Wendy’s Story

I have had more than one abortion and don’t regret it at all. I will say that I, like most women, wish the procedure were rarely necessary and rarely performed, but we don’t live in a perfect world and I could never deny somebody else the option. When I was a teenager I was date-raped by the son of the principal of our high school—he tricked me into being alone with him, he boasted about it to his friends, and I endured smirks and sniggers every day at school. I didn’t feel as though I could tell my parents, because I blamed myself for trusting him and getting into the situation in the first place—I was afraid they would blame me, too. A few weeks later, when I started throwing up in the mornings and felt my breasts swelling, I thought I wanted to die. I knew.

I had a friend whose mother was young, kind of a hippie, and I finally told her what had happened. She doubted my story too, telling me that usually one only got pregnant from “doing it every night”. I wasn’t a virgin when the rape happened, but I was pretty inexperienced and certainly not promiscuous. When my friends’ mother reacted that way it just reaffirmed my feeling that nobody would understand or believe me, and I came pretty close to committing suicide, going as far as sneaking into my parents’ medicine chest and making away with a bottle of sleeping pills I hoped might do the job. I would take the bottle of pills out and talk to them when I couldn’t sleep, wondering what death would be like. My parents were going through some issues of their own and were completely oblivious to what was going on with me, I could have walked through the kitchen with my hair on fire and they wouldn’t have batted an eye. I cried constantly, lost weight, and couldn’t keep down anything but Coke and instant soup. Luckily for me a neighbor friend, a woman for whose kids I babysat who was younger than my mother but close enough to my age that I felt some connection, drew me aside and asked me if I were pregnant; she had noticed a few things that made her wonder. (my suddenly gigantic boobs and constant vomiting, probably.) She told me her story, she had gone to Cuba for an abortion years before, pre-Roe v. Wade, but counted herself lucky that she could afford it and had the resources, she had plenty of horror stories about women who had risked abortions from shady practitioners or done unspeakable things to themselves. This was the mid-70’s and the freedom to choose was brand-new. She helped me by understanding, and I eventually went to our local Planned Parenthood and terminated the pregnancy in the first trimester.

I cannot imagine having had to go through with that pregnancy. The feeling of isolation that I felt, the feeling of desperation and that I had no options, the feeling of my life ending, is so real thirty years later that I get tears in my eyes remembering it. Do I sometimes wonder what that child would have been like? Occasionally, but not to the point of thinking for a moment that I would do it differently if I had it to do over again. As I mentioned earlier, I had more than one abortion, and while I wish the situation hadn’t arisen in the first place I know for a fact I did the right thing. My Christian faith tells me that if it was indeed a sin, that God will forgive me, but I don’t think it was a sin—I think it was a measure to save my own life from utter wreckage, and probably to save my own life, period. As far as the child/children are concerned, I cannot imagine bringing them into the world in the situations I found myself in—years later with a controlling, abusive man who would have used that pregnancy to enslave me to him and his sick desires, a child of that union (which I soon escaped) would have led a life of misery with that damaged and abusive father. I had another abortion, and while I wasn’t happy about it, I was relieved, and the close call gave me courage to leave him and live on my own.

I couldn’t imagine wanting to deny that option to another woman in dire straits, and could never presume to judge what her reasons might be, trusting her to do what she feels she must. I know several women who are on the pro-life agenda, and they are all women who regret their own abortions. When I ask them about those feelings of desperation they don’t deny them, but somehow they would not accord other women the same options they had. I know they mean well but it’s hard for me to understand. I do wish those women (and men) would apply their efforts to helping some of the overwhelmed teenage mothers who go through with their pregnancies. By the way, I was very happy to run across this site—all the literature seems to describe women who bake birthday cakes for their aborted babies and whose lives, post-abortion, are train wrecks of alcoholism and depression.

Abortions will never go away, the pro-lifers if they succeed will only drive them underground again; it’s impossible to know how many were performed in the years before Roe v. Wade but I know many women who had them in those dark days. I thank God for giving me a choice, and know He saw into my heart and understands. I feel for those women who live in rural areas where abortion providers are few, and I applaud those providers who are brave enough to stand up for principles, facing danger daily from fanatics. The local Planned Parenthood office that saved my life years ago is now regularly picketed by people waving posters of bloody fetuses, behaving as though women facing a difficult choice are monsters. The patients have to be escorted to the door by volunteers, through mostly male(!) pro-life picketers who are too young, for the most part, to remember the bad old days. Thank you for this site, and for giving women the whole story during a time when any dialogue on the subject is monopolized by extremists and those with political agendas.