Life Dynamics

Second Thoughts on Abortion

There is another side to the abortion debate that pro-choice advocates would love to stay buried- the countless testimonies of regret, sadness, and horror that abortion has wreaked on lives. This page gives a voice to four main groups: the women who regret their abortions, the fathers powerless to stop it, the families and friends hurt by the loss, and those in the industry forever changed by their work in America’s abortion clinics. Below are the stories of real people who, too late, learned that abortion devastates everyone it touches.

The Workers

One of the biggest threats to the abortion industry is the growing decline in the number of doctors willing to perform abortions. Pro-choice advocates will claim that this is due to the “pro-life violence,” however the real reason has to do with the very service they are selling and the stigma that goes along with it. Don’t be fooled, the abortion industry was lamenting the shortage of abortionists long before any were ever shot. In fact, by the early 1990s this had already taken a dramatic toll on the abortion industry. The result is that the overwhelming majority of those who wind up becoming abortionists are those who never wanted to be abortionists, but those who could not make it in real medicine. Those who have left the abortion industry have testified that, contrary to a Planned Parenthood commercial, life in the abortion industry is not like life in the rest of the medical community. The statements below are a few of many former clinic staff, nurses, and abortionists who reveal what life is like in America’s abortion clinics…

As a registered nurse, I thought that I had a wonderful opportunity as a nurse and as a firm believer in choice to be able to actually practice my political beliefs. I looked at it as a gift, so I went about working hard at the (abortion) clinic for four years and remained active within NOW I never, ever had a doctor in the five years I was there who did abortions because he believed it was the right of the woman… I’m not saying that they don’t exist, but you certainly can’t prove it by me or by my clinic… The horror of what you’ve been involved in doesn’t come to you right away. The doctors get out because they can’t get rid of the nightmares. I handled the ultrasound while the doctor performed the procedure and I directed him while I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. I had seen Silent Scream a number of times, but it didn’t effect me. To me it was just more pro-life propaganda. But I couldn’t deny what I saw on the screen. After that procedure I was shaking, literally, but managed to pull it together and continue on with the day.

-Joan Appleton, Former Head nurse at the Commonwealth Clinic 1,4


My job was to tell the doctor where the parts were, the head being of special significance because it is the most difficult to remove. The head must be deflated, usually by using the suction machine to remove the brain, then crushing the head with large forceps…There are no words to describe how bad it really is. I’ve seen sonograms of the baby pulling away from the instruments as they are introduced into the vagina. And I’ve seen D&E’s through 32 weeks done without the mother’s being put to sleep. And yes, they hurt and they are very painful to the baby and yes, they are very, very painful to the woman. I’ve seen six people hold a woman on the table while they did her abortion.

-Carol Everett, Former Dallas Abortion Clinic Operator 1,2


I had taken anatomy, I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm, I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm and, you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said, ‘I guess you got it all.’ That was a very hard experience for me to go through emotionally… I didn’t talk with anybody about it, I didn’t talk with my folks about it, I didn’t think about it. I did nothing…Do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one. Then I got to sit down and do an abortion. Well, the first one that I did was kind of hard. It hurt me again like a hot poker. But after a while, it got to where it didn’t hurt. My heart got calloused. I was like a lot of people are today – afraid to stand up. I was afraid to speak up. Or some of us, maybe we aren’t afraid, but we just don’t have our own convictions settled yet.

-David Brewer, Former Illinois Abortionist 2


And all of a sudden the idea of a person’s life becomes very real. It’s not an embryology course anymore; it’s not just a couple of hundred dollars. It’s the real thing. It’s your child you buried…The old discomforts came back in spades. I couldn’t even think about a D&E abortion any more, no way. Then you start to realize, this is somebody’s child…and I’m tearing them right out of their womb. I’m killing somebody’s child. That’s what it took to get me to change. My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. You watch the movies, when somebody goes up to a hit man and pays them to kill someone; that’s exactly what I was doing. It got to a point that it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. The money wasn’t worth it…So I quit.

-Anthony Levantino, Former New York Abortionist 2


The confounding part to me at that point was that if my life was going so well, if it were such a bowl of cherries, why was I in the pits, as Erma Bombeck says. I was so depressed that I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t know what was wrong. Thoughts of suicide were beginning to cross my mind and that had never happened before. I was depressed to the point of suicide, and I think the abortions had something to do with this. One of the things that was starting to bother me was, after I would do the suction D & C procedure, I would then go over to the suction bottle and go outside the room to a sink where I would personally pick through it with a forceps. I would have to identify the four extremities, the spine, the skull and the placenta. Standing at that sink, I guess I just started seeing these bodies for the first time. I don’t know what I did before that. I think I just counted. Blood didn’t make me sick. I could handle all the guts and gore of medicine. But I started seeing this for the first time and it started bothering me.

I remember one afternoon in particular, a very attractive young woman who was the day-to-day manager of the clinic came up to the sink one day while I was getting ready to go through my little procedure, and she said, “Would you let me see? I’ve never really seen what you look at in the sink.” The thought just engorged my mind: Here is this beautiful piece of human flesh, what are you doing? I said, “Sure,” and I started showing her what happened to be about a twelve-week abortion. That day as I was showing her, I remember very clearly seeing an arm and seeing the deltoid muscle, and it struck me how beautiful this was. It just got too real. It wasn’t guilt that got me out. It was looking at the bodies and realizing five minutes earlier, this was all together in one beautiful piece. I got to where I just couldn’t look at the little bodies anymore.’

-Beverly McMillan, Former Mississippi Abortionist 1,3, 4
Opened the state’s first abortion clinic in 1975.


She still hears sounds of a ”baby’s skull being crushed. I have been there, and I have seen these totally formed babies, as early as 10 weeks . . . with a leg missing or with their head off. . . . I’ve seen the little rib cages.”

-Debra Henry, Former Abortion Assistant2


And as I brought out the rib cage, I looked and I saw a tiny, beating heart. And when I found the head of the baby, I looked squarely in the face of another human being–a human being that I’d just killed. I turned to the scrub nurse and said, “I’m sorry.” But I just knew that I couldn’t be a part of abortion anymore.

-Paul Jarrett, Former Abortionist 4


“The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the [surgical] scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out… The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched Dr. Haskell doing these things…. The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed it to her. She cried the whole time. She kept saying, “I am so sorry, please forgive me.” I was crying, too. I couldn’t take it.

-Brenda Shafer, Former Nurse of Abortionist Martin Haskell 5


“I took drugs to wake up in the morning, I took speed while I was at work. And I smoked marijuana, drank lots of alcohol….this is the way that I coped with what I did. It was horrible to work there, and there was no good in it.”

-Nita Whitten, Former Secretary in a Texas Abortion Clinic 5


“…my coworker called me to go look at what she was seeing in a container the doctor had just left on the counter after he was done with an abortion procedure. With horror she kept repeating, ‘We are going to go to Hell—Meri, come and see what is in here!’ I turned and started walking towards her, wondering what she was talking about. When I got closer to look inside, to my disbelief I saw tiny little arms with the hands attached intact. I could see the tiny fingers and legs with tiny feet and toes floating in blood and solution. We just stood there without saying a word… After that day, things changed and I was not able to continue to do what I was doing.”

