Abortion Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

March 25, 2009

“She only saw him once.

Once, from behind the window of the nursery. He was wrapped in a blue blanket, and he was oh so small. They asked her if she wanted to hold him, and she said no. Just as she had in the delivery room, right after he was born, when she had squeezed her eyes shut so that she wouldn’t see him, her heart, the heart that she was giving away. She said no.

No.

It would have killed me, she said. It would have killed me. I couldn’t have gone on. I loved him.

So she said no. She refused to hold her son.”

I was holding my own son – then just two and a half months old – on my lap when my mother told me this story. I would be stating the obvious if I said that I clutched him a little tighter as I listened to her words and watched the tears brim in her eyes, but I’ll state it anyways: I held him, tightly, and my heart ached to think of not holding him. My heart ached to bursting at the thought of not holding him, of giving away any opportunity to hold him. And then my heart ached some more, because I had, once upon time, done something that, in some respects, amounts to the same thing.

When an anonymous poster made a plea, last week, for everyone to pause and consider the emotional fallout from adoption – this within the context of debates concerning the emotional consequences of abortion – I immediately thought of my mother and the gut-wrenching turmoil she experienced as a result of giving up a child for adoption. And then I thought of myself, and of the secret inner dialogue that I conducted with myself while she and I sat discussing that boy, that child that she had given up for adoption years before I was born. The secret inner dialogue that went something like this:

Me: Oh, my god, my god, how terrible, how heartbreaking, how did her heart survive it?

Myself: How did YOUR heart survive it?

Me: Survive what?

Myself: Abortion.

Me: That’s so different.

Myself: It’s not.

Me: The heartbreak of giving up a child…

Myself: Isn’t abortion a kind of ‘giving up’? Except, you know, MORE FINAL?

Me: Yeah, but…

Myself: But what?

Me: She’s mourning a child that she lost, a child who is still out there somewhere.

Myself: Exactly.

I clutched Jasper to my chest and squeezed and thought about the child who is not out there somewhere. A little part of my heart collapsed in on itself.

My mother’s heartbreak was almost unbearable to absorb. Her guilt, her worry, her desire to both know and not know whether he’d been given a happy life, whether she’d done right by him to give him up. She insisted that there was no regret – she’d done what she had to do, she had no choice, it was the best thing to do, the only thing to do, at the time – but regret is complicated. She didn’t regret making the choice that seemed best for him, but she still hurt over that choice. She hurt over that choice because it represented a loss, for her. Because it represented the loss of an unknown and unknowable future. Because it was a choice that changed someone else’s life, someone else’s future. Because some part of her felt that she needed to explain that choice, perhaps apologize for that choice. Make it clear that the choice was made out of love.

The choice that caused her so much pain was not the same kind of choice that I made. There is no one to whom to explain my choice. There is no one to whom to apologize. No claim can be made that my choice was made out of love. There is no one to whom I might make that claim. Because that’s how abortion differs from adoption: it means that the only person you need ever – can ever – explain your choice to is yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sorry or not. Abortion means never having to say you’re sorry. It means never even having to consider the question.

Which is not to say, of course, that we don’t consider the question. I’ve been considering the question – of whether or not I’m sorry, of whether or not I should be sorry, of whether or not sorry matters – since I first set foot in that abortion clinic. I have agonized over this. As I’ve explained in these virtual pages before, I can’t say that I regret having had an abortion, but I also can’t say that I don’t. It’s complicated. Its complicatedness sometimes hurts my heart. Which is precisely why people talk about the emotional consquences of abortion. Because many women find, like I did, that their hearts hurt. Because many women struggle to figure out how to reconcile the complicated tension between regret and not-regret and find that they’re unable, and because many women do so while bearing their children, their wanted children, in arms.

But that struggle – that is, my personal experience of that struggle – is one that can, most of the time, be compartmentalized, tucked away on some back shelf of the psyche and forgotten until some event – pregnancy, say, or miscarriage, or one’s own mother’s admission of having given one’s brother up for adoption – prompts one to go rummaging around on the shelves of Buried Hurts and Ambivalent Regrets and Things That I’d Rather Not Think About Unless My Sanity And/Or Moral Stability Depends Upon It. My mother’s struggle with her longstanding conflicting emotions around having given up a child for adoption is not – has never been – something that she can just tuck away on a shelf and forget about. She has never passed a day, she told me, without thinking about her lost boy – without looking at the faces of strangers who seem about his age and wondering is it him, without reading in the newspaper or hearing on the news something about any male person of his vintage and wondering is it him, without casting back to that baby in the blue blankie and wondering what became of him what became of him what became of him?

