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"I realized too late…"

I have read letters to the editor from persons who feel abortion is morally wrong and others who feel abortion is a matter of choice. I would like to present a side of the abortion debate that few people consider: the side of one who has had an abortion.

This is what the "right to choose" has meant to me: In 1980 I aborted my first child. I was told at Planned Parenthood that his little 'blob of tissue" would be as easily removed as a wart. Terminating a pregnancy, I was told, was no more significant than removing a tiny blood clot in my uterus. "Sounds harmless," I reasoned. Exercizing the right to choose, I opted for abortion.

At that time, no other options, such as adoption or single parenting, were explained. At the abortion center, I was not administered pain killers. When the suction aspirator was turned on, I felt like my entire insides were being torn from me. Three-quarters of the way through the procedure, I looked down and to my right and there I saw the bits and pieces of my baby floating in a pool of blood. After I screamed "I killed my baby!", the counselor in attendance told me to shut up. Suddenly I felt very sad and alone.

But the worst was yet to come. I was not forewarned about the deep psychological problems I would encounter in the months and years to follow. I was never told that I would have nightmares about babies crying in the night. Neither was it explained previous to the abortion that I would experience severe depressions in which I would contemplate suicide. I didn't mourn the loss of my appendix, so shy would I grieve the passing of an enigmatic uteran blob? The answer was that it wasn't a mere "blob of tissue". It was a living baby. I realized it the moment I saw his dismembered limbs. I realized too late.

By now, the reader may be asking him/herself, "Isn't this an extreme example of an abortion experience?" Actually, no. Mine was a routine suction abortion. Millions have been done. Why do women who've had an abortion have a higher incidence of suicide than other women? And why do the chances of losing a subsequent wanted baby double or even quadruple following a "safe", legal abortion? Since when has death become good for us?

Karen Sullivan, AZ State President of Women Exploited by Abortion [WEBA], Tempe Daily News, 20 Oct 1984

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