-Merilida Aguilar, Former Planned Parenthood Manager & Abortion Coordinator 6


“I pray for the workers. They sometimes feel they have no other place to go and work, and they don’t make much money for what they have to do and put up with…Sometimes there’s a huge turnover, which is indicative of what they do in there… I thank Him (God), believe it or not everyday, that I’m no longer affiliated with a clinic… Two weeks ago… probably three nights in a row, I dreamt about that clinic… I’ve had nightmares…When I first had nightmares was way at the beginning, when we were doing procedures up to 22 or 23 weeks…and that will give anyone a nightmare… and my girls that worked for me had nightmares…”

-Terri Denine, Former Orlando Abortion Clinic Manager 7


“…you’re dealing with death, day in and day out. The death of children… We did second trimester abortions there; and there were only a few girls that were medical assistants for that because it’s rather gruesome…” 8

“I worked in a place where I was waking up every night having nightmares and screaming with images of pieces of babies floating in the air. My depression and anxiety was horrific, and all because that ‘abortion is good for women’ is a lie. Women are suffering all over this country because we who worked in the abortion clinics and who work in the abortion clinics now are lying to them..”23

-Catherine Adair, Former Boston Planned Parenthood Worker


“I remember assisting, once in particular, in the operating room at the clinic where I had been a medical assistant for six years. I was standing behind the doctor and could see everything as he was performing an abortion on a woman who was 20 – 22 weeks pregnant…I could see the baby’s face. I don’t know how to describe what I felt at that moment. I realized that we just killed a human being. But at the same time I thought: it is legal, so it must be all right. But my whole being was just screaming against what I just saw. I felt death. I was ashamed and confused as I was staring at the bloody parts of the baby. I can even say I felt the presence of the devil. It was very disturbing. My mind was so blinded by the darkness in it I was unable to do anything. Sometimes I think about that day and feel that I should have run away, or tried to stop this madness. What were we doing, as medical professionals, as human beings? What happened to our hearts? Where was our compassion?… My heart still aches when I think about those days…”

-“Valerie”, Former Medical Assistant of An Abortion Clinic


The Women

The media and the abortion industry have worked hard, for years, to portray abortion as empowering and a right that is essential for women’s equality. However, a number of studies have proven that abortion leads to “… increased risks of mental health problems. Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders.” 25 In fact, a 2011 study in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that, “Women who aborted were 81 percent more likely to experience mental health problems compared to all other control groups, and 55 percent more likely to have problems compared to women who delivered an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.26
No one knows the truth about the effect of abortion better than the very women who have had abortions. In a report released by The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, their interviews with around 2,000 women who have had abortions revealed, “a pattern of shared experiences and trauma and a common sense of loss.” 27 In an attempt to give a voice to these women, we share a few testimonies from those who are brave enough to speak out about their experience.

“I used to be pro-choice, until I suffered the consequences of abortion, and realized it should be called poor-choice. It’s a poor choice because the truth is hidden from young women and men. Women begin making uneducated decisions, which leads to sorrow and regret. When I realized what I had actually done to my child, it was too late. Planned Parenthood told me that abortion was safer than giving labor to a full-term baby, they said it did not hurt the child, and it wouldn’t be very painful. I believed it was a procedure done by real doctors with years of experience, and if the government was backing it, I figured that meant it was completely safe and healthy. I also believed the morning after pill was safe, I was simply naïve… Nobody told me the truth. If I had nothing to be ashamed of, if this was really a good, healthy choice, why wouldn’t they tell me the truth? My child had feet and hands. Why does Planned Parenthood think by changing the word from baby to fetus it is no longer murder? Planned Parenthood is not there to help women- they separate a young woman from her parents, and a baby from his mother. I am ashamed to say, I laid on a table and allowed a stranger to rip part of my soul out of my body. This is not what I wanted, this was not a sane choice I made, or any woman makes. Planned Parenthood takes advantage of women who are not in the right state of mind, women who are scared, desperate, and ALONE.

I can tell you of all the physical scars and pain I went through because of this abortion. But none of it compares to the gut wrenching, sick feeling I have in my heart and empty womb. I would give anything for those nine months, I would gladly share my life and my body with my child for nine months. I would give anything to trade this pain and hurt I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life. I can still see my child- I still have visions of all that my baby would be. She runs and she plays in my dreams, she has blonde curly hair, and ocean-blue eyes…Something HAS to change, for the women who will never look into their child’s eyes for the first time and fall in love, for the child that will never take his first steps into his mommy’s arms, for the women that will never hear the word “mama” because an abortion left them BARREN. There are no planned parent’s that come out of Planned Parenthood, only empty arms and cradles.”

-Jennifer 10


“Immediately after the abortion, nothing mattered to me, school, my life. I had very low self-esteem. It was nine years after that first abortion just three years after the second, that I began to realize that all the years of substance abuse, low self esteem, suicidal tendencies, and self hatred began after that first abortion.”

-Karen 28


“…[Four days after the abortion] I went to the washroom and there was a fetus, and I thoroughly examined it. I held it on a piece of Kleenex. I kept saying to myself, ‘Don’t do that, you are hurting it,’ even though it was dead already [R’s voice choked].I started thinking that it could have been a person it could have possibly been loved by somebody else who could have taken care of it. I thought as if it was almost still alive. That really shocked me. For about a week I had it wrapped up in that Kleenex and in the cabinet underneath the sink. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it in the garbage or do anything like that. And then every time I came into the washroom I knew it would be in there and I wouldn’t dare open the door of the cabinet. After about a week I worked up enough nerve to take another look at it. But by this time it was all sticking to the Kleenex and I just didn’t want to start tearing it apart. So I ended up putting it in the garbage. It sounds so horrible saying it that way. It really affected me.”

-Anonymous Abortion Patient 11


“Please don’t make the same mistake I did. I was 18 years old when I got pregnant. Since I had already enlisted in the Air Force, I thought I had to have an abortion in order to make something out of my life. My best friend drove me to the abortion clinic. It was like an assembly line. When the ultrasound was being done I asked to see it. But this wasn’t allowed (so much for “an informed decision”).

Then I asked how far along I was. I was told I was nine-and-a-half weeks pregnant. That hit me hard. I started doubting, and wanted to talk to my friend, but I wasn’t allowed to. When it was my turn the nurse told me that I was going to feel some discomfort, like strong menstrual cramps. The truth is that the abortion was more pain than I’ve ever felt in my life. It felt like my insides were literally being sucked out of my body. Later I went into shock. After the abortion, I tried to make up for it by trying to get pregnant again. I wanted my baby back. I never got pregnant again. I don’t know if I can ever have another baby. I named my baby. I found out later that this is part of the grieving process. Two-and-a-half years later, I ended up in the hospital with bulimia. I felt that no one had punished me for what I had done so I was punishing myself. I became obsessed with women who were pregnant. My life was in shambles! I was suffering from post-abortion trauma. When I was 21 years old I received help from a woman who was involved with pro-life activism. I went through a program called “Conquerors.” Not only did I experience forgiveness, I was also challenged to help others.”

-Michelle 12


“I had an abortion in 1981, and I regret it seriously, and I regret it because mostly I now know that women are strong enough to make truly life-affirming decisions. I was told that I was foolish, ignorant and immature not to realize how sensible it would be in my situation to have an abortion. I have worked since that time in all 50 states and in 17 countries overseas listening to women like myself who are angry that they feel betrayed by abortion rhetoric and slogans that suggest the best thing we can do when you face a crisis is put you in a situation where it’s you vs. your child. We think, as women who’ve been through abortion experiences in this country, we can do better for women and their children.

-Olivia 13


“I’ve never done this before, I went through a hard time afterwards. I went through depression. It was really hard.”