And that is so hard for her. I have seen the heartbreak on her face. Some 45 years or so after the fact, and the heartbreak is still there. I see the heartbreak on her face and I tell myself, there but for grace went I. And, thank gods for that grace, that I did not go.

But it is not so simple. It is not nearly so simple. For I know that the primary reason I am able to compartmentalize my own, quiet struggle is because it is entirely my own, and it is entirely my own because of the nature of the choice that I made. My child does not wander this earth, living another life. My child – and it is such a mental and emotional wank to even use these terms – was never born. My child never became my child. He/she/it was embryo, barely fetus, not a child. I did not have a child; I had a pregnancy. And then I didn’t.

(And yet. Even as I say that – “I did not have a child; I had a pregnancy” – I want to take it back. I’m a mother. I’ve had a very early term miscarriage. I very nearly lost Emilia to miscarriage. I know the terror of losing or fearing to lose that embryo, that not-quite-fetus, that not-child who is loved none the less for his or her unformedness. I would never have said – could never have said – of the embryo-that-became-Emilia, this is just a pregnancy, there is no child here. For even though she was not yet child, she was the cellular embodiment of my wish that she become a child, that she become my child. In the absence of that wish… is it just cells that remain? I don’t know. I do not know. I have not yet sorted this out. It is painful, trying to sort this out, this which might be, simply, unsortable. All I know is that these experiences are different, despite their similarities, and that I remain firmly committed to the rightness of having the ability – the choice – to distinguish between them. Ah, me.)

What remains: my inconstant, ambivalent hurt, and my mother’s endless heartache. Neither of these would I wish on anyone, but neither would I hold them up as justifications for tampering with our rights to choose those hurts, those aches, over others. We both chose our heartaches, out of desire to avoid greater heartache for ourselves or for others. In my mother’s case – in any birth mother’s case, I think – a more difficult choice was made, because it was a choice that opened up another future for another life, a future that she would never be able to see but would always, always feel. I, on the other hand… I chose the road that denied other lived futures, and that has made all the difference.

The right difference, the wrong difference, I don’t know. It is, ever and always and only and nevertheless, the one that I chose.

I live with that.

*Because you’re asking: yes, we are – I am – still looking for that boy, the lost boy, my brother. There has been some very limited progress recently, and I’m hoping that it yields something, but I don’t want to jinx things by speculating. Thank you all for caring so much.

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    { 180 comments }

    supertiff March 28, 2009 at 5:18 am

    “unsortable.”
    yes, i think that sums it up perfectly.
    thank you so much for sharing this.

    Anonymous March 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I haven’t read all of the comments here, but I felt like adding my story to the mix.

    Approximately 9 months ago I got pregnant. And approximately 8 months ago I had an abortion. So this post and it’s timing for me are, well, interesting.
    I did it for selfish reasons, one of which was my career, and the career of my boyfriend. The other of which was my relationship with my boyfriend. I’m not going to force it either way and I think a baby would put us on the fast track to marriage. If we get married, it will be less out of obligation and more out of desire to be each other’s life partners.

    And, I didn’t want to be pregnant right now. I was interviewing for residency positions this fall, and I did not want program directors asking me how I was going to handle a baby while working 80 hours a week. Because I didn’t have an answer. For them or for myself.

    Selfish? Entirely, yes. Do I regret it? No. Does it make me sad and wistful for the baby I could potentially be holding in my arms and falling in love with at this very moment? Absolutely.

    I think it was a girl. And it breaks my heart that I do not have her. But I know, that for me, I made the right choice.

    karen marie March 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    “No claim can be made that my choice was made out of love.”

    for me, the choice to have an abortion was made out of love.

    i loved that possible child enough to send it back from whence it came.

    tinycandi March 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    “You asked: “In the absence of that wish… is it just cells that remain?” I would say an emphatic NO!!! Which is why I will always be firmly pro-life. A human is not a human by someone’s mere wishing.”

    No one said it wasn’t HUMAN. A fetus is still a HUMAN fetus. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not a CHILD until it is born. It has the POTENTIAL to be a child…but it’s not a child yet.

