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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Day I Killed My Baby

    I cannot remember what day of the week it was.  I don’t remember the season; if it was hot out or cold.  I have no recollection what the sky looked like; if it was cloudy or blue.  But I do remember how empty and frozen I felt the moment after I killed my daughter Angel.  I have never been the same.

    I grew up in a loving, Catholic family, yet I lived in a society that even twenty-three years ago, taught and instilled the “easy fix” ideal of abortion.  I guess I knew it was wrong, my parents told me early and often, but when you’re seventeen and desperate and the world has a fix that everybody seems to approve of except your parents, it somehow can be justified.
   
    I grew up in a small town in California in the eighties.  Sex with your high school sweetheart was accepted as just a part of the small town atmosphere, like home-made apple pie and fall football games.  It was weaved into the normalcy of teenage life and it was what you did after dating for awhile.  If you were able to somehow resist the peer-pressures even after a year of dating, usually you would break up, with your guy moving on to someone else.  I was able to wait until my junior year of high school and finally when I would have bet the stars I was in love, I lost my virginity to my high school sweetheart at seventeen. 

    Even though I believed I could never go to my parents, I knew to be careful.  It was talked about among those who had gone in for birth control that Planned Parenthood was lenient with the parent approval law.  All you had to do was whisper you did not have parent approval and they would take care of it.  Having survived the nasty experience of my first pelvic exam, I left that day with my five dollars worth of birth control, a list of instructions and confidential phone numbers all without my parents even knowing.  ‘These adults understood what being a teenager was like,’ I thought at the time and they assured me they would be there, confidentially of course, if I needed them at anytime in the future.  Which of course I did, one year later.
   
    I had graduated from high school, broken up with my boyfriend, moved out of my parent’s house and started my life on my own.  I was self-sufficient; working and going to school, taking care of myself just fine, when out of the blue, I ended up pregnant.  The moment I told my new boyfriend, he took off and I haven’t seen him since.  Scared, alone and rocked to my core, I did the only thing I thought I could.  I called my understanding, supportive friends at Planned Parenthood.  They told me to come in right away and we would go over every option.  The word ABORTION was not mentioned over the phone but they did say more than once that we would solve it and everything would be ok.
   
    Once I came in, they wasted no time in painting my reality for me.  I was an eighteen-year-old daughter of a Catholic Deacon.  What would people think when I moved back in with my parents (obviously I would have to, I couldn’t afford to have a baby on my own) and I started showing?  I was from a small town, where everyone knew everyone.  What would it look like with my Dad preaching in church and I sitting pregnant, without even a boyfriend, in the first pew with my embarrassed, failure-of-a-mother next to me? This is what people would think.  I would not only be ruining my life, but my parent’s lives as well.  The other option of course, would be to simply get rid of the tissue that hadn’t yet formed into anything.  It would be a simple procedure which could be taken care of easily.  No one would ever have to know and I could go on with my life, being more careful in the future and definitely wiser.  “Live life better through experience and learn from your mistakes!”  The ‘councilor’ advised as if I had just received a speeding ticket and was learning I should drive slower next time in order to avoid any more.  Except, it didn’t turn out that way.

    What my concerned and trusted new friend neglected to tell me was that killing this baby would be more damaging to me and my parents then anything she could possibly fabricate in regards to keeping my baby.  That immediately, and for the rest of my life, killing this baby would change the very fiber of my soul until I would eventually be unrecognizable.  And that without a doubt, if left to myself with the added bonus of drugs and alcohol, killing this baby would most assuredly eventually destroy me. 

    No, she didn’t share any of that information with me. She did pushed me toward the door once it was over, impatiently telling me to call with any questions, even as my questions tumbled out and mixed together with the fog that was my new life.  I found myself alone and broken, on the outside of that door, missing a part of my soul and nowhere near equipped to handle how to live with myself after what I had done.

    I’m one of the fortunate ones.  I was given a second change. After nearly destroying myself for almost two decades, God picked up my pathetic self, shook me up a little and told me to choose.  “Heaven or hell?” He asked me one dark day when I thought it was all over and I was at the edge of my destruction.  “Heaven or hell?” He said gently, with Love for me overflowing, enough so that I might possibility feel some of it for myself.  “You think you’re living in hell? Not even close to the real thing.  You choose.  Heaven or hell?  It’s your choice…” 
It has been a long journey toward healing and not always easy although the joy in knowing that God is there with me is something I didn’t think would be possible to feel.  It’s called hope. And it’s called forgiveness.  Two things I never thought I would know again after my abortions.

    Although I’m healing after all this time, I still ache. I ache for the person I could have been, I ache for the two children I killed and for the son I lost to a miscarriage most likely caused by complications of the two abortions.  I ache for my two living children who will never know their brother and sisters. I ache for my parents and their unsubstantiated guilt. I ache for the millions of girls facing the same decision I faced.  Those who feel as if the only ones they can turn to are the butchers who only want to kill their babies, hiding behind masks of sincerity and understanding.  Most of all I ache for the fifty million babies who have lost their lives.

    Pro-life advocates are now labeled as intimidators, trouble-makers and meddlers.  We are beginning to be viewed as part of the “hate crime” groups and even as terrorists, simply because more and more are realizing that knowledge is key when it comes to abortion.  For years the pro-choice groups have relied on those knowing what abortion is and does, to be silent. 

    I don’t march in front of Planned Parenthood in order to bully or scare the girls going in.  I don’t speak of my experience in order to give one-sided information that doesn’t apply to anyone else.  I do it to educate and inform.  I do it because I’ve been there and am frantic to tell the truth of abortion so that someone else does not have to go through the hell of what I’ve gone through.  I do it for the mothers and I do it for the unborn, defenseless babies.  I do it because I wish so desperately someone had done it for me.

Posted by Shelley Allsup on 09/14 at 09:03 PM
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