-Jennifer 14


“Abortion is not the answer… I chose to abort – twice. I was told I was too young at 17, had no family net, and a boyfriend who wanted nothing to do with becoming a parent. I take responsibility for my actions. At 24 I failed to stay on birth control. It was a new relationship; and when I told the father of my second pregnancy, he wanted nothing to do with me or his child. I was alone and scared. I panicked. It was a nightmare. After the second abortion I suffered PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and finally got some help. I found my healing through a Christian-based counseling group called “Forgiven and Set free.” I found my healing and can move on now. But that wasn’t easy. It was a painful and emotional journey to get to where I’m at today. Post traumatic stress disorder is serious. Losing a child is serious. There are two victims in this tragic experience. We are left here on earth to deal with the suffering – mentally, emotionally, and psychological effects of choosing to abort. Please rethink your decision for everyone involved.”

-Cami 15


Eleven years, three clinics, two states, seven abortions, never was I once told of my physical, my emotional, my mental potential complications that I would face as a woman who chose — I chose; I was not forced; I chose to exercise my American right to choose. But they never told me, Joyce, bilateral mammograms, ovarian cysts, the delivery of my last pregnancy of my baby — I have five children. I was in bed for five months and lost two pints of blood. I had a partial hysterectomy at the birth of my daughter. Do you know what it’s like to have to look in your children’s eyes and to tell them, “Mommy may die,” but to then know it’s because I chose to exercise my right to choose? Because, you see, this was my 12th pregnancy. The emotional complications have been just tremendous — mental anguish. I can’t tell you what it’s like to grieve the emptiness of your arms, knowing what you did to your children; numbness; going through life raged. For years my first response to everything was just anger. And I was there, but I wasn’t there in person. — Today I tell you, the nation, the world, abortion hurts women, and I deeply regret my choice.”

-Joyce 16


“I had an abortion three days ago. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. I went in knowing I wanted to keep my baby, and I came out without him. I feel like my life has no purpose. I cannot breathe sometimes. I was pushed to do something that I did not want to do, and I will never forgive myself for being such a weak individual.”

-Tessa 17


The abortion itself was like a living hell. I thought my guts were being pulled out. It was degrading and I was terrified. When it was over, something made me ask the doctor, ” Was it a boy or a girl?” He answered, ” I can’t tell, its in pieces.” The counseling consisted of throwing some birth control pills at me. It so hard to put into words how the abortion affected me. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I realize that I was going through almost classic Post-Abortion Syndrome. I became a tramp and slept with everyone and anyone. I engaged in unprotected sex, and each month when I wasn’t pregnant I would go into a deep depression. I was rebellious, I wanted my parents to see what I had become. I dropped out of college. I tried suicide, but I didn’t have the guts to slit my wrists or blow my brains out. I couldn’t get my hands on sleeping pills so I resorted to over-the-counter sleep aids and booze. I was driven with the need to have a child and I knew that if I was married my parents couldn’t do anything about it. In trying to deal with the abortion, I had to face what I had done and beg forgiveness from my God. The hardest thing of all is trying to forgive myself. Not a day goes by that the abortion doesn’t cross my mind. It’s a constant struggle trying to overcome my guilt and depression, even knowing I have been forgiven.

-Anonymous Abortion Patient 18


I regret it with all my heart. I feel like I killed my baby. All I could say after my abortion was I wanted to die. I kept holding my stomach asking God for forgiveness, and I kept screaming I’m sorry. But now it is too late to go back! Now all I want to do is get pregnant again to heal the pain that I feel inside, the pain that does not go away. Also, now I don’t know if I could get pregnant again. All I do is ask God for a second chance. I promise I would do things right. When I see pregnant girls I start to cry. It is so hard to get over. I wish I had someone to tell me it was going to be like this.”

-Vivian 19


My nightmare began the day I walked into that abortion clinic. I bought the lie that it was a quick fix. It’s not a quick fix. Instead, it’s a lifetime of consequences… I felt my daughter kick and punch me as the abortionist administered the medicine inside my stomach. I later found out she was being burned. I unsuccessfully tried to save my daughter by immediately going to a local hospital, the labor and delivery department. But they told me that the healthy heartbeat everyone heard over the baby monitor would soon deteriorate overnight, and it did… The next day, after seven hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful yet lifeless baby named Lenore. As I held her I remember slowly touching each of her fingers and grabbing each of her toes. I was thinking,’Oh my God, what have I done?’… I’ve hurt so many people because of the decision I’ve made. This barbaric act is not liberating, it is not empowering, but it is absolutely humiliating. It left an imprint on my heart that will never go away…”

-Irene 20


“This is something that has haunted us both (my boyfriend and I) all of our lives. It will never go away; and I know because our baby should have been nineteen years old this month. To this day I still have dreams of a faceless child and wake up in the middle of the night crying.”

-Christine 21


“I wasn’t told that it would become impossible to look at my own eyes in the mirror… I wasn’t told that I would come to hate all those who advised me to have my abortions, because they were my accomplices in the murders of my babies. I wasn’t told that having an abortion with my husband’s consent would cause me to hate the father of my children, or that I would be unable to sustain any satisfying, lasting, and fulfilling relationships. I wasn’t told that I could become suicidal in the fall of every year, when both of my babies should have been born. I wasn’t told that on the birthdays of my living children, I would remember the two for whom I would never make a birthday cake, or that on Mother’s Day I would remember the two who never send me a card, or that every Christmas I would remember the two for whom there would be no presents. My abortions were supposed to be a “quick-fix” for my problems, but they didn’t tell me there is no “quick-fix” for regrets.”

-Anonymous Abortion Patient 18


“It’s been 14 years since my last abortion, and it’s been a week- and-a-half since my last nightmare of my abortions. My daughter and I drove past a church with a thousand crosses in the front yard, and I pulled over knowing what it was representing, and we picked up the crosses and planted them back into the ground. And I told my daughter, my 4-year-old daughter what I had done, and that she had brothers and sisters that her mommy didn’t allow to live. And she said, ‘I miss my brothers and sisters.’ And I said, ‘I do too, honey. I’m so sorry.’ And she said, ‘It’s okay, Mommy.’ But it’s not okay with me. I was lied to. That is not in my best interest. That is not how you take care of women. I was not cared for. I was not followed up on. I was not observed when I was bleeding. I was manipulated and deceived.”

-Karen 22


“I had my abortion when I was 19… No one explained to me that I would undergo so many emotional, psychological, and mental after effects… Those people at the clinic, though, never told me about the beginning of life, of the fetus growing. They just told me about the “blob of tissue” to be vacuumed out.

They never told me about the depression, anger, anxiety, fears, and self-hatred that I would experience after the abortion. They didn’t tell me I would lose sleep and my appetite for weeks or continue to be uneasy around babies, children, pregnant women and people in general because I thought I was such a terrible person. They never told me I’d hate myself, that I’d have suicidal thoughts. But the saddest thing for anyone affected by abortion – the saddest thing is that it’s irreversible.”

-Rachel 23


“Two weeks after the abortion, I went into labor. I staggered into the bathroom. And there, with my husband beside me, I delivered a part of my baby the doctor had missed. It was the head of my baby. . . I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I hear a baby crying. And I still have nightmares in which I am forced to watch my baby being ripped apart in front of me. I simply miss my baby. I constantly wake up wanting to nurse my child, wanting to hold my child. And that’s something the doctor never told me I would experience.”

-Lori 30

The Men

The sad fact is that on either side of the abortion issue, men are usually forgotten. The pro-choice lobby claims that men have no right to have an opinion on abortion and are known for their favorite phrase, “no uterus, no opinion!” The hypocrisy is that these same people never tell men who support abortion to keep quiet. They also don’t seem to mind that the overwhelming majority of abortionists are men, and they never say anything about the male “escorts” outside the clinics. Evidently the only men these people want censored are those who think women deserve better than abortion.

