I have an 8-year-old who I’ve never met. I never fed or held this child. I never had a chance to bandage boo-boos, read stories, or give a kiss goodnight. I missed preschool and the first day of kindergarten. I don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl.
I wonder about personality. Would her favorite color be pink? Would his favorite food be pizza? What kind of music would this child like? I think about looks. Would she favor me? Would he have brown hair, or a dimple, or be the class clown?
I’ll never know the answers to these questions — because I chose to have an abortion.
I grew up believing abortion is murder, but it is an entirely different story when it happens to you. At the time, I was engaged to be married. My then fiance’ had hit me several times, and I found out I was pregnant 3 days after I called off the wedding. I did not want to bring a baby into what I felt was already a bad situation, much less a physically abusive relationship. If he hit me, what kind of life could I expect for our child?
I quickly did some research and decided to go to an abortion clinic in a neighboring state. I knew I could get Mifepristone since I discovered my pregnancy early on. When I saw the clinic doctor I told him I didn’t want a D&C, I just wanted the pill. Within four days of the abortion clinic visit, I miscarried.
I was so sure of myself.
It’s been almost nine years since the abortion and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my selfish actions. If I could go back and chose life for that innocent child, I would. Within a few days I had made a very permanent decision that I have to live with for the rest of my life.
In 2013, I miscarried during a very wanted pregnancy with my husband and wondered if God was somehow punishing me for my past sins. It’s taken me awhile to accept this isn’t the case, but it’s hard not to feel like because I took a life, new life was eluding me. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be a mother since I threw the opportunity away before? Maybe all they say about karma really is true?
In the years that followed, I have successfully carried a child to term, and given her all the love, devotion and care a parent can provide. It’s something I want for her, but in a way it’s also my attempt to be the mother I should have been to my other child.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about my decision – many, many days, weeks, months and years. During this time I’ve really taken a deeper look at my views on pro-choice and pro-life. From it all, I know I am pro-choice. I don’t want the government in my uterus (or anyone else’s). I don’t want women dying from coat hangers in back alleys because they were denied a clean and safe abortion.
Struggling with the guilt and emotions after an abortion can be hard. The biggest thing I want moms who have been through abortion to know is YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for support. There are women who have the same regrets. There is hope and healing. There are other women just like you. There are support groups online like Project Rachel and Elliot Institute who are ready to help when you need it.