Aborted Women: In Their Own Words

Abortion is no more painful and ugly than alternatives

by Spade T
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When I was fourteen, a friend of my parents began to abuse me sexually. The abuse continued for more than a year. Although I knew how to make it stop, I couldn't bring myself to tell my parents. I had been molested by a family member while in elementary school. After my parents found out, a rift was created in my family. My grandparents, aunts and uncles blamed me for the situation and refused to acknowledge me, except with hateful words. I had been in therapy for five years when "Jared" began to hurt me.

Eventually, I threatened to expose him. I hoped that he would be scared and would stop. He didn't. Instead, he raped me. I fell into a deep depression. I attempted suicide twice (I have attempted five times in my lifetime.) I became a drug addict and a cutter. I stopped attending school. All of this, I hid from my family, who would not have understood my reasons.

After missing four periods, I became terrified that I was pregnant. I confided in a friend, who arranged for me to meet a third party. This person gave me an herbal supplement that would terminate the pregnancy. I began to take it, knowing that it would poison me until my body gave up on the fetus. Having stared death in the face everyday for months, I was undeterred.

My symptoms were like the flu. I was pale, feverish, nauseous and weak. I continued to take the pills for eleven days. On the last day, I began to bleed. The discharge was thick and clotted, and lasted far longer than a typical period.

After this, I went through a short period of mania. I was gleeful. "Jared" had tried to ruin my life, but I had prevented him from giving his hatred a living face. No child would have to grow up knowing that his conception was an act of violence. And, I would not find myself chained to a symbol of abuse for the rest of my life.

Another depression followed. I began to come to terms with the fact that I had, in effect, caused the death of a living being. I went through the stages of mourning. I continued to self-mutilate and to take drugs. Eventually, I accepted my actions and began to work on improving my life.

Part of my healing was facilitated by a friend in high school. "Tracy's" mother was mildly retarded and had given birth to sixteen children. Tracy and one brother shared the same father. Their father raped her at an early age. She was also beaten; at one point, he fractured two ribs and her nose. Tracy's father lost custody of her, but her mother was deemed unfit because of her disability. Therefore, her brother was sent to a group home for boys. (Two other friends from school lived in this same home until they were 18. No one would adopt them.) Tracy was raped by two other foster fathers and was beaten by a third. She finally was emancipated at 17. She was extremely disturbed and could not maintain healthy relationships in any context. She faked a pregnancy and, when the baby would have been two or three months old, faked its death. She has since become pregnant by one of the many men she has hurt.

Watching Tracy's spiral through the system prompted me to do my own research. Over an average year, some 130,000 American children who are available for adoption are passed over, remaining in group homes or temporary care for at least one more year. (During that same time, 20,000 foreign children are adopted by parents in the US.) 1,200 of those picked-over kids are abused during the year they spend as a ward of the state. 20 infants are left in dumpsters and restrooms every month. Five children under the age of one are murdered through excessive abuse or neglect each week.

I don't regret my choice. The pain and adjustment I went through is nothing compared to the suffering of children in our country. I've been told that abortions cause problems for teenage moms. The truth is, unwanted pregnancies cause problems, no matter how they turn out. Abortion is no more painful and ugly than shafting the kid onto the state, leaving it in a dumpster, or forcing your parents to raise it. (Truthfully, no 15-year-old girl is a mom. It's the 15-year-old's parents who shoulder the burden.)

So, to the pro-lifers, I have this to say: If you don't like abortions, don't have one. Remember, in China, women are forced to terminate their pregnancies. While most abortion was illegal in the US, "theraputic abortion" was still legally practiced. If a woman was retarded, addicted to drugs, or in any other way unfit, according to the doctor, a partial-birth was performed. And the mother did not have to give consent. As soon as you take away my right to say, "yes," you take away your right to say, "no."


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Posted 18 Jan 2006.

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