The pro-life position is that abortion doesn’t just kill the unborn, but it hurts the women who undergo them, both physically and mentally. Numerous studies and research have proven that abortion is not empowering for women, however fewer studies have been done on the effects of abortion on the fathers’ of these children. In more recent years, researchers have begun to fill this gap and study the true effect abortion has on men. What we have learned from this research is that these men typically experience, “grief, guilt, depression, anxiety, feelings of repressed emotions, helplessness/voicelessness/powerlessness, post-traumatic stress, anger and relationship problems.” 29 Research has also found that some men may grieve over the loss of the baby longer than the mother. Which begs the question: If abortion has such a negative effect on men, why have they stayed quiet? In an article called “The Hollow Men” by Vincent M. Rue, he states: “Psychological injury in men following abortion is likely underestimated due to men’s propensity to avoid self-disclosure…When men do express their grief, they tend to do so in culturally prescribed “masculine” ways, i.e., anger, aggressiveness, silence, control. Men typically grieve following an abortion in a private way. Because of this, men’s requests for help may often go unrecognized and unheeded by those around them.” 32 Below are quotes from men brave enough to speak out about how abortion has truly affected them. Some of the men have chosen to remain anonymous.

“As I sat there in the waiting room, I could hear crying and saw women come out with tears running down their faces.  This scared me because I was told “this was just a small procedure and it wouldn’t hurt Kelly or the tissue at all.”  In my heart, I knew this was a baby, not tissue. When Kelly came out, she was groggy and looked to be in a lot of pain, which made me furious about the lies we had been told. As we drove home, neither of us said a thing.  We sat in silence as I contemplated our decision.  Sadly, because of my inability to be a man, I put it all aside and we went on with our relationship. Kelly and I eventually got married, but many years after the abortions I realized I was in pain.  My inability to protect those I was entrusted to care for created a domino effect of bad choices…I was a broken man with a broken wife, two children in heaven, and was trying to pick up the pieces of what my indifference had done…The healing process made me realize that I was meant to be a Daddy to those two children and that my silence never allowed me to be that for them…’

-Matt 35


“My precious baby was aborted without me knowing… She had the abortion in August and told me in September what she had done, because we were trying to work things out. I was devastated. I’m now in therapy and taking antidepressant drugs. Abortion affects the fathers too. No one talks about that.”

-Anonymous 33


“Twenty years ago, I helped pay for my girlfriend’s abortion. My immediate reaction to her news was it was an inconvenience that must be eliminated. I never stopped to think about what I was doing. I never considered that a real life was inside her that I had helped create. I simply thought the doctor was removing some unwanted tissue… She never wanted to do it. She wanted to keep the baby. It was my forcefulness that finally led her to do what she didn’t want to do… Years later I faced the truth. I had selfishly destroyed a human life because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced… I came face-to-face with who I really was – a coward who preyed upon someone else to make my own life easier… My rude awakening was “male post-abortion syndrome,” a flood of guilt, confusion, and denial that often follows an abortion. Post-abortion syndrome is typically associated with mothers of aborted children, but I’m one of the thousands of abortion fathers who have also gone through this ordeal.”

-Steve 34


“Five years ago I paid for an abortion and convinced my ex to get one. By choosing the RU-486 option, it felt like we were catching it early enough and it wasn’t really an abortion. I was naïve enough to believe the lie they told me over the phone when I called to get some info, that it was only a “glob of cells.” I sat in the waiting room with a guilt-free conscience. I’ve never been so wrong in my entire life…”

-Will 36


“I think I have been far more in touch with my grief and deep sorrow for the life I helped to end. I think of my child that will never be on earth. I hate the self-deception and the falsehood I bought into. The pseudo – “enlightened” argument I groped for has actually proven to be the DARKEST moment of my life, filling me with unending ache and remorse. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t shudder and almost weep again for the murder I helped to bring about. Quite often I even wake up in the morning thinking painfully of the undeniably selfish act I did over 11 years ago – STILL! I know I overrode in my core being my conscience (dulled at the time) and my Fatherhood instinct. No two ways about it: I acted – no, I was a coward… I would do anything (if God would accept the bargain) to reverse that fateful mistake. In all sincerity, I would ask God to take my life now in order to restore my unborn child’s life on earth. Even though assured of God’s forgiveness, I am still trying to forgive myself.”

-Anonymous 37


“When the abortion was performed I was out of town on business, too. I made sure of that. Whatever physical, emotional and spiritual agony the woman suffered, I was not by her side to support her. I turned my face away… I’ve come to believe that it was a boy, a son whom I wanted killed because, at the time his existence would have inconvenienced me… His name, which is carved on my heart, was Thomas. My feelings of responsibility and guilt are undiminished by the fact that the woman had full legal authority to make the decision on her own, either way, without consulting me or even informing me. In fact, she consulted in an open fashion, reflecting our shared responsibility and I could have made a strong case for having the child. Instead, I urged her along the path of death. And skipped town. I feel like a murderer, which isn’t to say that I blame anyone else, or think anyone else is a murderer. It’s just the way I feel and all the rationalizations in the world haven’t changed this. I still grieve for little Thomas…”

-Phil 38


I was a father of the aborted child. I was obsessed with jealousy.  I thought that my wife cheated with someone else and that the child was not mine. I forced her psychologically to abort. I’m so sorry, and she will never forgive me. Lord, please forgive me.

-Stan 39


“I shall never know in this life whether my child was a boy or a girl. My former girlfriend, the mother of my child, the woman I loved and still love, only told me a number of weeks later that she had been pregnant and that she had had an abortion… I was on a busy street but I put my head up against a building and began to cry, the first time I had cried in public since I was twelve years old.”

-Anonymous 40


“At first I did not feel I should wear this pin (Regret Lost Fatherhood) or tote this sign (Lost Fatherhood)! I mean…why should I? I didn’t have the abortion! I didn’t tell HER to have one! I wanted to have a baby! I was told that she had a miscarriage. My baby was gone! Four years later, the truth was revealed. She made a choice and she chose DEATH! I was lied to. I felt betrayed. I was torn. How could I love this woman who KILLED my baby! The truth was…I couldn’t!! We tried to make it work, but every time we fought, I would call her names like, Baby Killer or Murderer! Our relationship ended. I withdrew from life and became depressed.”

-Richard 41


“I am a 54-year-old male. My girlfriend and I had an abortion at age 17. Our child would be 37-years-old. I regret it every day. Strange, I love life so much but was so selfish to kill him. I have no children and now never will have that gift to give again.”

-Anonymous 42


“One evening she told me in two simple words, “It’s done.” Despite the fact that I would have raised the child with or without her, I couldn’t choose to be a father. I don’t think a single day has passed where I haven’t prayed and I’ve cried about it, but nothing is going to change. The one thing that I thought would become the greatest joy in life has become the greatest pain. It hurts more than words could ever describe. I feel empty – as if a part of me is missing. And I felt helpless – because there was nothing I could do about it – because she went and had the abortion without me, even knowing that I wanted to be there for this child.”

