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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Memory of a Child who Should Have Been

*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 Tammy Holly
Michigan State Leader
Operation Outcry

At the age of 17, I found out that I was pregnant. One of my parents took me to a private physician who performed a first-trimester suction abortion on me. The abortion had been prearranged and was paid for with the bloody sum of $250.00.

I was told the procedure was very simple with minimal pain and that it would be over in a matter of minutes. I was also told there would be nothing to worry about after it was over.

I was not warned that there are physical, mental, or emotional risks attached to this abortion procedure. I was not shown any fetal development pictures or told anything about fetal development. Rather, I was told my baby was just “a blob of tissue.”

On the day of my abortion, the doctor did ask me if I wanted to go through with it. I said “NO”. He informed me that I should talk to my parent who had brought me. My parent was pressing for the abortion and had prearranged it so I felt like a frightened, trapped animal that had been backed into a corner. Pressure to abort my baby also came from the doctor’s office as they told me they only did the procedure up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. I was 11 weeks along.

The so-called simple procedure was extremely painful for me, having only been given a shot to make me slightly drowsy. I screamed at the sound of the suction machine only to have three nurses hold me down and tell me I needed to be quiet so I wouldn’t disturb others waiting outside the room.

I left that day feeling empty, torn apart, abused and totally violated. Immediately following the abortion, intense grief and sadness overtook me, and I contemplated suicide because of “my choice” to buckle under pressure.

Two years later, I married the father of my aborted child even though the relationship had many red flags of abuse. After marriage, I became pregnant only to miscarry at 12 weeks. I was never informed of the risk of miscarriage following an abortion.

The first live birth of my son was very difficult because I was not able to bond with him and found myself being abusive to him as an infant.

My abortion affected me in several areas: Physical through miscarriage, sexual dysfunction, anniversary reactions of illness that coincided to the abortion date, self-destructive habits of weight loss, and no care or concern for my appearance. I became a workaholic so I did not have to think about the abortion.

I will always have the memory of a child who could have been and should have been. That will never go away. Abortion hurts and victimizes women. Abortion hurt me, and I refuse to be silent. America needs to know the truth about the devastation of abortion and how it hurts women and others.

Many areas in my life were messed up and broken. I didn’t know how to fix them until I decided to let Jesus Christ take control of my life. He is the ultimate and only One who can heal any woman from the pain and destruction of abortion. Jesus can set anyone free from the pain of abuse and bondage, and He is faithful to His Word. He is the healer and restorer of all things.

Tammy is the Michigan State Leader of Operation Outcry and is the coordinator of an abortion recovery ministry at a local pregnancy care center, where she also served as director for six years and volunteer for twenty-one years.

*Reprinted by permission of Operation Outcry.


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