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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 of my life. My best friend drove me to the abortion center.

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, and 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.
I answered the challenge!

I started sidewalk counseling. There is a healing process that comes from getting involved in the pro-life movement. I talk to youth groups and students and share my testimony.

To them, and to you, I plead: "Please don't make the same mistake I did". — Michelle