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BY the Editors
Women who regret
their abortions aren’t supposed to talk about their pain.
But more and more women are
starting to break the rules. They are telling the world that abortion not only
kills a child, but it also scars a mother’s soul for life.
On April 26, women who have had
abortions were scheduled to descend on Capitol Hill to tell their stories to
lawmakers, whether the lawmakers wanted to hear them or not. Silent No More was
one of several groups participating in the “Real Women’s Voices” lobbying
One by one such voices
destroy the myths of abortion. (The website SilentNoMoreAwareness.org includes
several of their testimonies.)
The myth that abortion is
empowering to women is the first to go.
“In the summer of 1994 (before my
senior year of high school) I met a man named Joe,” writes one woman. “I was
waiting tables at Quincy’s
Steak House near Furman and he worked there part-time. He was older, drove
a Benz, always had money to burn and was single.
“We went out around my 18th
birthday. He seemed perfect. He owned his own home near Paris Mountain,
and it was full of beautiful antiques. He said that he worked the part-time job
to have cash on hand since he had all of his money in the stock market. I was
afraid that he’d drop me since I was a ‘kid,’ so I tried acting like an adult.
By February 1995 I was pregnant. I was scared when I found out and asked him
what I was going to do. I kept imagining myself receiving my diploma with a big
ole pregnant belly. He looked at me as if I’d asked what color the sky was. A
few days later he took me to the Greenville Women’s Clinic and I had an
abortion at 14-weeks. …
“After that things changed. Joe
became more controlling. He didn’t like the fact that my best friend was a guy
even though he wanted to be a priest! How dare I talk to other males. He told me that if I went off to college that he’d
dump me. Joe controlled everything that I did.”
The myth that abortion is safe is
also challenged in story after story. It’s also clear that abortion is not
often a woman’s choice. Often, it’s the choice of men.
One woman said of her break-up
with a high-school boyfriend, “I was devastated by his rejection. Shamelessly,
I sobbed and begged him to come back, and for a while he did. But things were
never quite the same. I always felt in danger of losing his love, always felt I
had to do my best to stay prettier than the other girls or he might find
someone else he liked better. … The times he did call it would be 3 in the
morning, but I would bolt out of bed to answer it so as not to wake up my dad;
I lived and breathed this guy.”
She writes, “By the time I
realized I was pregnant, the baby was 8 weeks along. I was scared to death
because my dad had always told me if anything like this ever happened he would
kick me out of the house and disown me. I thought my boyfriend would protect me
and our baby but that didn’t happen. He told his parents who then wanted to
talk to me about what we were going to do.
“Knowing so little about the
developing person inside me, his mom convinced me it was just a blob of tissue
that didn’t look anything like a human and we had to get me an abortion as
quick as possible before it got too big to abort.
“I panicked. Never had the idea of
killing my child crossed my mind. Not for a second. … I didn’t know how to tie
a noose or start a stick shift car, and no one I knew owned any guns. I tried
cutting my wrists but there didn’t seem to be anything sharp enough and it hurt
too much; I felt like a weak little failure. I couldn’t even kill myself!”
She was able to arrange the
abortion with the help of a school nurse.
“The morning of my abortion, I
sobbed silently in the shower. I jabbed my belly with my finger and called my
baby a parasite, trying to distance myself from what I was about to do. My
heart wasn’t in those words but I knew if I was going to have to do this I had
to do everything I could to keep my mind from envisioning a little face that
would never be.
“I don’t remember walking from gym
class to the nurses office, or out to my boyfriend’s car. Only the long drive
down to the clinic with my seat leaned all the way back, so I wouldn’t be sick
and so no one would recognize me out of school. We didn’t speak the whole way
down and I knew it was the end of our relationship as well — for good this
When abortion ends, a large
portion of the credit will go to post-abortive women — the walking wounded
— who weren’t afraid to break the rules, tell their stories
and express their pain. Through their courage, the truth will out.