-Adam 43


“… a simple medical procedure that had removed a clump of tissue that wasn’t human… no big deal. Oh how I desperately wanted to believe that. It had been such a helpful solution to a very difficult situation I had created for myself, and it wasn’t even my idea… I caved in hoping they were right… but when my girlfriend returned from the abortion clinic all I knew was I was still a father but the baby was gone. I tried to believe the doctor was right, i.e. an abortion would fix the problem, but the dead feeling inside of me of loss and grief told me otherwise. The guilt and shame I was feeling told me otherwise. The loss of self esteem and the birth of self hatred told me otherwise. The realization that what we had done was wrong, that the abortion had not fixed the problem but in fact had created way more left me in a state of trying to rationalize that the abortion was okay for a long time. The fear of facing the truth of what we had done and the shame, guilt, grief and loss that accompanied that potential awareness, kept me silent too.”

-Scott 44


“I used to hear about abortion all the time, and I said I would never do such a thing. Then I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 25—with a minimum-wage job and girlfriend still in her junior year of college. We made the decision, and in a matter of hours we aborted the baby at a nearby clinic… This abortion is going to be my biggest regret until the day I die. I will never, ever forgive myself for making a decision to take my unborn child’s life away. Whether you are right or left-wing, we all know in the back of our minds and in our hearts that taking life away is crude—whether the government says you can do it or not. I can’t believe I fell for the lies regarding abortion. I pray to my baby every single day, hoping he or she forgives me and hoping that he or she is in a better place.”

-Anonymous 45


“We were faced with the news of triplets… I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to help, manage, and provide. My wife… insisted that we do a “selective reduction” from three to one, or else she would have a full abortion.  She was adamant. I was presented with a Coventry-esque decision: save one, or save none.  I chose the former, though I tried on several occasions to convince her to at least keep twins.  I failed… They would inject potassium chloride into the placenta to stop the hearts.  We were told, point-blank, that it was painless.  Even then, I knew I was being lied to, but given the choice presented, I agreed anyway.  My mantra became ‘Save one, or save none.’

My wife didn’t look, but I had to.  I had to know what would happen to my children.  I had to know how they would die. Each retreated, pushing away, as the needle entered the amniotic sac.  They did not inject into the placenta, but directly into each child’s torso.  Each one crumpled as the needle pierced the body.  I saw the heart stop in the first, and mine almost did, too.  The other’s heart fought, but ten minutes later they looked again, and it too had ceased. The doctors had the gall to call the potassium chloride, the chemical that stopped children’s hearts, “medicine.”  I wanted to ask what they were trying cure — life?  But bitter words would not undo what had happened.  I swallowed anything I might have said… But that emotional scar will ache my whole life… I wept in joy, a few years ago, when I saw my first child’s heartbeat on the screen.  And I weep in agony now at the memory of two of my children’s heartbeats being stilled.  ‘Save one, or save none’ has been eclipsed by ‘Out, out, damned spot!’ as I wonder how I can redeem myself.”

-Anonymous 46


“I married a friend of mine. She became pregnant. I was so happy; I can still remember the exact spot I was at when she told me over the phone… I went to my wife’s work after I got off work to give her flowers. She was not there. They said she had a medical emergency. I wondered why she would not call me. I called every hospital in the two county area but could not find her. That should have been a huge clue to me. I thought about checking out the abortion clinics, but I thought she would never do that to me… A few weeks later she confirmed my worst fear. She had murdered my baby in cold blood and lied about it for 6 months… I now am crying my eyes out for my murdered baby…”

-Anonymous 47


“39 years ago, I participated in the abortion of my son. When at age 17, I learned that my girlfriend was pregnant, we were stunned and things happened very quickly. I should have been responsible enough to know better, to protect my unborn son in his mother from a horrible, misguided, and irreversible choice. Today, I would do anything to have that choice back, to have had the courage to say no. Instead, I said nothing. I was afraid, timid, and complicit by my silence. Deep down inside, I knew the truth, this was our baby, but no, I said nothing. I did nothing but accompany her along with her mother to Planned Parenthood to destroy our child. During the procedure, I felt numb and helpless, but for this monumental failure as a father I accept full responsibility… I want to tell all men who have participated in an abortion or had their children aborted against their will, to let your heart out of prison that help and healing is available.”

-Chuck 48


“I passed the decision off to my girlfriend, and her friend gave her the money for the abortion. To this day, I still feel regret – tremendous, unrelenting regret. What if I had been man enough to take responsibility?”

-Anonymous 49


“She (my girlfriend) and I did end up making love, and about three weeks after that she broke up with me… I saw her at a high school football game about two months after that. I went up to her and gave her a hug, and she said she needed to talk to me. So we went and sat down, and she told me that she broke up with me because she was pregnant with my baby. I was shocked but happy. Then she said that it would have been a little girl. I looked at her dazed and confused and asked her would have been? She said yes, it would have been, but she had an abortion. I didn’t know what to do, so I broke down and cried.

She rubbed my back and said it will be OK and that it was for the best. I looked at her and said there was no way that this was for the best. I told her I would never be able to look at her the same again. I asked her how she could do this to me. How could she do that to our baby? She looked at me and said that this guy she is now dating told her to. I asked her how she could do that. How could she let some other guy talk her into killing our baby? She said she was sorry. I told her that was not good enough. Sorry is not going to bring our baby back. I started crying again and said I will never get to hold my little girl. I will never get to see her beautiful face. I will never get to tuck her into bed. I will never get to see her grow up… I don’t even have a grave that I can go to and lay flowers upon. She broke my heart…”

-Joshua 50


“I allowed myself to be influenced and manipulated by my ex-girlfriend, who aborted both of our children. It was for the despicable, mere fact that they were going to get in her way. We had both said after the first abortion that this was never an option again, but yet abortion was one of the first words out of her mouth the next time. What do you say when the woman you love more than life itself tells you her life is over due to our pregnancy?  Let me tell you, I still do not have a clue… I have not been the same man since. My life has tragically turned into a continual replay of events that destroyed who I was and whom I used to know. Immediately afterward, I experienced a great sense of loss, confusion, humiliation, and regret. To top it all, I was not allowed to mention a feeling or thought to my partner. I lived with holding in every emotion I’ve ever had for twelve years… I lived guarded in the protective walls I emotionally built… When the relationship started to fall apart many years later, I experienced an overpowering flood of emotions. They were so powerful that I completely lost control of myself and I fell into a severe depression. I attempted to take my life. Two and a half years later, I have still been unable to move forward in my life. I experience daily nightmares, drink heavily, and have not even been able to think of a new relationship. I am desperately looking for forgiveness from God and for healing to this day. I can’t live as I am anymore, feeling so dead inside.”

-Tim 51


Bottom line, when I was supposed to be the protector and defender of the young woman who would later become my wife, I chose instead to insist on the abortion and sat like a coward in the waiting room while our child was sucked from the womb, in pieces. Though I have many excuses for doing what I did… in the end, that is all they are…excuses. This event would become a major negative undercurrent in our marriage for many years, about 15 to be exact. I can only wish there had been caring people on the sidewalk that day to show us that there was another option. I’m sure that seeing the truth up front and personal would’ve made me angry, but I’d like to believe that even my conscience, as compromised as it was, would have been pierced by the truth and the reality of what would happen only minutes later. I thank God for sidewalk counselors today.

-Anonymous 52


“In October of 2006, I found out I was going to be a father for the first time. Neither of us planned this pregnancy, or had even talked about the possibility of getting pregnant…The nurse at Boston College told her that she would be better off having an abortion, and told her where she could get one. I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time because I wanted her to stay calm and positive. I brought her to a crisis pregnancy center in Boston when she was five-weeks pregnant, so that she could explore her options other than having an abortion. The women at the center set up a date for her to get an ultrasound so she could see her child.

