No Mulligans With Abortion
I said, "What do you want to do?"
He said, "Let's get married".
And we did.
This time, I didn't think of the cellular blob inside my body as a mistake that needed fixed. I was grappling with the emotions of the last two I had aborted, wondering often if they were boys or girls. I was second guessing myself all the time, knowing that if I had chosen differently, I would have been okay. The babies would have been okay. I hated myself for having those abortions. This time I felt different. This wasn't a bunch of cells, this was a baby. A living baby. With a heartbeat.
The other two weren't much older when I had them removed from my body. But this time we celebrated the life growing inside me. We planned. He found a job and moved back home. We found a nice little place to live with a large hallway that would double as a nursery for $175 a month. Our first child was born January 1980.
Married people don't have abortions, right? Especially after starting a family and making a life for a little one. So you get pregnant again five months later, and you're married -- so what? You have another baby, right? Wrong. In May 1980, I was pregnant again. He told me, "Make a choice, it's me or the baby. You can have this baby, but I'm leaving."
My parents advised, "You are struggling to feed one baby. Don't take away from him for two babies to have less". We didn't tell his parents. I went for my third abortion. I hated my husband.
I started noticing the pro-life campaign commercials when my son was about two. There was one commercial with a lady my age pushing an empty swing saying, "If you don't think abortion affects you later in life, you're wrong. My baby would be seven now". And I would cry. As soon as the music for the ad started, I'd run for the remote control and change the channel.
The third one is the abortion that I cannot justify in my mind. I had to be the consenting adult, and I had to be the one to climb on that table and have the procedure, but I didn't want it. But I didn't want to have two babies with no dad around either. So I did it.
There is a happy ending though, I did end up having a second baby who is the light of my life. I stayed married to my first husband for 20 years, but I never really forgave him for making me chose him over the pregnancy. He didn't know I didn't forgive him, because I am a shover of feelings. Bad things happen to me, and I toss them into a bag and throw it over my shoulder, where it sits quietly festering until the bag explodes, which it did finally.
The pain of this decision has never diminished. Even with the reassurances from others that I wouldn't have my daughter if I hadn't had that abortion when my son was five months old, I don't buy into it.
Three times I laid on that table for abortions. Three times I consciously made a decision to end a life that had begun inside me. Two of those times I was cornered, scared and hopeless. But the third time, I'll never forgive myself. Because I should have stood up for my right to carry that child to term and not let fear push me onto the table again.
Am I pro-life now? Yes and no. I no longer view a pregnancy at any state as a group of cells. I believe that is a baby. I believe women should have guidance, and perhaps even psychological help, in making the abortion decision.
I think you need to realize the lifelong ramifications of having an abortion. I think you need to know that no matter how scared you are right this minute, your regrets might be greater than your fears.
And you know what else? I'm glad there is better birth control now. Because no child should be conceived by accident.