As the abortion debate rages on in the media, on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the country, millions of women silently mourn their children lost through abortion. Through this column, Feminists for Life gives women who experienced the personal tragedy of abortion a voice. We mourn with you, and rededicate ourselves to help women and children in need.

IN 1976, I WAS 16 AND PREGNANT. I thought I was going to keep my baby at first. However, my boyfriend’s mother, his sisters, and my mother encouraged me to have an abortion. I remember my mother telling me “it’s only tissue; not a baby yet.” She also found a book written by a local minister in support of abortion. I thought this meant it was O.K. with God. I had the abortion.

Years later, I came across a book showing what a 12-weekold fetus looked like. I was horrified! This was not “just tissue;” I was looking at a baby. It was then I realized the truth of what I had done.

I have since had two beautiful children. Twenty-two years after my abortion (in the month I would have delivered my child), the terrible guilt and shame came back to me. I am still trying to deal with this.

I know that I would not have had an abortion if I had been informed about the fetus — what it looked like — and the emotional distress it could cause me. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have been through. It won’t hurt to give information. However, not having enough information can be devastating.

—Mary (an alias)

Reprinted with permission from Rachel’s Vineyard


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