    People talk about how “selfish” it is to not make the “best choice” for your “child.” When I made that decision, I was not a parent. I was pregnant at the consequence of my abusive ex-boyfriend. I did not want that child and I did not consider it my child. Being a parent is a choice…you choose to be a good parent or a bad parent. Or you don’t be a parent at all.

    And essentially…you’re selfish for not giving someone ELSE the opportunity to be a parent. And really…how selfish is that? Like someone else mentioned…I have not donated a kidney to perhaps save someone’s life. So I suppose that is also selfish.

    Is it selfish to the “child” who was never born? My aborted child was not born to 17 year old parents who had no money, no job, and no clue. My aborted child was not born to a mother who was being abused by his father. My aborted child, who had a heart problem, never had to suffer that physical anguish of dealing with the surgeries which would have been required to fix it.

    And had I gave birth to that child, I wouldn’t have the two daughters that I have now. Had I brought that one child it would be at the expense of my two daughters. I will not apologize for choosing my daughters. And the father…who now has three children with his wife…probably wouldn’t have his kids, either. So that’s five children who exist because one did not.

    I have no idea who that child would have been. He probably would have had blue eyes and dark hair. He could have been my world and we could have lived happily ever after. Or we could have had to suffer through the childish crap my ex had been putting me through already. He denied that it was his child, that I was pregnant, and refused to even go with me to my appointment. He had no problem hitting women. He had no problem taking sex when he wanted it…despite the person crying underneath him. He had no problem treating his grandparents who raised him like crap if they stood in the way of the stupid things he wanted (like blowing all that he inherited from his uncle on cars, trucks, and jetskis the moment he turned 18).
    So maybe, just maybe, that aborted child would have turned into that. And I will not apologize for making the choice to not bring another person like that into the world. That aborted child could have found the cure for cancer…or he could have been the next John Hinckley Jr. The point is…NO ONE knows.

    It was my body. It was my choice. And I don’t understand why people feel the need to tell me what I should be able to do with it. Until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes, don’t assume that you can make their choices for them…AND live with the consequences. It’s easy to tell someone what to do when you’re not the one that has to deal with the reprecussions.

    Having an abortion is not “taking the easy way out.” If for nothing else…it’s dealing with the stigma and the judgment that comes from other people who feel righteous. Because you know…they’ve NEVER been “selfish” in their lives.

    Jenn March 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I don’t even know where to start. That was one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, eye-opening things I have ever read. I am 31 years old and I gave up a baby boy when I was 18 years old. I had him for 48 hours before I signed the papers and it was an experience I still don’t have the words for to this day. Anyhow, thank you for sharing so honestly and beautifully. Your writing is absolutely amazing. Thank you.
    Jenn
    P.S. I would love to put a link to your blog on my blog http://rantingfroggypanties.blogspot.com if that is ok. I would love for you to visit. I’m new and can use all the support and guidance I can get. Thanks, again.

    Anja March 29, 2009 at 2:19 am

    I do not find abortion selfish, but in saying that, I do not dispute your feelings and why you feel it is selfish.

    There are many, many reasons why a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy, and I think I’ve heard just about all of them. I’ve watched their faces, seen them weep, walk out of that clinic with deep grief in their hearts. To me, and many would dispute the way I feel, I think that the women/girls who terminate their pregnancies are thinking more about their babies than the serial breeders who get knocked up annually and have a brood of neglected children.

    But these are just my views.

    Catutes March 29, 2009 at 11:22 am

    There are so many things I want to say but can’t find the words. This is a wonderful post and touches very deeply.
    My husband is adopted. I know how much adoption enriches lives.
    We chose to have an abortion 12 years ago for many reasons, of which I’m not cataloging. It was a hard decision considering how adoption affected our lives.
    I don’t regret this choice, maybe one more mine than his, but there are heart hurting emotions still inside each of us. We hold them together and know we’re stronger for the decision.
    I also know that we would not have gotten pregnant again 2 years after, had we not made that choice, and have this beautiful wonderful child now. And how could I possibly want to change the course of events that brought her to us?

    Zoeyjane March 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I’m going to come at this subject from the opposite angle. I’ve never had an abortion, I’ve always been pro-choice, my parents put my sister up for adoption when she was born, my mother had a lot of abortions and I’ve had a substantial amount of miscarriages.

