Brandi Dudley
Texas
"I didn't realize why I was
hurting so badly, why I
was so depressed, because I
was led to believe that I
had done the right thing."

At the age of 17, I became pregnant. Initially, I was very excited, but there was
no one to share in my joy. My boyfriend didn't like the idea at all. I was told by my
boyfriend and a relative of mine that having a baby without being married would
be an embarrassment for me. These issues and fear pressured me into having an
abortion.
Because I was made to feel ashamed of my pregnancy, the only people I could talk
to about it wanted it kept quiet and ended. I was told I could have an abortion
and nobody would ever know. I was told over and over this was the best solution
to the problem.  I was told by people who I respected that having an abortion
would allow me to move on and excel in life. That was a grievously wrong
statement because instead of excelling, I began a self-sabotaging lifestyle.
For years after my abortion, I drank heavily and was on several different kinds of
antidepressants because of depression. I had many hurtful relationships and the
ones that were good for me I cut off.  I didn't believe I deserved happiness or
love.
During this time, I didn't realize why I was hurting so badly or why I was so
depressed, because I was led to believe that I had done the right thing.  
Now I look back and know without question that what I had in me was not a
“problem.” It was my child, my beloved child who I’ll never know this side of
heaven. I’ll never hold, hug and kiss, or run my fingers through his hair. I’ll never
be able to watch him grow or throw a baseball. He’ll never come running in the
kitchen door and say, “Mom I love you,” while kissing me on the cheek.
I sometimes wonder if my beloved child were here, how tall he would be. How
handsome would he be? How intelligent he would be? What college would he be
planning on going to? These are things I’ll never know or experience because I
was deceived into believing that abortion was the solution to my “problem.”
I sometimes wonder what the abortionist is doing now. I wonder if he knows how
I have suffered. The only thing I remember about him is what he said to me 15
years ago as I lay on the table in pain from the procedure. I distinctly recall him
saying to me, “Don’t worry it will be over shortly.” The truth is that it is now over
15 years later, and it’s still not over.
For years I was silent about my abortion because I thought I was the only one
hurt by it. I knew that other women had abortions. I just thought they were
dealing with it better than I was.
Since 2004, I have been talking about my abortion experience. Although nothing
can ever bring my child back, I will continue to speak out about my abortion. It is
my hope that other women will avoid the agonizing pain and the devastation of
abortion that I and others have experienced.
I wish I had known about the physical and psychological affects of abortion. I wish
I had known about the growth of the baby. The way I look at it now is that any
time I can shed light on the truth, I feel like I am taking back some ground that
was stolen from me so long ago.  
Today I am pressing on, raising two beautiful children God has blessed me with.  
Brandi testified
about how her
abortion hurt her
before the Texas
Legislature in
2009, urging them
to support a bill
that would have
required an
ultrasound before
getting an abortion.
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