Campaign Awareness for Igniting Choice & Uniting Life
Before I begin, I want to tell you how I got to where I am today. I am the oldest of 10 children and grew up in a pro-life household. Neither of my parents where high school graduates and we grew up living below the poverty line. Throughout my childhood I endured emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from my father and many other people who saw my vulnerability. As a teen I was starving for attention and love. Beginning at the age of 15 I lived on the streets and was in and out of a few girls’ homes. When I turned 18 I found myself with nowhere to go. This is where my story of the forced abortion begins.
By this time in my life I would have moved in with anyone who would have taken me in. I choose a young man who was a few years older than me. In my own mind, nothing could be worse than the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father and the prostitution, drugs, and satanic rituals I watched and endured in the girl’s home. It also couldn’t have been worse than all the times I slept in cars with little to no money for food while always having to keep one eye open at night for whatever evil was soon to find me.
I soon found myself in an unhealthy abusive relationship with this new boyfriend who asked me to move in with him. It was also unfortunate that at the time I was so used to abuse that I didn’t recognize it as such for it was a normal part of my life. If I could squeeze out moments of feeling loved then it made up for the pain of abuse endured.
Within a month after moving in with my boyfriend, I became pregnant. I first discovered I was going to have a baby at Planned Parenthood, where I had made a visit to obtain contraception. I was so scared yet so excited at the same time. Immediately, I told my boyfriend. He seemed happy and told me not to worry and that he would take care of everything. It relieved me to know he wanted the baby and I was thrilled that we were going to be a family. I imagined having a lively blond boy playfully running around. This was my opportunity to turn my life around. Drinking and drugs would all come to a stop. I had a reason to live and a reason to begin trying to live correctly. I desired to teach my child, which I assumed was a boy, to respect women– something I had not experienced with men.
But my dream of a family life shattered when my boyfriend told me he had made an appointment for me to get an abortion. Earlier, when he said he’d take care of everything, I never dreamed that would mean aborting our child. This harsh new reality and his news devastated me. I sobbed and cried as I told him that would be impossible! I could never do that to a child! And I did not easily give up. We argued daily about the “practical” reasons I should abort the baby. My boyfriend preyed upon my every insecurity. He could read me like a book. At the time, all I had going for me was what I looked like. My looks got me everything I needed in order to live. My boyfriend attacked my every insecurity in order to win an argument. He yelled at me daily, saying things like: “No one will ever want you. You will be fat and ugly. No one wants a single mother with a kid.” His numerous insults which were told to me over and over, piled up. They were too painful to bear anymore.
The days began blurring together, and I became more and more depressed about my life and my future. My deepest wish was to keep my baby. After all, my experience as an abused child gave me a deep love for hurting children. But now I found myself on the threshold of doing something that violated my deepest desires and assaulted my best hopes. I was losing my fight for my baby. My weaknesses and insecurities grew as I was held up in an apartment knowing of no one to help me.
I had one last plan to use in this fight for my child’s life. I would agree to go to a clinic for an abortion. But my plan was to ask the nurses to tell me more about abortions and leave pregnant telling them I wanted to think about it more. I felt this would temporarily put an end to my boyfriend’s constant verbal attacks. When I finally agreed to go; my boyfriend’s demeanor shifted instantly to happiness and relief. The verbal assaults stopped. The morning of my appointment, we stopped for breakfast and my mind raced at how I was going to get out of the abortion after going through the motions of a consultation. What was I going to say to him when we left the clinic? How was I going to get away with this? Where could I run to to get help? I had no parents to turn to, all my siblings where too young, I did not have a best friend for I moved so much in high school because of all the girls’ homes I lived in. I also feared the abuse that was sure to follow by going against my boyfriend’s wishes. My mind was racing for answers. I couldn’t even think straight or pay attention to where we were going. It was as if I was in a daze and life around me was a blur.
Before I knew it we were there. We drove up to a red brick building and walked upstairs. As my boyfriend knocked on the locked door, I slid down the wall into a crouching position, pondering why such an imposing cold, steel door was even necessary. In moments, the door unlocked and we walked into a room with chairs lined against the wall. I noticed a small box of toys on the floor and wondered who would bring their children to a place like this. At this time I was pro-choice in my political views, but when I found myself up against that steel door that seemed better suited for a prison than a portal of liberation, I found myself decidedly pro-life. I did not think it right to tell others what they should do with their bodies. But as for myself, I did not want to have an abortion. But the events of that fateful day raced away from me. I signed in in at the front desk and sat in silence with my boyfriend.
When the lady behind the window called my name, I went to the back alone, where a nurse led me down a hallway to the very last room. Once in the room, I noticed the dingy yellow walls, the tall cabinets that lined one wall, and a padded chair in the corner. The nurse gestured me to sit in the chair. But as I began to sit, immediately I broke into tears. I sprang off the chair and shouted repeatedly:
“I will not do this! I have to leave! I want to go! I can’t stay here!”