    I’m pro-choice, but abortion is something that I will never choose.

    What does that mean? For me, choosing to have a baby when the first through fifth pee sticks showed double lines was completely selfish.

    After my 8th accidental (I’m unwaveringly fertile. Seriously, doubling up on birth control still let one past.) pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage, I was told that being a mother was a pipe dream.

    I did what any other normal wreck of a human being would do: bought some fake boobs and ended my relationships after I had a nervous breakdown.

    Then, we came back together as friends, more than, and I got pregnant with my daughter. We weren’t planning on being together, we weren’t interested in getting married. Yet, it never, for a moment, occurred to me to have an abortion. Even when her father was badgering me toward it, even when my father told me to, even when I was on bed rest and suicidal.

    I was completely selfish to choose not to have one. I wasn’t ready to be a mom, I wasn’t financially secure, my daughter’s first year was filled with my PPD and sometimes violent fights with her father (our re-unified relationship ended before her 1st birthday).

    Not only that, but given my familial history, own issues, her father’s? Having a child could be considered by some (like it was, my father) to be wrong – the genetic susceptibility that my daughter faces for several mood disorders, conditions and addictions is staggering.

    In the face of all of that, I don’t regret having her. Bringing her up in a tiny one-bedroom apartment on little money. Even if there have been days when I’ve thought “I cannot handle this. I can’t do it. What the fuck is wrong with me?”

    Even still, her being the love of my life, I see having her, keeping her as completely selfish. I didn’t have her because I thought I would be a good mother, raise a happy child and improve upon the planet. I had her simply because I was told I wouldn’t be able to have a child, and then, I could, maybe.

    When I got pregnant again last spring, before I went on to have a nearly-fatal miscarriage, it was the exact same scenario and same decision. If it happened again? I doubt I’d choose differently.

    I think…from reading a lot of the comments here, people who’ve been there, debated selfish vs un, I can see something that I don’t have – growth. Those of you that made the choice to have an abortion, whether you consider(ed) it selfish or not, have grown from it.

    (sorry for the novel, Catherine)

    Another Suburban Mom March 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    This is the most thought provoking and haunting entry I have read on any blog anywhere.

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

    SWMama March 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was so powerful.

    ElisaC March 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Wanted to let you know that Lisa, Jory and I were blown away by this post (and the post from Shakesville that you reference above). Those two posts (and all the amazing conversation to flow out of them) are this week’s BlogHer of the Week:
    http://www.blogher.com/blogher-week-our-first-double-header-her-bad-mother-and-shaker-anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Abortion is not “selfish”. On the contrary, selfish would be not to consider the feelings of a child who has to live with having been given away to strangers – or the child who is brought into the world unwanted by unready parents. As women we need to embrace and celebrate the fact that we are able to chose this option legally. More of us have done it than those who speak of it openly. Becoming stronger, more educated, and more capable women before we bring children into the world is not selfish. It impacts our own lives, but also generations to come.

    Shannon March 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Catherine, you so often demonstrate your gift for articulating what many women feel, and have not yet been able to articulate themselves. Truly, that is remarkable.

    I stand on the “other side” of this issue, as a pro-lifer, but I’ll tell you that I hear you, and I respect your wrestling with this and your courage to share it. I wish you much grace and peace.

    Michelle March 31, 2009 at 12:00 am

    This was a very amazing post. Thank you for your honesty and your transparency. I must admit that I am pro-life, and my best friend was almost aborted by her mom. Her mom has always carried a measure of guilt even knowing that she sat in a doctor’s office and almost killed her daughter. Their relationship has gone through many trials b/c of the mother’s guilt. My friend is an awesome person….I’m so glad her mom wasn’t able to go through with it and she’s here with me now.

    Buddha Mom (aka Mitzi) March 31, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting to words what has been in my heart, soul, body and mind for many years.

    “Which is not to say, of course, that we don’t consider the question. I’ve been considering the question – of whether or not I’m sorry, of whether or not I should be sorry, of whether or not sorry matters – since I first set foot in that abortion clinic. I have agonized over this. As I’ve explained in these virtual pages before, I can’t say that I regret having had an abortion, but I also can’t say that I don’t. It’s complicated. Its complicatedness sometimes hurts my heart. Which is precisely why people talk about the emotional consequences of abortion. Because many women find, like I did, that their hearts hurt. Because many women struggle to figure out how to reconcile the complicated tension between regret and not-regret and find that they’re unable, and because many women do so while bearing their children, their wanted children, in arms.

