ‘Guilt over abortion is rare, study finds’, by
Charlotte Parsons, The Globe and Mail’. The newspaper article makes
reference to a Dr. Sachdev. He states, “Soon after the abortion, most
women (78.9%) felt relief and satisfaction. Long term psychological
reactions of guilt or depression were rare.”
What really struck home with me and the main reason I kept this article
was the comment, “By far the most popular reason among the women was an
almost superstitious belief that pregnancy would never happen to them.”
“Three-fourths of the women did not think that they could or would
become pregnant”. Of course I now realize how naive I was. But what
really shocked me was reading that many other young women fall into this
mind set as well.
As I stated, I was 20 years old when I had an abortion. My reasons were
two fold. One, I was just learning to walk after a very serious car
accident. But the second reason far out weighed any physicalconcerns,
and that was the impossible choice to tell my parents. In my
mind, that would have been tantamount to an ‘emotional crucifixion’.
They are Catholic.
At that time, to have an abortion legally meant going through this long,
drawn out process of what I guess would be called a medical revue
However, taking a step backward, I remember the doctor telling me that
yes, I was pregnant. Although shocked, my very first thought was that I
would have an abortion. Soon afterward I noticed these feelings of the
most wonderful ‘joy’ sweeping through my body. In retrospect, I made a
most interesting decision. I decided that for one week, and one week
only, I was going to let these feelings of joy emerge. Emerge is an
understatement. I was totally flooded with joy and fell totally in love
with this soul. At the end of the week, it was like I reached over and
‘click’ turned off my emotions, much like turning off a radio.
After that, my feelings were numb, and I went through the lengthy
medical process to have my abortion O.K.’d. I remember talking to a
nasty psychiatrist, who seemed totally against abortion. I then
remember sitting in a room with a ‘medical board’ answering their
questions. I told them flatly that I was going to have an abortion with
or without their consent, and although I didn’t have any money for a
private source, I would find it. They approved a D&C for which I was hospitalized overnight.
After checking into the hospital, I was placed in the maternity ward!
To even go the bathroom I had to walk by the nursery filled with new
babies. And of course all around me, the ward was filled with expectant
mothers or women who’d just given birth. I remember one mother coming
over to me asking, “what would you like dear, a girl or a boy?” I just
lay there shocked. So she just carried on saying,….oh I know,….doesn’t
matter as long as it’s healthy. It was most bizarre and quite surreal.
The next day they came to get me to take me to the operating room. I
was sobbing the entire time. This was not something I wanted to do. I
had to. For me I had no other option.
For a few years afterward I was filled with conflicting emotions. Had I
murdered a soul? Those horrible commercials by pro-lifers…‘These are
the feet of a three month old fetus’ added to my anxiety. I just knew
that ‘my God’ would not persecute me for my choice.
Many years later, I was laying back in a warm bath. I’d had chronic
anxiety since childhood and the pain in my chest was palatable. I know
this may sound odd, but for some reason I started talking to it. “Who
are you….what is this”? Then the most amazing thing happened. It was like I was
transported emotionally back to that terrible time when I mentally
‘clicked off’ all my joyous emotions. All that pain came rushing out. I
was shocked to say the least. Nothing like this had ever happened to
me before, or since. I thought that was it, but as I was to discover,
that was not the case.
Years later, I went to visit a &lsquosychic’ friend who I’d known for some
time. Although I do believe in psychic abilities, I truly did not know
what he was all about. He would talk to people’s dead relatives and
pass on messages, which quite frankly made no sense to me. However, I
hadn’t seen him for a few years, and for some reason, which felt like it
was the &lsquoolite’ thing to do, I booked a reading.
When I arrived, I sat in chair facing him – about 6 feet away. What
happened next came as a huge shock and I felt like someone had just
torpedoed me in the chest. He asked, “do you know you have a child in
spirit’? I was terrified, my mind racing, wondering if I should lie.
Abortion wasn’t something to this day that was something you could feel
safe in discussing. Before I could say anything, he continued,
explaining that sometimes women have a miscarriage and don’t know that
the child has continued to live on in spirit.
Feeling somewhat braver, I tentatively replied, yes. He gazed to his
side, obviously looking at something that I couldn’t see. He described
to me a blonde haired boy, thriving and growing in spirit. He also said that
the boy had a message for me. “Although he was only with you for a
short period of time, he wants you to know that you gave him something
very special”. It was like the words ‘Total Unconditional Love’ jumped
out of nowhere. I knew immediately that he was referring to that week
of the most incredible feelings of love and joy that I’d ever
experienced, before I turned my emotions ‘off’.
I came to know that I had nothing to be forgiven for. I knew that
‘intention’ played a big part in my choice. I came to know that a soul
does not have to be born into this world to gain benefit from
conception. This soul had experienced immense love and joy for the time
it was with me, and that was what ‘he’ was acknowledging me for. I
feel totally blessed for this gift of grace, and now know that this
psychic is a healer.
Writing my story in many ways is a big no win. Pro-lifers will say that
I rationalize my pro-choice position because I had an abortion; that I
have some kind of emotional vested interest. I know otherwise. Each
woman who makes the choice to have an abortion is unique unto her own
being and circumstances. The choice is between her and her maker. No one has the right to legalize her choice.
Other women who’ve had an abortion will undoubtedly have many different
experiences to mine. I believe that if we can share our stories, we
will benefit all other women who’ve either had an abortion, or are
contemplating having one.
I conclude with one last reference to the newspaper article that I’ve
kept for so many years. Dr. Sachdev’s conclusion was that abortion is
far less traumatic than relinquishing an infant to adoption. I knew
that I could not give my baby up for adoption. It would have destroyed
By the way, please excuse all my copy and pasting to get my story told.
I submitted it to be 'published' on Care2 but didn't even receive an
acknowledgment. Of course with such a heated topic I wonder why. A
hidden pro-lifer perhaps?