My name is Melissa, and I had an abortion a little over three years ago. They lied when they told me that I wouldn't have long term psychological effects, they lied when they told me that having an abortion is easier than going through with an adoption. They lied when they told me that at seven weeks, all I had inside of me was a ball of tissue, that it wasn't a baby yet. I was fiercly pro-choice after my abortion, because I wanted to justify what I did, and how I had the right to do it. After my abortion, many of my pro-life friends stopped talking to me, and left me all alone by myself. I had no one to turn to. I know that it was my fault to have an abortion, but I was afraid, scared, alone, with physical problems that were real if I continued the pregnancy.
But the truth is, I wanted to continue that pregnancy. Most people in my life (except my pro-life friends) thought that abortion was my only choice, especially the father, who definetly wanted to avoid messing up his life and not achieving his dreams of having his PhD because of the financial burden of child support. It was an easy process of being able to access an abortion. I found the clinics in the yellow pages, I called one up and got an appointment for two weeks afterwards, all I had to do was bring a licence, $650.00, someone to drive me home, and take some blood tests, have an ultrasound, fill out forms (which included an agreement of some sort that I am informed that I may have psychological problems after the abortion, and that these are rare), and then we had a counseling session. This basically included me listening in a room filled with about 20 other women who were about to undergo abortion, and they told us this in a nutshell: You go into an operating room, there are nurses running around, the doctor comes in, the anesthesiologist gives you an iv with medicine, you will be very relaxed, but not asleep, and you won't remember anything, you will only take about five minutes, you will be in a recovery room where you can have juice, soda, etc., and then go home after about an hour. That was pretty much accurate, but they don't tell you anything about the procedure, how it is really done. They sugarcoat everything, and place the ultrasound screen away from you so that you can't see your ultrasound, and they knock you out for the procedure so you won't know how truly awful and horrendous it really is to have an abortion. They didn't tell me that I would begin to hate myself, and that I would be even more depressed and anxious that I already was before the abortion. They didn't tell me that I would have problems holding a baby without feeling guilt, that I would avoid sex or feel very dirty and horrible after sex because that is what led to the abortion in the first place.
They didn't tell me that I had other options, all they said was, "are you sure that you want to do this"?, and they ask this to you after you have paid for everything, and after all of your medical stuff is in place, and you are all ready to go through with it. My whole point is this: I think that abortions are the result of a woman being scared, upset, and afraid, and no one is there for support to her, and she feels like the only thing that she can do is have an abortion because it is easier than raising a child for eighteen years, or easier than giving birth and then having to hand your baby over to people whom you don't know very well so they can raise the child for eighteen years. I say that the woman needs to know where to look for support. She needs to have support available at her fingertips. As far as I know, this website has a street team, is this right? There should be bumper stickers, magnets, pens, flyers given out at colleges and churches, of the numbers that women can call if they are experiencing a crisis pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I saw many anti-abortion stickers that were like, "Abortion stops a beating heart", "It's a Child, Not a Choice", and it made me upset, because it seemed like these people were condemning me. If there were slogans that seemed less forbiding about abortion used, I think that it would get more positive responses from women who were in crisis. I really find campaigns that say things like, "Pregnant, We Can Help", or "We Understand Your Crisis Pregnancy" to be more able to stop abortion and allow for a woman to make an informed choice, rather than slogans that condemn women for having abortions, and try to guilt them out of abortion. We want to spread the message that we care about these women, not that we want to guilt trip them into being pro-life. We want them to have someone who understands and will talk to them, not someone who will just preach for emphasis. I am pro-life now, and I don't believe in abortion. However, it is going to be hard to convince women that us pro-lifers care about a woman, not just her baby, when there are all of these condemning messages that some pro-lifers throw in women's faces at their most vulnerable moments. I guess what I am trying to say is that we need people to intervene for women who are pregnant that want to listen to what the woman is going through, to try to relate to her. Maybe women that have had abortions that are now pro-life (like me) could help talk to the girl. Perhaps women who have children that understand how hard it is to raise a child could talk to someone in crisis, so they will understand that there are challenges ahead, but that they are worth it. The main purpose of my schpeel is that I want to be able to help these women, is there a way that personal stories can be posted on the website so that women can read my story and hopefully change their minds if they are considering abortion? Perhaps this site can start a personal stories section, and this will make for more of an emphasis on what abortion does to women, and how it can affect a woman for her entire life, as well as affect an embryo or fetus in not having a chance at life because society makes it so easy for a woman to have an abortion.