I had an abortion at the age of 20 on July 15, 1982; six weeks into the first trimester of what would be my first and only healthy pregnancy. I wanted my child but traumatic circumstances in my life and the counsel of someone close to me led me to make this regretful decision.
I went to a women’s pregnancy center for the abortion and as they took my money, there were no questions asked, no alternatives given and no counsel offered.
I spent the next 24 years of my life in a prison of guilt, shame and pain leaving me so emotionally debilitated that I was unable to focus on completion of tasks or to accomplish goals. I felt I was losing my mind and relationships with my friends and my husband suffered tremendously.
I had lost the ability to trust. After trying for 8 years to have a baby I ended up having a complete emergency hysterectomy. I had lost my chance to have children of my own. I plunged deeper into depression and withdrew from those closest to me. My days were filled with rage, shame and a searing pain that would not go away. Anger and Suicidal thoughts plagued me constantly. I tried to numb the pain through overeating, people pleasing, disassociation, perfectionism and a suicide attempt.
After searching a website in early 2006, I found out that there were scientifically documented studies that show the psychological trauma suffered by women who have had an abortion. This is known as a condition called Post Abortion Syndrome. I had most of the symptoms and for the first time in my life I felt like there was a light of hope in my darkness.
After seeking counsel through a friend at a pregnancy center and having a memorial service for my aborted baby I was set free by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. My husband and I found healing and renewed love after 24 years of anger towards each other and at the situation we found ourselves in. We were finally able to talk about it. I realized that the effects of abortion extend to the father and other loved ones, not just to the mother involved.
If I could go back and change things I would never have made the decision I made that day. The effects of Roe vs. Wade continue to destroy the lives of women, men and their families. It has created confusion in our future generations about the worth of human life. I believe that we all have a duty to attempt to right the “wrongs” in our world. The words of Edward Everett Hale say it best:
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do I should do and what I should do by the grace of God I will do.”
-Norma Tanton, Votaw, Texas