During the ultrasound, I saw and heard my child’s heart beat and I cried. It was a very overwhelming and beautiful experience for me, until she looked over at me and said: “What are you crying about? Worms have heartbeats too.” My girlfriend said to me, “I don’t want our child to end up like you, and I said, “What about me?” She said, “You shake a lot and have trouble in school.” That broke my heart to hear that because of all the progress I have made over the years, and the fact that she would put conditions on her love for her child and that the condition of her baby would change whether she wanted her baby to live or not… before I was born I developed hydrocephalus which is fluid on the brain… My parents were told by the doctor that I would be born deaf, blind, developmentally delayed or dead… I had to go through speech therapy, therapy to regain balance, and had learning disabilities in school… I didn’t have any of the conditions that they said I would have which I am grateful for. What if I did though? Would my life be any less valuable? Would I be any less of a human being? Of course not… She insisted she was going to get the abortion, was planning to get one that weekend, and broke up with me right before.

I called the abortion clinic and asked what my rights were; they said “You don’t have any, and don’t call back.”  I then asked them, “What do you do with the aborted babies? I want to bury my child.” They told me that it wasn’t a child, it was a fetus, and to never call again or they would involve the police, and if I showed up on Saturday to try to stop my girlfriend from having an abortion, they would have me arrested. My hands were tied. I, as a father, had no legal right to protect my child from a death committed by a “doctor.” I called everyone imaginable to see what my rights were and I got the same answer: “Nothing.”

I went to try one more time to ask the mother of my child to not do this. But she was adamant about having an abortion and told me to leave. So I then asked her if I could do one last thing before I left… I then got on my knees and kissed the stomach of the mother of my child and said, “I love you, and Daddy will see you in heaven.” I then took the ultrasound pictures and left. I was informed that my child had been aborted in the afternoon on December 2, 2006. It was the most painful experience I have ever been through… I didn’t want to go on; I was in too much pain. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I had nightmares of my child being aborted… thoughts of suicide filled my head every waking hour.”

-Theo 53


“Men, be aware of the consequences of your actions-including your faith in your “love” with the person of your dreams. A life my be the cost of your blindness, and you may be the only one of the two who suffers regret from the abortion.”

-Anonymous 54


“I’ll never forget the day—A friend came running in and said, ‘Jones, your girlfriend’s on the phone and she’s crying.’ So I ran out, knowing that I wasn’t supposed to leave my station or answer the phone. But I picked it up, and she was crying, as I have never heard a woman cry before. Ever. The only way that I can explain it is that her soul was crying. And she kept saying over and over and over again, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It wasn’t me.’ And then her father said, ‘Jason,’ over the other line, ‘I know your secret, and your secret’s gone. She had an abortion.’ As soon as he’d said that word, a sergeant reached over my shoulder and hung up the phone. So I punched him. Another drill sergeant grabbed me, but he saw that I was crying, just saying over and over again, ‘He killed my baby! He killed my baby!’ My captain must have been pro-life, maybe a Christian, because he soberly and sympathetically gave me a Sparks Notes version of Roe v. Wade. Then he handed me a roll of quarters for the phone and said, ‘I want you to go to the PX; I can’t have you disturbing the whole battalion.’ I walked to the PX, hearing again the sound of my girlfriend sobbing, feeling our loss in my gut. The thought of that baby had kept me going, every grueling day of basic training. My heart was broken…”

-Jason 55


“For a few weeks all was well. Then one day she changed her mind and my heart was broken. I prayed and begged her to change her mind, but I couldn’t. Why is it that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby but only one of them has a choice? Take it from a guy who would have done anything to hold his baby just one time….”

-Anonymous 56


“I lost two children to abortion when I was in high school. My heart turned stone cold after the second abortion. For the next several years I dealt with the pain through massive alcohol consumption.  Truth is … I almost drank myself to death trying to ease the pain. Over 10 years ago I completed an abortion recovery Bible study called Healing a Fathers heart. It was one of the best investments of time I’ve ever made because it gave me the tools I needed to cope with my loss. But to this day I have nightmares of the experience…  And I mourn for the children I never knew…”

-Paul 57


“While I was away (with the Marines), she (my wife) was raped by an ex-boyfriend. He was caught but she was left pregnant by the attack. When she told me I was furious. I felt like my time overseas was for nothing. I had fought for my country and for my family’s freedom only to come back and learn that it had all been taken while I was away. My wife had a different attitude. She accepted her attack and the child that resulted from it. She expected me to support her decision and carry the child to term. I was selfish and I just wanted things to be the way they were before I left. I told her that she should abort the child for my sake. I said that it was unfair to me because the child that she carried wasn’t mine. Eventually she gave in and got the abortion. I didn’t even drive her to the clinic. When she came home, she glared at me and cried. She wouldn’t even speak to me the rest of the day. What really made it hit home was when she told me that at least the baby was in heaven and away from the cruel world that caused it’s conception. When she said that I knew I had made a terrible mistake. I had led to a mother taking her child’s life. I felt like the lowest scum in the world. The man who had raped my wife took her security but I went a step beyond that. I had taken her child, her flesh, her blood…”

-Anonymous 58


“When I was in High School and College I bought into the worldly idea that a man is measured by his sexual activity.  Therefore, intimacy with a woman became a conquest for me… by the time I was 21, I had fathered three children.  And, in every case, paid doctors to end the life of my unborn children.  And I didn’t even realize that it was wrong.  In fact, I felt that I doing the manly thing to pay for the abortions.  After all, it wasn’t really my responsibility.  It was the woman’s job to keep from getting pregnant, right?  Such was the depth of my depravity… It was my responsibility to provide for and protect them, not to kill them… And as a man, to protect the mothers of my unborn children from the burden of abortion… Men, our silence is a critical way that our culture marginalizes the tragedy of abortion as a “women’s issue.”  That is one of the core strategies of the abortion industry.  If they can keep abortion a “women’s issue,” then they can effectively stifle any real discussion about the issue of abortion.  If abortion is a “women’s issue” then those who support abortion can argue that men who affirm the sanctity of the lives of the unborn are infringing on the rights of women.  And, thereby, eliminate the right of any life-affirming men to engage with the issue… Men, the abortion industry wants us to do nothing.  To remain silent.  Do not allow evil to triumph.  It is time for the fathers of aborted children to stand alongside the mothers of aborted children And BE SILENT NO MORE.”

-Patrick 59

Friends and Family Speak Out

Why do family members and friends often go unnoticed when discussing the impact of abortion? Perhaps it is because the pro-choice movement has told them that their feelings are irrelevant; or maybe friends and family are often unsure how to discuss it. However, this group can be deeply affected by the abortion, even if they only found out about it years later. Georgette Forney, co-founder of Silent No More, stated that: “It is a trauma. It’s life-changing, and not only for the woman herself, but for people around her.” 60

Janet Morana, also a co-founder of Silent No More, added: “We have to not be afraid to talk about this among ourselves. I’m telling you now that if you know someone who is a grandparent who lost a grandchild to abortion, that we need healing, too. Know that hope and healing is available. Know that it’s OK to talk about… And I’m going to be, from this point forward, Silent No More about losing my grandchildren to abortion.” 60 In an effort to raise awareness about their struggle and to promote healing, Priests For Life has launched a new campaign called “Abortion Shockwaves.” Below are quotes from real people who have been deeply affected by a loved one’s abortion, and in some cases, an abortion they helped procure or convinced the woman she should get.