    But that struggle – that is, my personal experience of that struggle – is one that can, most of the time, be compartmentalized, tucked away on some back shelf of the psyche and forgotten until some event – pregnancy, say, or miscarriage, or one’s own mother’s admission of having given one’s brother up for adoption – prompts one to go rummaging around on the shelves of Buried Hurts and Ambivalent Regrets and Things That I’d Rather Not Think About Unless My Sanity And/Or Moral Stability Depends Upon It.”

    (And yet. Even as I say that – “I did not have a child; I had a pregnancy” – I want to take it back. I’m a mother. I’ve had a very early term miscarriage. I very nearly lost Emilia to miscarriage. I know the terror of losing or fearing to lose that embryo, that not-quite-fetus, that not-child who is loved none the less for his or her unformedness. I would never have said – could never have said – of the embryo-that-became-Emilia, this is just a pregnancy, there is no child here. For even though she was not yet child, she was the cellular embodiment of my wish that she become a child, that she become my child. In the absence of that wish… is it just cells that remain? I don’t know. I do not know. I have not yet sorted this out. It is painful, trying to sort this out, this which might be, simply, unsortable. All I know is that these experiences are different, despite their similarities, and that I remain firmly committed to the rightness of having the ability – the choice – to distinguish between them. Ah, me.)

    Thank you, Catherine. This is a keeper for me and my journal.

    Namasté.
    Mitzi

    Steve March 31, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Thank you for this post. I sometimes wonder what did/does go through the mind of my birth mother. Although statistically speaking I’m more than likely not him, tell your mom it’s okay, I’ve had a great life. Hopefully that will make her smile at least for a moment.

    Anonymous March 31, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I am the child of the serial breeder, the neglectful mother who kept us all. Four children by different fathers, none of us wanted. We are all girls. It has not been an easy life, but three of us have managed to salvage happiness, two of us are even proud happy parents. But it’s because we did have the choice to terminate pregnancies we weren’t ready for. All of us were pregnant as teenagers, and because we had choice, the cycle of unwanted children did not continue. I feel very strongly that abortion is a painful yet necessary option. All birth control, especially birth control that *prevents* abortion, should be widely and readily available.

    I thought I’d add yet another perspective to the discussion.

    Thank you for your brave post!

    Kat March 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    My heart is heavy from your post. Amazing. True. I know the feeling you speak of, the hurt. I have one of my own. Maybe, you just might have inspired me to talk about my experiences, but I can’t promise it will make it off of my notebook pages and into type. I’m scared that I can’t express it as good as you. There aren’t many words to express an experience like that, but yet you did it so well.

    Thank you. Thank you.

    Kat

    SK and Family March 31, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    And that is what I dislike most about the seduction of abortion.

    Abortion is just like any other quick-fix that sounds too good to be true. It IS too good to be true. One cannot abort a baby, then go on as if it never happened.

    Her Bad Mother March 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    SK – nobody ever told me that abortion was good. There was nothing seductive about it. It was a bleak option set against what I thought were impossible options.

    I knew that it would be hard to live with. I did it anyway. And I was right.

    JCK March 31, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    This post was courageous and raw. Thank you for it. All of it hard to speak of. Especially for those of us sharing similar stories.

    Congrats on being BlogHer of the week. So deserving!

    Al_Pal April 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Fantastic and thought-provoking post!

    I remember my best friend from HS saying she was glad abortion was legal, because even though she was unplanned, she knew she wasn’t unwanted.

    My “SiL” [sweetie's brother's wife] is pro-life and said she loved [the fetus that became] her son from the moment her heard his heartbeat.
    She was a bit surprised when I told her that I thought spirits pick their parents.

    There are also so many stillborns, and infants who die – maybe that is the experience they chose this time around. Maybe they needed to have that experience, maybe the parent needed to have that experience.

    Easy for me to say, having never been pregnant, but that is my take on buffet-style spirituality. ;p

    Again, wonderful post.

