RK – Country: The Netherlands
How many abortions have you had? Two
My circumstances at the time of the abortion.
I was 43 years old when I became pregnant. Michael and I had been in a relationship for over 2 years and we were very happy together, although it had been a very challenging period for us because I had suffered 3 miscarriages. So, when I found out I was pregnant again, we could not believe the good news. I looked forward to finally becoming a mother. Everything was going well until I did the pre-natal test at 12 weeks and found out that my baby had Downs Syndrome. We were devastated. We decided quite immediately that we should terminate the pregnancy.
How many weeks pregnant were you?
Did anyone bring pressure to bear on you or coerce you to choose abortion?
I cried all the way to the doctor’s clinic. She asked me if I wanted to speak to a Counsellor first. I said “ No”, I just wanted it to be over as soon as possible. I was too numb to think about anything. Everything happened so quickly after that. The abortion took place 4 days later and I remember very little of it. I just wanted my life to go back to “normal”. My best friend had asked me “Are you sure you want to do this?” but I didn’t pay any attention. I was in too much pain and too upset to consider any other options.
Do you think you were adequately informed at the time, of the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of abortion?
No one spoke to me about the psychological and emotional effect the abortion might have on me.
What was your immediate reaction after the abortion and how did you feel?
Immediately after the operation, I felt relief and went back to work quite immediately. I wanted to get back to my normal routine, get busy and put it all behind me. But it didn’t happened that way. One day, I was sitting at home working on an assignment, and then all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and immense sorrow. How could I have abandoned my baby just because he was not “perfect”? I missed feeling him in my body; I cried myself to sleep many nights. The pain and grief was almost unbearable.
How has/have your abortion affected you?
One day, I was sitting at home working on an assignment, and then all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and immense sorrow. How could I have abandoned my baby just because he was not “perfect”? I missed feeling him in my body; I cried myself to sleep many nights. The pain and grief was almost unbearable. For a while I couldn’t really function.
How has your abortion affected others in your life and your relationships with others?
The support from my partner has also been crucial in my recovery. Eventually, we decided to get married.
What has helped you come to terms with your abortion?
It was by God’s grace that I came across Rachel’s Vineyard through an online forum. It saved my life. The retreat gave me a chance to ask for God’s forgiveness and healing. It strengthened my faith and this is the only thing that has kept me going – God’s grace and my faith that He is able and willing to forgive.
Based upon your experience, what would you want to tell a woman considering abortion today?
I cannot undo the mistake I’ve made, but I pray that others in a similar situation will receive the help and wisdom they need. Don’t make a drastic decision out of fear or shame. Seek help, talk to someone you can trust – a family member or someone from Church. And pray – for God to give you guidance. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.