“I believed that if it was legal, it was okay. I drove my daughter (figuratively and literally) to an abortion. To this day I think with regret of what I did. My daughter and I drove home in silence that day and we have never mentioned it since, but I saw the mental pain and suffering it caused her… After converting to the Catholic Church, the feeling of horror of what I had done was overwhelming. Through the sacrament of reconciliation, I know that God has forgiven me, but one of his children is missing because of me. I think of that lost grandchild every day. I pray that parents of an unmarried or teenage daughter who becomes pregnant does not make the mistake I will always regret! There are other choices.”

-Cheryl 61


“…My ex was pregnant by rape. I agreed to raise the child as my own and to stay with her for the rest of my life. But my child is dead, not by miscarriage or accident, but by murder. Some doctor killed my son or my daughter… I don’t understand why she did it… There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what the child would have been, boy or girl. I always wonder what it would have looked like, how it would have acted. Every day I wonder, and it only makes me more depressed. Every day I mourn for that child…”

-Justin 62


“My sister and I were both pregnant (in our teens) at the same time. I gave birth to my baby and my sister aborted. The night before her scheduled abortion, she told me of her plan to abort and asked me to go with her to support her. I said no and so her best friend drove her… For all these years I have lived with the guilt of not stopping my sister from having her abortion. I didn’t try to talk her out of it. While I wouldn’t go with her to the clinic where she aborted her baby, I also didn’t tell her to not go. I didn’t help her see her options and encourage her. I didn’t try to tell her why it was wrong. I didn’t reassure her that I would help her and we could do it together. I didn’t convince her that our mom and dad would love her baby like they would mine. We both had a loving home to raise our babies in.

I still grieve over the loss of my nephew or niece. I grieve that my sister didn’t have the joy of knowing her baby and raising him or her. I grieve that mom and dad didn’t get to know their first-born grandchild. I grieve that my son didn’t grow up playing with his cousin. In the years since, I have observed my sister’s hidden grief manifest in denial, guilt, low self-esteem, feelings or rejection and abandonment, promiscuity, strained family relationships, fear of relationship commitment.”

-Lara 63


“I am a 53-year-old woman who allowed her daughter to have an abortion at 16 weeks. She was secretly seeing a boy we did not approve of nor like. I took her to the doctor and found out she was 16 weeks pregnant. She cried, I cried. My husband was livid when we told him. We bought into the hype – “she’s too young, it was date rape, she’ll regret having this baby” and agreed to an abortion… I put on the “I’m a big liberated woman face” and told her it would be OK. IT WAS NOT OK. I had seen my grandchild on the ultrasound, knew it was a girl and still let her have the abortion. The guilt from this has nearly ruined our lives. She has suffered a nervous breakdown as I have… I often think what my beautiful granddaughter would’ve have looked like, now, at 16. I am a Christian and regret letting her do this. I pray every day God will forgive me. It has taken it’s toll. To all the parents out there, please, please don’t allow your daughter to have this barbaric procedure done. I hope God has mercy on my soul.”

-Anonymous Mother 64


I never really spoke about it (my abortion) with anyone, until a friend of mine got pregnant out of wedlock with a very bi-polar, physically abusive boyfriend. I tried to encourage her to have her baby, and let her know I’d be there to help her in any way I could. But her boyfriend didn’t want her to have their child and basically let her know he wouldn’t be there whatsoever for her if she decided to keep that baby, so she decided she was going to have an abortion. I thought I was being a good friend in standing by her decision, so I offered to take her and pick her up and care for her. Which I did. I do carry guilt from that day, too. Who knows; if I would have persuaded her more, maybe her child would be here today.

-Ashlee 65


“Twenty-five years ago, my sister came to me for advice. She was young, unmarried, tearful, and pregnant. She wanted to know what she should do. I love my sister very much and I cared about her and her “problem.” I wanted her to be happy. In my mind, her only option was abortion. I never considered offering to help raise her child or helping her through an adoption. I was smug, self-righteous and convinced that I was right… I went with her to the abortion clinic. I never thought of the baby in terms of being a person. I never thought of the baby as my own niece or nephew. It never entered my mind that she would suffer the emotional effects of abortion for the rest of her life… I used to believe that it was a woman’s choice to do what she wanted to do with her own body because it was her body and nobody’s business. If asked, I would proudly say that I was pro-choice. It never occurred to me that the tiny person being nurtured in their mother’s womb was not given a choice.

(20 years later) As I nurtured my relationship with God, I realized that my advice to my sister to have an abortion was wrong… I realized that her child was my niece or my nephew. I cried. I mourned for this child that I would never meet, this child who would never be my son’s older cousin. This child who was our mother and father’s first grandchild. For years, I have struggled with the guilt and shame about my involvement in my sister’s abortion. My heart has ached for this child…. As I write this, I hold back my tears. My throat aches to cry out. I hurt to my very soul. I love this child so very much. God heals old wounds even when they feel new. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I received forgiveness and I know that I must accept God’s forgiveness… I want very much to meet my niece or nephew in heaven and apologize that I helped take their earthly life away… I regret my advice to my sister to have an abortion.”

-Margaret 66


“An accomplice to murder, that’s what I am… Not just once but three times. In my teenage years I was the “go-to” man for just about anything. I knew where the party was, the dope, the fun, and unfortunately, the abortion. The first was one my best friend’s girlfriend. She’d gotten pregnant and they both knew they did not want the baby… As any good friend would do, I found out where that place would be, how to pay, made the appointment, and even drove them to the clinic… I remember going there and seeing the place, it wasn’t scary or ugly but I knew (even then) that something was not right about that place, it just seemed dark and well evil. I spoke with the girlfriend some 20 years later about that day. She was scarred and yet had come to peace with it as she had resolved her life by surrendering it to Jesus. She discussed her difficult years and I apologized for my part. The main thing is that we were both scarred, her more than me but nonetheless we both carried the scars of that decision…

The third came about another year later. This time, it was my sister. Our parents knew and knew what they wanted. I volunteered my services and all was set-up. It was the same place as the other two and like the first, I was the driver and point person. After the abortion my sister lay in the back seat weeping and wondering if she’d ever be forgiven for killing a baby… She wept and wept and wept… My sister had a tough recovery as she bled a lot and cried a lot… Somehow, we all made it through that dark moment. We never really talked about it. It was all dealt with in sublime gestures and “looks” between each other. We knew we’d done wrong and our way of dealing with it was with unspoken gestures, hugs, and silence… I began to ponder these times in my life. After careful consideration of the evidence and I knew I was just as guilty of murder as the three that had them. While I know I have been forgiven and forgiveness is readily available to my friends and family, I (like them) have to live with the memories and believe me, they are real.”

-Anonymous Friend and Brother 67


“On January 8th, 2014, I was two weeks away from turning 13 years old. My mom told me that she had had an abortion. We were at church, and we were driving my younger siblings off to Faith Formation. I had absolutely no idea about this abortion. I was shocked.  I felt angry, sad.  I felt guilty for every time I had said that I’d wanted a brother, an older brother or sister…”

-Zoe 68


“My mom was single and already had a five-year-old daughter at age 22. She was embarrassed by another pregnancy and, at the time, thought of the pregnancy as just “a clump of cells.” 28 years and, in 2004, she felt very different about her baby. She went to post abortion counseling, told her family, and now knows God’s forgiveness. Knowing I was prolife, she was worried that I would hate her for the abortion, but for me it was confirmation that it isn’t something you just “get over.” My mom, who defended abortion “choice” for years and buried her feelings of guilt and regret, couldn’t live with the secret any longer. She is now prolife and has spoken about her experience at gatherings in her community. Frankly, I have been surprised at how much this news hurt and for how long because I would never have expected to miss someone so much that I never even knew. It has made me determined to keep her memory alive helping others understand how much this is not just one woman’s choice, but that it affects so many others for a lifetime.”

