Toni Cordell
North Carolina
“Something inside of
my heart died that day …

It was 10 years before I
broke down and sobbed,
my heart and mind heaving
with the shame of my
The choice was mine and mine alone. When I learned I was pregnant, I was married with
three children. I consulted no one, not even my husband, the baby’s father. Without an
ounce of respect for him, his thoughts, or feelings, I just told him it was my choice. An
overwhelming and powerful fear drove me to choose to end the responsibility to raise
another child.
Something inside of my heart died that day with my baby’s death. It was 10 years before I
broke down and sobbed, my heart and mind heaving with the shame of my choice.
Depression has been a frequent and uninvited visitor into my emotions. Fear drove me
to abort my child, but I lived with fear and silent shame after the abortion.
I still do not know the depth of the emotional pain I caused my husband, Carl, at a time
when he must have been feeling inadequate under challenging circumstances. I regret
that I was so callous toward him when he needed my compassion -- not my fear and
resistance. We never spoke about my abortion, and he never tried to make me feel
guilty for my choice. He was much more gracious and mature than I was.
Carl was diagnosed with cancer in 1996. A few hours before his death, I prayed with
him. During that prayer I began to weep as I realized that he would be with our baby
shortly. Since I had refused to give life to him or her, I was a little jealous. But I was also
grateful that Carl would finally hold our child, the child would finally see one of its
parents, the one who did not choose to discard it. I envied him and wondered what their
first meeting would be like.        
Within a year of my abortion, my uterus collapsed and had to be removed. There were
five additional operations to correct the damage done by the abortion. But, please don’t
feel sorry for me. My body mended, but my baby can never be restored this side of
Although I had the power to choose, I have no power to UN-choose. My baby had no
birthday because I exercised my “Right to Choose.” Instead I chose my baby’s "death-
Tragic thoughts come to me now. I wonder, “When the first leg was torn from the torso,
was it a leg meant for a great athlete? Or maybe the leg was designed to support an
orator delivering encouragement and hope to the next generation. When the arm was
vacuumed out, was that the arm of a compassionate nurse, a nurturing parent or an
accomplished musician? When my baby’s head was mutilated and evacuated, was it the
end of the creativity of a great thinker, master artist or a world changing scientific
Please understand that today I believe in a mighty God who would have carried us
through the financial difficulty if I had given Him the opportunity. Also, I now realize that
God gave us a choice before the Supreme Court did. With that choice, God gave
precepts to consider. Unfortunately at the time, I was not a woman of faith and did not
seek Him or His protective parameters and principles.
My God, have mercy on me even though I had none for my baby. How could I be
responsible for that callous and brutal murder of my own flesh? Will I ever be able to
genuinely forgive myself? In retrospect, I now know that I could have managed the
responsibility. But it is too late; the abortion stopped my baby from the purpose and
destiny of his or her human life.
One day I will see my baby in heaven and hope to feel his or her forgiveness. Within
moments after I pass from earth I’ll look into the face of my baby and see the gift I

Today’s tears do not bring Baby back:
Tears for Baby = executed by mother
Tears for mommy = psychological and emotional  pain
Tears for daddy, sister and brother = never met Baby … a great loss
Tears for the world = another missing soul
Toni is a dynamic and
enthusiastic sought-after
speaker in the areas of
literacy, communication,
and patient safety, and
she is an accomplished
film maker.
Toni has spoken at
universities, health
institutes, and hospitals.
Her themes are “Stum-
bling Blocks into
Stepping Stones,” and
“Seasons of Tears.”

    Toni’s website: