Ten years ago my husband and I traveled to Kansas to have an abortion. Even now, after all these years, I try of think of another way to phrase it. Could it really be that we killed our very wanted child? Yes, unfortunately, that is exactly what we did on February 7, 1996.
We already had a son. He was almost two years old. We were ecstatic to be having another baby. The whole time I was pregnant I was envisioning what it would be like to have 2 beautiful babies. I couldn’t wait!
All along though, I felt something wasn’t quite right, but I was assured all was well. When I was about 31 weeks pregnant, my obstetrician sent me for a series of tests. It was a very stressful few weeks. Finally, after about two weeks, we were told the most devastating news. Our precious daughter had a chromosomal abnormality and would probably not live long, if she lived at all. If she did survive, she would suffer terribly and need numerous surgeries to correct the muscular and skeletal problems she would inevitably have. She would also be severely mentally disabled.
We were devastated. I was totally numb. I believe that I went into shock. I distinctly remember the perinatologist wanting to discuss our “options.” I thought she would tell us what doctors needed to be in the delivery room. Instead she suggested a “choice” I didn’t even know existed. She proposed that we go to Kansas to terminate the pregnancy. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. My first reaction was “noooooo!!!!!!!” Of course, I didn’t speak this out loud. I couldn’t speak at all. I just sat there with this evil seed planted in my brain.
It was quite plain to infer what the doctors wanted us to do. The genetic specialist sat across from us with a book that she wouldn’t let us see. But she assured us that in this mystery book was the one child that did actually survive to age 21 who had the same chromosomal abnormality. Both doctors gave us the impression that they believed abortion to be the best course of action for all of us. They couldn’t answer with certainty what exactly was in store for our little girl; they just knew it would be a life filled with pain. Did we really want this kind of life for our cherished little girl? Time was of the essence. You see, I was due any day and we had to make a decision immediately. I can hardly remember any details from the moment we left the doctors’ office until the fateful flight to Kansas where our beloved daughter was destroyed.
Looking back I can see what was missing from the conversation in the doctors’ office. They never mentioned anything remotely positive. Surely there was something they could have told us that wasn’t bleak and morbid. Like the fact that we could love our daughter no matter what her physical or mental condition. Of course, we knew we would love her, but whether we could love her wasn’t so clear. I can see that now. They should have told us how much she would have loved us and to consider our son’s feelings in all of this. As doctors who swore to do no harm, I wish they would have explained to us that all life is precious and we should do whatever it took to make our daughter’s time here comfortable. I wish the priest we sought counsel from would have advised us on how to find the joy in our daughter’s life, because it surely would have been a joy to be her mother. No one explained the guilt and shame that will follow us forever, nor did they tell us what to tell our son and other children that followed.
I am angry at a lot of people, but mostly myself for being so easily led. I do understand, however, that all of us involved in this “culture of death” that we live in are being deceived by the evil one himself. I have no doubt that those two doctors who sent me to Kansas felt they were doing what was best. Only now I know it was the exact opposite. The devil often masks things to appear right when it really is just a distortion. While I was in Kansas I came in contact with evil. Everything about the clinic was deceptive. The pictures they take and the way they try so hard to make what you’re doing seem like your losing your baby naturally. But there is nothing natural or normal going on behind those walls. I allowed (and paid!) someone to kill my baby in my womb, the safest place a person can find herself.
The abortion always will be my darkest hour. The good news is that I no longer give in to despair. I still cry and grieve, but through the grace of our Lord, I now feel hope and peace. God is truly awesome! Even from something so depraved, He can work miracles. I am so blessed to be showered with His mercy and forgiveness. I take refuge in His Sacred Heart. It has taken several years but I am on the road to healing.
I can never say that I am grateful for the abortion, but I am grateful for what God does in me and through me because of it. I hope and pray that all those affected by abortion will reach out for God’s loving embrace.