    GabbyGail April 2, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Your post has haunted me for a week. I’ve been there, am there. My mother died a little over 10 years ago at the age of 47. Two years after she died I found out about the baby boy that she gave up for adoption when she was 16, the same age I was when I had an abortion. I wish I could have talked to her about her decision. I have some idea how much that choice must have haunted that poor, young, Catholic girl. I wish I could ask her, “If abortion had been legal at that time, would your choice have been different? Would your regret be different?” Now, I am married to a man adopted by his parents at the 3 months of age. I thank God every day for the choice that his mother made.

    Karen April 4, 2009 at 2:15 am

    I have a son out there somewhere who turned 39 last month. There has not been a day in 39 years that I have not thought of him, and wondered where he might be, how he might be doing.

    I want to search for him, but I don’t. I want to know him, but I would also be embarassed for him to know the family who would not allow me to keep him.

    EasyB April 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    this post makes me so grateful for the open adoptions that we have with the birth parents of our boys.

    they are still a part of their sons’ stories. they don’t wonder.

    god bless those brave birth mothers and an extra blessing for those birth parents who placed before adoptions were open. i don’t know how that was done. it’s so very different now. so open. so hopeful. so healing to everyone in the triad.

    thanks for this post.

    Anonymous April 9, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I’ve had an abortion, placed a child for adoption (not “gave up”–I HATE that term), and now I’m an adoptive mother.

    The abortion was the choice of a scared teenager. The adoption plan for my son was the smart decision of a older college student. While it was hard, I do not grieve that loss every day. Some years I even forget his birthday. Life does go on, especially if you feel that you made the right decision. I also don’t grieve the pain of my abortion much anymore. In some ways, the second pregnancy helped me feel like I was a good enough person to make the smarter choice the second time around. (Just for the record as long as I’m anonymous: first pregnancy, no birth control; second one, broken condom.)

    As an adoptive parent, I know I wouldn’t have had to wait three long years for my adopted son if more women chose adoption over abortion.

    No judgments. Obviously a very complicated issue.

    Anonymous April 9, 2009 at 6:34 am

    I can’t help but feel that some posters are missing the point. If you’re approaching from the pro-choice perspective, it’s not that you actually think that a fetus gains personhood because it’s wanted. Objectively, regardless of whether or not I want it, a first-trimester fetus is not a person as far as I’m concerned. But if I want the baby I’ll embrace its personhood at conception anyway, because I’m sentimental in that way. It doesn’t mean I think that wanting the fetus is the thing that makes the difference in personhood. Just saying, since the pro-life response to that sentiment always seems like a bit of a misunderstanding.

    Ashley H. April 13, 2009 at 3:23 am

    What a thought-provoking post. I am a mother of 4 (kids 13, 5, 2, and 7 weeks) and had an abortion when I was 19. Although I’m very much pro-life, I’m glad to see that the comments have maintained a respectable debate.

    I would never judge someone else because of their choice, but for ME, and me alone, the grief that that choice caused me has stayed with me every day, and will until I take my last breath. Adoption seems like an impossible choice for me, yet after reading your mothers post, and the comments by other readers, I’m glad people make that choice, and what selflessness and love allows them to do that.

    I still *blame* the abortion I had on where I was at the time…in Los Angeles, with my then fiance (now my husband of 10 years) and mother-in-law, for a month-long visit. I *knew* had I been at home, with my family, I would’ve never made the same decision. Yet, how I can I blame my mother-in-law? She didn’t force me, didn’t make me sign my name, didn’t push me in to that room at the clinic.

    It was all me. And I will never be the same for it.

    Anonymous April 16, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I am amazed — blown away, really — by your ability to so eloquently put into words my own feelings about my abortion. Everything you wrote here, I have felt but been unable to pin down with words. And I had no idea anyone else out there had these same thoughts and experiences. Thank you.

    Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Your life story is increadably sad. Even though I’m pro choise I still very much believe in the womans right to chose. My sister was pregnant and had a wonderful baby girl and I love her with all my heart. I once asked my sister had abortion ever been an option she said no once she saw that sonagram she saw her baby it didn’t matter to her. But i think if the circumstances were right I could get an abortion it may kill me everyday of my life but if I knew the baby’s life would be painful or very short lived why put myself, that child and my family through that pain. Or rape how could I ever look a child who was made of nothing but hate in the eyes and honestly tell them I loved them, some women can and I think very highly of there capibility to love and look past that. I could never condem you or your mother for your choises I don’t know your circumstances and sometimes some people just arnt ready to be parents or never will be. That’s my view on things. thanks for sharing your story!

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