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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Abortion Begins a Downward Spiral

*Publisher's note: this personal testimony is being reprinted in light of the upcoming vote in South Dakota on Initiated Measure 11 and the recent statement by the American Psychological Association that abortion does not threaten women's mental health.

By Theresa Bonopartis
New York State Leader
Operation Outcry

My name is Theresa Bonopartis and I am post abortive. Like many teenagers who find themselves pregnant, I hid my pregnancy from my parents out of fear. I was in my fourth month when I finally told them, and although it was something I did not expect, they threw me out of the house and told me to forget I was their daughter.

Over the next few weeks, I found myself with no job, no money and no place to live. In temporary housing at a friend’s, my dad had my sister call me daily to tell me he wanted me to have an abortion and that he would pay for it. Day after day, I kept saying “no”, but after a while, feeling desperate and as if I had no choice, I gave in to the pressure and agreed to kill my unborn baby. To this day I still cannot remember how I got to the hospital where the abortion was performed. No one bothered to give me the facts. I did not know the development of my baby. No one told me about the procedure or what was going to happen to me. As a teenager, I was put in a room to undergo a horrific procedure alone. A procedure I never wanted but was pressured into having.

I can still remember the doctor coming into the room with a sadistic look on his face as he injected my abdomen with saline solution. Then the horror began. Although at the time I was not aware that this is what was happening, I felt my baby thrashing around inside of me while it burnt to death from the solution. I then went into labor only to deliver a dead baby boy in the room by myself 12 hours later. I remember looking at my son lying in the bed next to me. I saw his tiny feet and hands and all I could think of was how I wanted to put him back inside of me. I could not believe what I had just done or how this was allowed. I rang for the nurse who came into the room, picked up my son and dumped him into a big plastic jar marked “3A”. My life was forever changed from that moment on.

From that day forward I began a downward spiral as I suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks and made countless bad choices because I did not believe I deserved any better. Although I sought help, no one was willing to address my abortion. I was told repeatedly by professional therapists that I needed to get on with my life. The same message many women seeking help still are getting today. No one would legitimize my pain or acknowledge what had happened. I killed my unborn child. I was left feeling crazy and alone thinking I was the only one suffering from abortion’s aftermath. The truth is, there are countless people suffering.

For years I lived my life in misery. I made a poor choice for a spouse, a drug and alcohol abuser, because I did not think I deserved better. There were days when I was not even able to get up and function. Ultimately, it impacted every aspect of my life, while society and professionals kept telling me it had nothing to do with my abortion in spite of the fact that I kept saying it did. Even today great pains are taken to dismiss post abortion stress as evidence by a New York Times Magazine article “Is there Such a Thing as Post Abortion Syndrome?”. When did we become a society when killing your unborn child and having it bother you is unacceptable and denied??? It just does not make sense.

It was many years before I found the help I needed to find healing. Through my faith and finding a therapist who dealt with post abortion issues, I was finally able to heal from my abortion. Today, if an abortion bothers someone, society is quick to blame it on a person’s religious beliefs which they say instills “guilt and shame”. My faith does not instill guilt and shame, my faith brings me the mercy of God and forgiveness and healing, the act of killing my own child and seeing him dead on the bed beside me instilled the guilt and shame.

People protect abortion rights because they have believed the lies we, as a society have been fed over the years. It is my hope that women who have been made to believe abortion is a freedom when in reality it is a bondage, will come to see, as more women speak out in truth, that the truth is what set us free.

Thank you.

Theresa is the New York State Contact for Operation Outcry and the Director of Lumina/Hope & Healing after abortion, a post abortion referral service. She has two sons, one currently serving as a US Marine.

*Reprinted by permission of Operation Outcry.

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