I learned I was pregnant in June of 1974, one month shy of my 16th birthday. I
was gripped with fear and terrified that my parents would find out. To cover up all
of it, I took the life of my unborn child. The consequences of that choice will
forever affect me; and every day of my life, I regret that “choice” was ever an
I had never heard of abortion, but a friend told me I could have something done
about it. I couldn't go to my family physician, so I went to a doctor across the
state line that my friend found in the phone book. After he told me I was
pregnant, I told him that I had heard something could be done about “it” and
asked for his assistance. I will never forget the look of disgust on his face. He told
me he didn't do that and promptly escorted me out of his office. His reaction
made me feel even more ashamed, desperate, and out of control. I have since
thought that if he had been caring and had counseled me that I might not have
gone through with the abortion. Not one person tried to discourage me; in fact,
they were all trying to help me get an abortion. All seemed as desperate as I was,
including my boyfriend. With the help of an older friend, we found an abortionist.
My friend made the appointment, and my boyfriend paid for it.
I never thought in terms of “having a baby” – just that I was pregnant and didn't
want to be. Because I was under age and was told I needed parental consent, an
older friend impersonated my mother. No form of identification was required. I
didn't even use my real name.
I didn't have a clue what to expect. Never did I think of abortion as a surgical
procedure. As I sat very scared in the waiting room, my fictitious name was called.
I don’t think the nurse said much of anything to me, except, “take this off” and
“put this on.”
The abortionist came in after I was on the table. I don’t think I ever saw his face,
and I’m pretty sure he never even said “hello” to me. Then the horrible vacuum
started. It was very painful. It was at that moment that I realized what I was
doing, but it was too late. I kept thinking, “I am killing my baby,” and I started
crying. That was the first time I remember thinking of a baby. I was not sent to
recovery – just sent home with some pills without a follow-up appointment.
I was very sick and hemorrhaging; but because I was so afraid that my parents
might find out, I said nothing. Thankfully, I got better and thought I could get
back to normal, but normal would never be the same again.
My boyfriend didn't take me to the abortionist but he came to my house after I
got home. The moment he saw me he broke into a grin, hugged me, and said
“congratulations.” I repressed that memory for many years. I couldn't believe he
had just congratulated me for killing our child. The abortion was never discussed
again by anyone involved. As the months passed I became very depressed and
cried a lot. I had messed up so badly that I just wanted to cover it up and
pretend that it never happened – to make it all go away.
I remember thinking, “Does everyone know what I’ve done?” Not only did I take
my child’s life, I deceived my parents. I was so afraid they would be so
disappointed in me.
Not long after my abortion, I married the father of my aborted baby. I had a huge
longing for my child and was very depressed. Desperate to fill the emptiness, I
tossed my birth control pills in the toilet, knowing my husband did not want
children right away. A week or so later, I felt guilty and began taking the pills
again; but I was already pregnant. Three months after my son was born, my
husband informed me he wanted a divorce. I was devastated. Things careened
more out of control. My self-esteem was very low. I was young, divorced with a
baby and an abortion in my background. I thought “who would want me?”
I felt like I was walking around with a scarlet letter tattooed to my forehead. I felt
guilt, shame and condemnation. Out of desperation, I married again very soon
and was divorced within a year. After that I didn't want much to do with a
permanent relationship. For a long while, I bought into the whole feminist
philosophy. At that point I believed abortion was wrong and that what I had done
was wrong; but I also believed that under certain circumstances women should
have a choice.
When I wasn't even looking for a relationship, I met my wonderful husband Jerry,
and then later I met my precious Lord and Savior, Jesus. It has been because of
my relationship with the Lord and my husband’s support that I have finally been
able to come to terms with what I did.
I know I am forgiven, and I want other women to know that there is forgiveness
and healing after abortion. That’s why I facilitate an abortion recovery bible study.
I want to do as much as I can to educate people that, even though a girl who is
pregnant may not physically feel any different, she is carrying a precious baby, a
very small one who needs time to grow. If she isn't able to care for the baby,
there are many couples who would love the child. Adoption – not abortion – is the
Dawn Jackson,
Dawn is a board
member of Trinity
Legal Center and
founder of Great
Oaks Ministries
I know I am forgiven,
and I want other
women to know that
there is forgiveness and
healing after abortion.
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