*This is another example of why some women choose abortion. (Please read the post below this, if you haven’t already). At the end of her testimony, I will attach the link to the radio show podcast, where you can hear a bit more from her.
There are many different reasons why a woman might choose to abort her baby…fear, anger, desperation, the desire for revenge, poverty, ignorance…the list goes on. And then there was my reason…to save my baby’s life. Yes, you read that right. At the time I truly believed with all my heart that by killing my baby I would be sparing him from a lifetime of being hated, scorned, laughed at and resented for no fault of his own. In fact, I was convinced that the most “humane” thing I could do for the baby inside of me was to end his life so that he could go on to Heaven, even if that meant I’d be going to hell.
Let me explain…
Almost a year before, I unexpectedly lost my husband when the plane he was flying in collided with another over a desert area in Southern California. I found this out watching the ten o’clock news that night. It was the top story. As I watched the wreckage of my husband’s plane burning while listening to the reporter ask witnesses to recount what they saw, all I wanted was to die. How could I possibly live without the man I had been in love with since I was fourteen years old? I couldn’t. It was impossible. So I begged God to take me, too. But then I thought of our four young children sleeping in their beds, completely unaware of the great tragedy that had taken place. They lost their Daddy. They couldn’t lose me too.
It was by the grace of God that I decided at that moment that my kids were my reason for going on. They needed me and I was going to be there for them. That was my goal and my purpose. I was determined to be a great mother, seeing to it that they grew up happy and well adjusted, even without their dad physically with us. Life wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be good.
Then less than a year later, I found out I was pregnant. It happened during a time when I was feeling particularly lonely for my husband and looking for a distraction from the emptiness his death had left me with, but that doesn’t excuse me. Bad judgment on my part left me pregnant. Plain and simple. But the worst part about it was that I found myself seriously considering doing something I had passionately opposed my whole life. Something I knew would not only end a new life, but that would irreparably ruin my own. I can honestly say that until that time, I thought I had seen the darkest moments of my life, but I was very wrong.
When I first found out, the idea of aborting my baby wasn’t even an alternative. But then I began thinking about what life would be like for us if I kept it. I was told by the doctor that due to possible genetic issues there was a very high likelihood that my baby would be born deformed and/or without the ability to survive outside the womb. What would this mean for him? First off, my husband had been a popular man, so there would be those who saw my having a child that wasn’t his so soon after having lost him as a dishonor to him and his memory. Thus making my son nothing more than a bastard undeserving of my husband’s name. He would be hated and laughed at, especially if he was born with the health issues I was assured he would be.
After crying many tears over this, I decided (yes “I”, not the father, or my doctor) that I would spare my child a short life of pain and suffering, knowing full well that by agreeing to his murder, I was most likely going to go to hell. And though I was terrified at the thought of eternal damnation, I was more afraid of what life would be like for Joseph Michael even more. In Heaven, however, he would have peace, happiness and only love. That’s what I wanted for him. So on Valentine’s Day 1995, I allowed Planned Parenthood to kill my child while I slept.
Waking up afterwards, I felt empty. Physically and emotionally. And I regretted my decision immediately. But there was nothing I could do to change what I had done. That’s the worst feeling in the world. Well, one of them anyway. And I hated myself for not having been strong enough to stand up to anyone who might have tried to hurt my son. What had happened to my determination to be a great mom? What had happened to me? I felt so unworthy of my other children.
That was 18 years ago. And I still look for the fifth head when I’m counting my kids out in a crowd. But since that day I’ve learned a lot…about me, my faith, my family, my children and abortion.
About me…I’m a sinner with many, many flaws who has had many moments of weakness throughout my life. I know I will never be perfect, but I also know having made so many mistakes, that I want to spend the rest of my life making up for them by becoming better and better at everything I do.
About my faith…God loves me, and He forgives me. He is a God of infinite mercy and even though I can’t fathom His love and compassion, He extends both unconditionally to me despite my sins. And because of this, I’m not going to hell. My son is with God in Heaven, watching over me and his siblings, loving us and looking forward to the day that we’ll be together again. What a sweet thought!
About my family…My family also loves me. Though there are people in my life who would not have been kind to me, or my son, there are many more people who would have been there for us. I wish I saw this as clearly then, as I see it now. I was blinded by many things…sadness, confusion, immaturity and fear. But now as more and more people are learning about my story, I am finding out that I would have had more support than I had thought. How I wish…Oh well.
About my children…My reasons for living. I really wanted to die when I learned about my husband’s death, but I thank God that He gave me such wonderful reasons to go on with life. I started out by thinking that they needed me, but the truth is that I needed them, as well. I knew very soon after the abortion that I would tell them the truth one day. For one thing, I had always told them that I would be honest with them and I have been. And for another thing, I always believed that they had a right to know that they had another brother and that his name was Joseph Michael. I was scared to tell them, that’s for sure. But I saw it as the least I could do, since I deprived them of their sibling. So I waited until I thought they were old enough, then sitting them down, I told them. What a horrible thing to have to tell your children. They had always looked at me as an example of what a great mom should be, and there I was telling them that I had killed their baby brother. I expected anger from them, and a whole lot of resentment. What I got was love. They all embraced me and listened to my story, and after I was done they told me they that though they weren’t happy with what had happened, they still loved me, and they were glad to know. It has been so healing for me to have shared what I had done with them. And to have them react so lovingly. Again I was feeling undeserving of them. I think I always will. But I’m sure thankful to have them. And I’m so glad they know, because now we can talk about him and to him. He’s part of the family. At last.
About abortion…I knew this before, but I know it even more now…abortion IS murder. When I aborted Joey at 7 weeks, he had a beating heart and a growing brain, and several of his internal organs were forming right on schedule. But I stopped his growth and any chance he had of living life. This isn’t a religious statement, it’s a scientific one. A life was growing, I ended it. If I took the egg of a bald headed eagle and smashed it with a hammer, I’d be arrested for preventing a baby eagle from hatching. However, if I allowed my tiny baby to be sucked out of me, torn apart and then thrown into the trash, I’ve broken no laws. But it’s not ok. It’s wrong. It’s murder.
I was asked why I told my story at all. I could have taken my secret to the grave and no one would even have known. That’s true, and it may have spared me the humiliation of having to own up for what I did. But then what would Joey’s life have amounted to then? An embarrassing mistake that had to be hidden forever? Joseph Michael never did anything wrong. He was born to live his life on this earth and contribute to it somehow by growing up and doing good things with his life. Since I kept him from doing this, the very least I can do now to honor him, is to share my experience and by so doing, hopefully help others see what I couldn’t see before. That abortion is an answer…but it’s the wrong one.