But she stepped in front of me, barring my escape. Clutching both my arms, the nurse forced me back into the chair. I begged and pleaded like I knew what was going to happen next:
“Please don’t do this to me! Please don’t do this to me!”
But she pulled a needle out of her pocket and penetrated my arm. I vaguely remember feeling someone lifting me from under both arms and someone else carrying me with both legs.
I later awoke to the nurse’s stares. Seeing my eyes open, she yelled for me to wake up and pounded her fists on my chest to keep me conscious. Groggy and unfocused, I felt someone lifting me from the chair. I tried my best to walk, but stumbled back to my waiting boyfriend. We sat for a moment when I noticed a sign on the wall that said, “Don’t Worry – Be Happy.” I felt that was an unusual sign for a place like this.
I was now childless.
For over a decade, I blamed myself for walking into that clinic. If only I had not tried to appease my boyfriend, my child would be alive today. If only I had been stronger and stood firm with my “NO!”, I’d have never walked into that clinic. For years, these “If only I” statements haunted my mind and shrouded me in shame. I didn’t dare talk about it to anyone. I stayed in bed for a week or more before I gathered the strength to pack up my belongings and leave. Not knowing where I was going; I couldn’t bear to be in that apartment any longer.
Many years later, I finally got the courage to tell someone and seek out healing from what happened to me. Through my healing I learned that it wasn’t my fault. I had convicted myself guilty for being weak. I accepted that I murdered my baby. What I learned was the words, “No Condemnation!”
The clinic where the abortion happened was located In Phoenix, Arizona. Here is a video of the exact clinic after it was vacated. I recently discovered that the abortion doctor, Brian Finkel was sentenced to prison in 2004. He was convicted of 22 counts of sexual abuse on women who were under anesthetic at his clinic.
The guilt and shame infiltrated every aspect of my life. I limited myself to what I could do as a woman for society and for my family. I taught my girls submission and co-dependency to fear that they would be hurt if they said no to the wrong person. I learned that as a woman; I did not have rights. I did not have control over my own body. I hid in my shame and could not branch out to be there for others for I was too consumed by my own insecurities of lacking self-esteem and lacking confidence. For too long, I told myself I am not good enough and will never amount to anything. My abuse as a child in my own family, in an abusive relationship as a young woman, and as an unwilling victim of the abortion industry all taught me this.
I want you to know that what happened to me did not only affect me. It affects my children. My oldest daughter has yearned for an older brother since she was young. Since she was a little girl she has periodically talked about her wishes for an older brother. At the age of 14 I told her what happened to me. Her feelings of anger, confusion, sadness, and disappointment that someone would actually do that stunned her. Someone robbed her of that older sibling, possibly an older brother as she wished for. She will never have the chance to have that relationship. In her eyes, someone killed her brother.
If you are a believer in God then you know He heals. It wasn’t until I gave my pain to God that I began to find healing. As I was driving down a street in my town I noticed people with signs in front of an abortion clinic. I would have never known that it was there if it wasn’t for them. The building they were in front of has the red brick that I recall in my memory of the place the abortion took place for me. I decided then that I needed to let this go. I wrote a letter and placed a pendent in it that said “mother.” I drove to the abortion clinic in Austin, Texas. and walked up to the entrance. I noticed a steel door at this place too. I froze for a moment as the memories of crouching up against the steel door came to my mind. Scared, I proceeded towards the entrance. I stopped by some bushes that lead up to the door. I couldn’t make myself touch the wall, which is what I wanted to do. I sat down by the bush and began to dig a small hole. I buried the note I wrote to my baby and then walked back to the street. I couldn’t leave yet. I still felt all the guilt and shame on me like a heavy weight. There is a red brick mailbox on the side walk. Over the mailbox were a tree and some bamboo shading it. I sat up against it and under the bushy trees. Crying, I stared at the clinic and prayed. I told God I am not leaving till I feel free of this guilt and shame! My husband came and joined me and we sat in silence as I cried. Suddenly, the sun’s rays came piercing through the trees. I could see each individual ray of light shining down on me. I felt light, loved, forgiven, and peace. Then it disappeared. I got up and said I’m ready to go. My husband, worried about my emotional state, began to encourage me about the four wonderful children I have at home that love me. I stopped in my tracks, looked at him, and said, “No, I have 5 children.” That was the first time I said that with joy, pride, love, and acceptance. I said it every day after that for a few months. As I continued to heal I became stronger. I was able to see my co-dependency on keeping others happy. I learned that I had a right to say no and a right to my body. I began to instill these new ways of living in my children. Although it has been difficult, for my fear still creeps up on me, I have been successful with moving forward and gaining strength.
My hope and prayers today are that my story helps other women heal from forced abortions, and just as importantly, to strike the shame of forced abortions from society by ensuring abortion-minded women are making the choice voluntarily and without coercion.