-Kelli 69


“I remember we were picking up my older sister from a high school football game and while we waited for her in the in the car my mom then told me about her abortion. It hurt me so much when she told me. It all made sense… That desperate feeling and need for an older brother was because I actually had one, but he was gone. It hurt so much knowing it. For us siblings, it also hurts. An abortion will affect everybody around you. After all, I do forgive my parents for taking the life of my brother. I love them so much although they made that choice and I love my brother although I don’t personally know him.”

-Abril 70


“A few years ago I was working as an outreach worker in Vancouver, BC, Canada. One of my clients asked me to go with her while she got an abortion. The operation is free in Van, so we made the appointment and went… When her name was called we went in together… I sat holding my girls hand wondering how I ever thought that this was not going to affect me. On the contrary, I knew instantly when the wee life was snuffed out. I felt it. I was shamed to think I had condoned this. My friend recovered and I drove her back to her shelter. I actually avoided this poor soul for two days. I was worried she want me to tell her it was alright, but it wasn’t. I’ve totally changed my stand on this …Never will I encourage abortion over adoption again. There is a better way.”

-Allie 71


Gina’s parents forced her to have an abortion. After much family counseling, her father finally said: “I had no right to make that choice… Oh my baby, my sweet baby, my Gina… I am so sorry. I was so wrong.”

-Un-Named Father 72


“I was 12 years old when I found out my aunt had tried to abort my cousin, Sean, who is now 5 years old. I was devastated, but the news I heard next was even worse. I learned she had already aborted three previous children who would have been my beautiful cousins. The only reason she did not abort Sean was because every time she went to the doctor for a pregnancy test, it did not show that she was pregnant. By the time she found out she really was pregnant, our state would not allow for the abortion, and she decided she didn’t want to travel to another state for the abortion. I stand against abortion. Knowing that three of my cousins were aborted and Sean was almost aborted hurts me deeply. So, girls, know that when you abort, it affects everyone, not just you and your child.”

-Breanna 73


“I share my story with you, with my daughter’s permission, because I want you to know the perspective of grandparents… I was doing laundry, and this voice came into my head, ‘Connie is having an abortion.’ I told myself. ‘My daughter would not do that.’ Yet the thought, or “voice,” continued to haunt me… When she came home later in the day, I recognized an undistinguished coldness on her part. I couldn’t determine the cause of this strange emotion but it was very obvious to my mother’s heart that she was in pain. She was cordial and acted friendly but I wasn’t convinced. I tried to push off the message of the “voice” but my heart was still concerned.

The next weekend her boyfriend went to Colorado and she spent the time in her room curled up in a fetal position crying. She wouldn’t come out and she would not talk to me. When I tried to approach her she gave me an angry reply—‘You wouldn’t understand, leave me alone.’ Rejected, I left her alone… I struggled with the “voice” that kept raising the abortion prospect because I was too afraid to bring it up or ask her directly. As a result, the wall between us grew stronger. Four months later, I went to my daughter’s room… I was not prepared for what I found. It was a prescription bottle for pain medication from a well-known abortionist in my city…

I went to the abortion clinic where my grandchild had died. Outside, on my knees, I wailed out loud in pain! A young man came up to me and asked if I would like some help. He said he could send me someplace where I could talk to someone. I said, ‘You don’t understand, I am the person that you send folks to. I couldn’t stop my own daughter from getting an abortion, what makes you think anyone could help me?’ That young man prayed for me… He will never know how much that meant to me, nor the strength I gained from his prayer.

I drove to the high school and insisted they page my daughter… When she finally came to the office fear was written all over her face. As soon as we were in the car I asked her if she had had an abortion. “You know the answer to that!” she responded. To this day I am ashamed at my next response. I hit her arm with my fist saying, ‘How could you kill your own child! How could you do this’ We went home and cried together. Then we yelled at each other and wept again. She asked for my forgiveness and told me how sorry she was… All I could say was I was sorry too — sorry that a child was gone. I was hurt and felt betrayed. My grandchild was gone and my fears were confirmed. My head was spinning with “what ifs?” They were immature and young, trying to make life decisions all alone on matters that they had no knowledge about. They could not begin to understand all of the life-long affects this one decision would have on their lives and the lives of others.

-Karen 74


“… a friend of mine got pregnant. She knew that the father would have nothing to do with the baby and she could not afford to be a single mother… She matter-of-factly said she would get an abortion. I don’t even know how far along she was. At the time, and I say this with such utter heartache as a conscious, devout Catholic, I did not even blink an eye. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll drive you there.’ I don’t recall why I stayed in the car. I did not even go into the clinic with her. I remember that afterward she walked out, got in the car, and said she didn’t feel well, that she just wanted to lie down. So I dropped her off at her apartment… We never talked about her abortion again. I recall now how cold-hearted I was about the entire event. I treated it, and she did as well, like she just went to the doctor to be treated for a cold or a migraine.

That day haunts me as I am devoted now to my faith… How could I stray so far away from God? How did I become so lost and soulless and selfish and vacant? I have since confessed my sin… I still cry about it. I have not been able to forgive myself for what I have done, and that’s probably even worse because God has forgiven me so I should be able to forgive myself.”

-Coleen 75


My 16 year old son’s girlfriend (was) pregnant… Her mom was upset, but has an open mind like me with regards to teenage pregnancy… We’ve (myself, her mother and my son) discussed all options, from joint custody, to my son raising it (with my help) on his own if she didn’t want anything to do with it. My son feels like his heart is being ripped out… He told me in tears that he knows its gonna kill him knowing what… happen(ed) to his baby, but he want(ed) to see his baby and see it’s heart beating. My family doesn’t believe in abortion, Her own mother had 2 abortions and told her about the guilt she’s lived with her entire life from having the abortions. This baby (was) wanted and (would have been) cared for… Her only concern was “I don’t want to get all FAT!!!” and “I don’t want the kids at school to call me a whore”. We’ve given her options around that too, but she just (didn’t) want it… I wish it had been a happy ending for all involved. But in the end, my grandchild was aborted. She took the abortion pill… it may have been “her” body but it was my SON’s child she killed… The clinic… (wouldn’t) even permit my son to see the baby on ultrasound. It’s been a tough weekend… I’m putting my Christmas tree up this week and will be going to Hallmark for a “special” ornament in memory of my first grand child.

-Anonymous Grandmother of An Aborted Baby 76


There is a woman… she became pregnant with a married man and I strongly encouraged her to have an abortion.  She didn’t want an abortion. She was very hesitant, but I bullied her into it. I truly didn’t believe that there was a baby existing in her yet.  I thought that a baby only became live when it exited a woman’s womb and it took it’s first breath of air. I believed that the only thing that existed in her body was a group of non live cells. My thoughts were that it would be a great burden for this young woman to keep the child.  I argued that it was best for the baby for many reasons… The young woman did have the abortion and to add insult to injury, when this young woman came home from having the abortion depressed and in physical pain, I scoffed at her – I more or less told her to ‘Get over herself.’ How CRUEL, COLD HEARTED and MEAN could that be?

I want to tell her that it’s MY FAULT she had an abortion!  She wouldn’t have went ahead with it if I hadn’t have strongly argued her into it.  I killed her baby!  I’m so so so sorry. . . but they are such meager words?  They can’t take away the pain or bring her baby back… I took away a life and caused much suffering.

-Jeanny 77


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